Courtrooms in Fort St. John and Dawson Creek will reopen June 15.
The provincial court says one courtroom will open in each city for in-person appearances. In-person proceedings will only be available for priority matters that cannot otherwise be accommodated remotely, the court said.
“Open accessible courts are fundamental to our democracy,” the court said in a May 26 update.
“The rule of law depends on it. However, the public, litigants, court staff, court participants, counsel, judges and the media need to know that when they come to court they will be safe.”
For criminal matters, the court says it continues to hold bail hearings remotely, and that opening courtrooms will not change this process. The court says it is conducting pre-trial conferences on all criminal trials that are scheduled for longer than half a day.
For small claims, the court says it is conducting settlement conferences by telephone on all matters that were scheduled for conferences since March 15, 2020 and were adjourned due to COVID-19.
For family court, the court says it is rescheduling all case conferences that were adjourned due to COVID-19. Those will proceed by telephone, and if issues cannot be resolved, the judge will canvas whether the hearing can proceed by audio or videoconference and what admissions can be made, the court said.
Traffic and ticket matters scheduled from March 18 to June 12, 2020 are adjourned without the disputant having to attend Court and will be rescheduled to a later date, the court said.
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