A new notice from all court levels has been issued stating that “mask use will no longer be required in court facilities effective Monday, May 16, 2022. Masks may continue to be worn, unless requested otherwise by a presiding judge in the context of a hearing.
Unlimited access to the courts by members of the public will resume on Monday, June 27th, at which time there will no longer be any COVID-19 related restrictions in place.”
“Commencing on Monday, March 7, 2022, the following protocols will be in effect: All judge-alone and jury criminal trials for both in-custody and out-of-custody accused will proceed as scheduled and in person, including where an accused is self-represented.”
This change includes civil trials, civil hearings where there is to be oral evidence, the Protection Order Hearing List, and JADR’s. All contested applications, motions, summary conviction appeals, and special hearing bails and bail reviews will proceed by video conference. Video conference hearing protocols can be found here.
The new scheduling protocols will be modified on April 4, 2022, and then again on September 6, 2022.
The full notice with further details about scheduling protocol modifications can be found here.
“The Notices issued by the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench Masters on March 17, 2020, April 7, 2020, April 24, 2020 and May 11, 2020, September 1, 2021 and January 14, 2022, are being updated with the changes noted below, which are to take effect March 14, 2022, and continue in place until further notice.”
Maintenance Enforcement Dockets and matters involving the provision of viva voce evidence will return to in-person. Child Protection Dockets, Master’s Civil and Family Uncontested List, Bankruptcy Dockets, Contested Motions, and Uncontested Passing of Accounts and Hearings for Directions will continue via teleconference for the time being.
The full notice regarding these changes can be found here.
For all Court of Queen’s Bench COVID-19 notices, click here.
“Given the recently announced easing of Public Health Order restrictions that began on February 15, 2022, and, assuming the public health situation remains stable, the Manitoba Court of Appeal will resume its in-person appeal hearings in Courtroom 330 and in-person chambers motions in Courtroom 130 starting on Monday, March 14, 2022.”
February 25, 2022 – In light of recent changes to provincial public health orders, the three Manitoba Courts have released a new notice regarding a reopening plan.
With the goal of a June 27th full reopening, in the coming weeks each of the Courts will be announcing a transition to an increased level of service for its respective Court.
This will be applied in all Manitoba court facilities as follows:
Support Persons — April 18, 2022: As of April 18th, there will be an increase from two to five support persons allowed per accused, victim, or child witness.
Masks — May 16, 2022: Until May 16th, masks will continue to be required by all attendees to any court facility in the Province. Masks are available at the entry to all court facilities. Without proof of exemption, any attendees without a mask will be refused entry or asked to leave. Although no longer required after May 16th, mask use will continue to be supported as a means of minimizing the risk of COVID-19 transmission, unless requested otherwise by a presiding judge in the context of a hearing.
Public Access — June 27, 2022: Unlimited access to the courts by members of the public will resume on June 27th. As of this date, there will no longer be any COVID-19 related restrictions in place.
“The Court will resume all regularly scheduled sittings and all previously scheduled special sittings in all locations and will resume hearing all matters including trials, preliminary inquiries, dispositions and bail applications in all court centres and circuit locations, subject to specific localized closures. Judicial Justice of the Peace dockets in Thompson circuit locations will continue to be held remotely until further notice.”
“Unless counsel is already appearing on a matter requiring a personal appearance, the presumption that counsel and accused persons will appear remotely continues to apply to all other matters where nothing substantive is expected to take place.”
“The Provincial Court of Manitoba remains closed to members of the general public.”
January 18, 2022 – Notice – Provincial Court of Manitoba RE: COVID-19 Suspension and Restriction of Hearings
“This Notice is further to the Notices issued December 23, 2021 and December 29, 2021. We continue to be concerned about the COVID-19 numbers and the Omicron variant. Given this, and in order to continue to balance the health and safety of court participants with providing meaningful access to justice, we will be extending the court closures set out in the above noted Notices up to and including February 25, 2022.”
“Please review the Notice of January 7, 2022, as a reminder on how to book remote appearances.”
January 14, 2022 – Notice to the Profession – Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench – Masters RE: COVID-19 Update
“The Notices issued by Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench Masters on March 17, 2020, April 7, 2020, April 24, 2020, May 11, 2020, and September 1, 2020 are being updated with the changes noted below, which are to take effect immediately, and continue in place to at least March 4, 2022, or further notice of the court. These changes reflect the challenges related to the continuing and increasing threats associated with the COVID-19 virus and in particular, the alarming increase in the positivity rate within our communities. These changes will mirror those announced by the Chief Justice, Court of Queen’s Bench for the period of January 10 to March 4, 2022.
“Given the increasing rates of community transmission and potential impact on Manitoba’s healthcare system, we are cancelling all in-person hearings set to proceed during this period, or until further notice.”
The full text outlining the changes can be accessed here.
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