As with many other industries, the legal industry has been impacted by the COVID-19, and one of the implications is the closures of courts. The below provides a summary of court closures in Manitoba.
FILING DOCUMENTS IN COURT
At present time, the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench Court Registry is operating with significantly reduced staff members. As such, it is asking that counsel and parties refrain from filing any non-essential court documents. While it is the decision of counsel and parties as to what constitutes an essential document, obvious examples are those documents that must be filed because of an applicable limitation date or documents that are required for an upcoming court hearing.
MANITOBA COURT OF QUEEN’S BENCH
From March 17, 2020 through and including April 17, 2020:
- All civil trials are adjourned to a special assignment list, which is presently scheduled for April 16, 2020 at 9:30am
- All motions and applications, uncontested and contested, pre-trial conferences, case management conferences, small claim hearings, small claim appeals and judicially assisted dispute resolutions scheduled within the above time frame are adjourned without a fixed return date.
UPDATE as of April 2, 2020: During the period from April 20 to May 25, 2020, the Court of Queen’s Bench is limiting scheduled matters to certain prioritized categories and to either emergency or urgent/ emergent matters. Apart from urgent or emergency matters, the following changes are in place:
- All civil trials during the period from March 16 to April 17, 2020 have been adjourned to the assignment list of April 16, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. (time changed from 1:30pm)
- All civil trials scheduled from April 20 to May 25, 2020 will be adjourned to a special assignment list scheduled for May 21, 2020 at 9:30 a.m.
- All contested civil motions and applications presently scheduled are adjourned without a fixed date. After May 22, 2020, counsel or a party may contact the civil motion coordinator to schedule a new hearing date.
- The uncontested civil list is suspended until May 22, 2020.
- All other civil matters, including pre-trial conferences, case management conferences, small claim appeals, and JADRs, are adjourned without a fixed date. After May 22, 2020, counsel or a party may contact the trial or motion coordinator to schedule a new date.
- The Court will not be taking any new scheduling requests during this time.
- The Court is requesting that only essential documents be filed during this time.
MANITOBA COURT OF APPEAL (Updated April 3, 2020)
Starting on April 20, 2020, all appeals will be heard remotely by videoconferencing and all motions or applications will be heard remotely by teleconferencing. With respect to the appeals that we adjourned by consent between March 20, 2020 and April 17, 2020, the Registry staff will consult with the parties and reschedule them to the next available timeslot.
The Manitoba Court of Appeal registry remains open for filings.
MASTERS’ LIST (Updated April 7, 2020)
The Master’s Uncontested Lists are suspended through and including May 22, 2020. All matters scheduled during the suspension period are adjourned without a fixed date. After May 16, 2020, counsel or a party may file a Notice of Motion to be heard on an uncontested list or requisition a matter back onto an uncontested list for a date on or after May 25, 2020.
PROVINCIAL OFFENCES COURT
The Provincial Offences Court Office at 373 Broadway will be closed from March 17 to and including May 1st. Any Provincial Offences Act matters, including Highway Traffic Act matters scheduled to appear between March 17, 2020 and May 1, 2020 will be adjourned and rescheduled to a later date. Notification of the new date will be sent directly to parties and/or counsel.
ALL MATTERS OUTSIDE OF COURT
While there is currently no order preventing parties from meeting outside of Court, in-person meetings and examinations should be postponed where possible. Courtesy should be extended to opposing counsel/parties to that end.
Please do not hesitate to contact your relationship partner or lawyer if you have any questions or if we can be of assistance in guiding you through these new challenges.
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This article represents general information and is not legal advice. Please contact us if you would like legal advice that is tailored to your particular circumstances. We would be happy to help.