Court closures extended to February 4
In response to the continuing COVID-19 surge in the province, the Provincial Court of Alberta has extended court closures for an additional two weeks.
Until February 4, 2022, all non-urgent out-of-custody trials, preliminary inquiries and other hearings requiring viva voce evidence will be adjourned. All dockets are open but continue remotely. Further details on the nature and scope of these closures, as well as how matters will be handled until February 4 are available on the Court’s website.
“Today the Provincial Court of Alberta announced that the restrictions that have been in place since January 4, 2022 will remain in place until at least February 4, 2022. As a result of the strain on current resources, we are having to prioritize which matters are able to proceed as scheduled and which matters will need to be adjourned,” Chief Judge Derek Redman said. “The Provincial Court will continue to ensure that all urgent matters are heard. The Court continues to hear all in-custody matters as well as all urgent out-of-custody criminal matters. Urgent Family, Child Protection and Civil matters are also being accommodated.The leadership of the Court understands the importance of providing access for all Albertans to our Courts and the difficulty this causes when access is restricted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
This is the second such announcement in recent weeks, following a closure announcement on January 1, 2022. The Court continues to keep track of the COVID-19 case counts in the province and to make evidence-based decisions in the best interests of participants in the system. Further information is available on our website at albertacourts.ca/pc/resources/covid.
“We continue to strive to provide as much notice as possible with respect to the imposition or lifting of restrictions appreciating that the unpredictability of the pandemic at times makes this very challenging,” Redman said. “Above all, our priority remains providing access to justice for all Albertans in as safe an environment as is possible at this time.”
For the urgent matters that continue to be heard, COVID-19 precautions remain in effect, including:
- Social distancing rules
- Limited capacity within courtrooms and courthouses
- Plexiglas barriers within courtrooms
- Enhanced cleaning
- Mandatory facemasks as per court directive
Please visit https://albertacourts.ca/pc/resources/covid for complete information on the various measures the Provincial Court is taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Provincial Court of Alberta is the busiest court in Alberta, with 95 per cent of all matters beginning and ending at the Provincial Court level. Every year, more than 500,000 people interact with the Provincial Court of Alberta in some way, either as a witness, as a lawyer, as a defendant, or as a plaintiff. For most Albertans, the Provincial Court is a primary point of contact with the justice system.