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What Happens to My Lawsuit During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Updated: Mar 9, 2021

Litigating in the Supreme Court of BC During a Pandemic-- Q & A


Effective March 19, 2020 and until further notice the Supreme Court of British Columbia has suspended regular operations of all of its location to protect the health and safety of court users uses and to help contain the spread of COVID-19.


Courthouses remain open. However, in person registry services have been suspended until further notice.

Can I still initiate a lawsuit during the pandemic?


While the Supreme Court registries are no longer providing in-person registry services, you can still file your claim through the Court Services Online system, fax (where applicable), mail, or secure drop box at the registries.


I have received a Notice of Civil Claim, what should I do?


Under normal circumstances, once you receive the Notice of Civil Claim you have 21 days to file your response to the claim. However, filing deadlines under the Supreme Court Civil Rules and the Supreme Court Family Rules are suspended until May 1, 2020. This means that the time limits that usually apply to commencing claims or to filing documents with courts are suspended until May 1, 2020.


Nevertheless, it is still important for you to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible to discuss the next steps.


Do I still have to attend a previously scheduled hearing?


All civil and family matters are adjourned until May 1, 2020, unless the court directs otherwise. The court will hear only essential and urgent matters. The court has the discretion to hear urgent matters other than those listed, as well as to decline to hear a matter in a listed category. The court has provided a list of what matters qualify as “essential and urgent”, which can be found here:


https://www.bccourts.ca/supreme_court/documents/Notice%20of%20Suspension%20of%20Civil%20and%20Family%20Proceedings%20REVISED%20March%2030,%202020.pdf


 

NOT LEGAL ADVICE. Information made available on the Queenstone Law website in any form is for information purposes only. It is not legal advice. You should not rely on, or take or fail to take any action, based upon this information. We would be pleased to discuss any specific legal concerns you may have. Although we attempt to keep the information on our site accurate and up-to-date, due to the ever changing nature of the law, as well as, the speed at which new cases are released, we cannot guarantee that the content is fully up to date or remains completely accurate.

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