Supreme Court during COVID-19

Supreme Court
COVID-19 Supreme court

On March 19, 2020, the Supreme Court of British Columbia suspended regular operations at all of its locations to help contain the spread of COVID-19. The court heard mostly urgent and essential matters after that date.

On July 10, 2020 the court resumed more services and activities, including some in-person appearances, court hearings, and trials.

On July 27, 2020 the court resumed its usual timing and filing requirements for trial management conferences.

The Government amended the Supreme Court Civil Rules to temporarily suspend civil jury trials and the related rules from September 28, 2020 to October 3, 2021

On October 26, 2020, Supreme Court applications in Masters chambers estimated at 2 hours or less will be heard by Microsoft Teams in Vancouver only. All other chambers applications in Vancouver will be by phone. This includes application in Judges chambers and lengthy chambers applications.

The Supreme Court will announce the hearing of chambers applications using Microsoft Teams in locations outside of Vancouver at a later date.
The date of the most recent update on a subject is shown in [square brackets]. 

What is currently happening in Supreme Court

You can file documents for family matters

  • Supreme Court registries are open and accepting filings in person.
  • You should still file through Court Services Online if possible.
  • If you can’t file documents online, you can file them by mail, by fax (see list of fax filing registries below), or secure drop box. [July 13, 2020]
  • If you aren’t appearing in person before the court, you must file your Affidavit of Service or Affidavit of Delivery. [July 13, 2020]
If you go to the courthouse, you must follow the court’s guidelines for health and safety during the pandemic.
Chilliwack (604) 795-8397
Cranbrook (250) 426-1498
Dawson Creek (250) 784-2218
Kamloops (250) 828-4345
Kelowna (250) 979-6768
Nelson (250) 354-6133
Penticton (250) 492-1290
Prince George (250) 614-7923
Rossland (250) 362-7321
Salmon Arm (250) 833-7401
Smithers (250) 847-7344
Terrace (250) 638-2143
Vernon (250) 549-5461
Williams Lake (250) 398-4264

Court operations

Court appearances, hearings, and trials are proceeding by either phone, video conferencing where available, or in-person as directed by the court.

The court is continuing to hear many of the following family hearings by phone:

The court is rolling out a new procedure for hearing Supreme Court chambers applications in Vancouver. Starting October 26, 2020, applications that have been scheduled for hearing in Masters chambers (estimated at 2 hours or less) will be heard on Microsoft Teams. You'll be given a dial-in conferencing number as well, so you can use your phone if you can't use the Microsoft Teams video, or if your video connection fails. [October 26, 2020]

All other chambers applications in Vancouver will be by phone. This includes applications in Judges chambers and lengthy chambers applications.

The Supreme Court will announce the hearing of chambers applications using Microsoft Teams in locations outside of Vancouver at a later date.

Limitation periods

Limitation periods and mandatory time periods for starting a family action, proceeding, claim, or appeal are still suspended. The suspension will end on March 24, 2021. Usual limitation periods will be in effect as of March 25, 2021.[December 21, 2020]

Filing deadlines

Filing and service timelines are running again.[May 29, 2020]

If you are unable to meet a filing deadline because of COVID-19, you can apply for an order amending the timeline for filing. Apply through a Telephone Conference Hearing or an Application by Written Submission.

What is currently not happening in Supreme Court

These processes are no longer available

  • Requests for urgent or essential hearings [July 13, 2020]

These matters are cancelled

  • All civil jury selections and jury trials are cancelled up to October 3, 2021. [September 21, 2020]
Get more help

For more information about Supreme Court during COVID-19, see the Supreme Court website.

For information about BC's other courts, see the BC Courts website