Notice to the Profession
April 20, 2020

Court of Appeal expanding court operations using videoconferencing and teleconferencing

The Court of Appeal has issued an updated notice to the public and profession announcing that it is accepting filings in all matters and, as of May 4, 2020, the Court of Appeal will begin hearing all appeals, including those that are not urgent, by videoconferencing using the Zoom platform, unless otherwise directed. Litigants in appeals must complete the Court Proceedings by Video Conference form 14 days in advance of their hearing. Also beginning May 4, all chambers applications and registrar’s appointments will be heard by teleconference or in writing. For new chambers applications or appointments, litigants must file and serve materials required under the Court of Appeal Act, Court of Appeal Rules, Criminal Code, the Court of Appeal Criminal Rules and the court’s Civil and Criminal Practice Directives. Further information is available in the Court of Appeal’s full updated notice.

Supreme Court expands use of telephone conference hearings in civil and family matters

As of April 20, 2020, parties in civil and family matters may schedule a COVID-19 telephone conference hearing (TCH) for matters that are not urgent or essential (as specified in the court’s April 16, 2020 Notice) and that were scheduled for hearing during the suspension period. At each TCH, parties will be limited to addressing one disputed issue or to bringing forward issues on which they have consent. Details on TCH and how to schedule a hearing may be found here.

BC Registries allows remote commissioning of affidavits

BC Registries, which administers and supports registrations of all businesses, not-for-profit societies, cooperatives, personal property and manufactured homes in BC, has confirmed that it will accept the virtually signed affidavits that are commissioned following a similar process outlined by the BC courts.