Provincial Court Re-opening plans and virtual attendence

Notice – Return to Sitting for Trials, Dispositions and Special Sittings in most Circuits (March 12, 2021)

The provincial court is continuing to return to sittings in most circuits. This notice provides a detailed list of resumptions for the months of April and May.
An overview of these changes is provided as such:

“As of April 1, 2021:

  • All criminal trials set in the six major Court centres (Winnipeg, Portage la Prairie, Brandon, Dauphin, The Pas, Thompson) will proceed as scheduled.
  • All dispositions where the person is in custody or a custodial disposition is being sought will proceed.
  • All dispositions where a non-custodial sentence is being sought can proceed, if the parties are able to attend remotely.
  • All dockets containing matters which are not yet set for disposition or trial will proceed virtually. Accused persons should not attend these dockets in person.
  • All circuit court trials and up to five in-person dispositions at each circuit court sitting can proceed. Additional dispositions can proceed on circuit if the accused person can appear remotely at the court sitting.
  • We will not be returning to the following communities in April and dockets will continue to be held virtually. The communities are Cross Lake, Garden Hill, God’s Lake, Lac Brochet, Nelson House, Oxford House, Pukatawagan, Split Lake and Waywayseecappo.

As of May 1, 2021:

  • We plan to return to sittings in Cross Lake, Garden Hill, God’s Lake, Lac Brochet, Nelson House and Waywayseecappo in May 2021, but these communities will be subject of a later notice as we assess on an ongoing basis the public health situation in those communities.

Further suspension in April and May 2021:

  • We do not expect to be able to return to Oxford House, Pukatawagan and Split Lake in April and May 2021.”

See the notice for full details.

Notice – Public Viewing/attendance at Virtual Hearings (March 15, 2021)

Member’s of the public who want to attend a virtual conference held by video or telephone may do so by following the protocols and procedures listed in the notice.

Public Now Able to View Virtual Hearings

Notice – Public Viewing/Attendance at Virtual Hearings (February 26, 2021)

In order to allow the general public to view open hearings, while still maintaining health protocols, the Court of Queen’s Bench has allowed for the viewing of Online and Teleconference hearings.

Click on the notice above to read the full instructions on how to request access and the protocols expected to be followed when participating in these events.

See here for all Queen’s Bench COVID-19 related notices and directives.

New Protocol for Accused’s First Appearance

THOMPSON COURT CENTRE

In a continuing effort to reduce infection rates as well as the number of people needed to attend court, Thompson Court Centre has instituted new protocols for accused persons appearing for their first time in court.

Notice – Precautions – in custody first appearances (February 24, 2021)

“Commencing March 1, 2021 accused making their first appearance will appear in court via teleconference from the interview room or holding cells in Thompson Court building and will be brought into the Courtroom for a personal appearance only if so ordered by the presiding Judge.”


See here for all COVID-19 related court notices and practice directions.

Notice – Family Division Scheduling Protocol

Notice – (Family Division) Adjustment to Current Scheduling Protocols March 1 to 31, 2021)
“[T]he adjustments to the Court’s scheduling practices for Family Division Proceedings as announced in the December 3, 2020 Practice Direction will now also extend and apply to the period of March 1 to 31, 2021.”

Family and Child protection trials scheduled in March will continue to be heard by video conference.

New Court Notices

Queen’s Bench

Notice – Out of Province Parties and Witnesses and the Continuing Obligation to Isolate for 14 days (February 4, 2021)
“this Notice will confirm that until further notice … the Court will require all parties or witnesses … who wish to attend in person for their proceedings and who are coming from outside of Manitoba, to continue to isolate as before for the requisite 14 days.”

Provincial Court

Notice – COVID-19 precautions – Virtual Assignment Court (January 28, 2021)
Notice – COVID-19 precautions – Virtual Docket Appearances (January 28, 2021)
“In order to reopen the courts responsibly and remain vigilant about preventing the spread of COVID-19, the Court is seeking to reduce the number of persons attending court. Counsel are directed to contact their clients to ensure only those persons who have
something meaningful occurring … attend court.”

Notice – Update to Judicial Justice of the Peace weekday bail dockets (February 5, 2021)
Update on the a pilot project to address the timely release of individuals who have been arrested overnight and held in custody at police facilities anywhere in Manitoba.

Notice – Out of Province Parties and Witnesses and the continuing obligation to isolate for 14 days (February 5, 2021)
“this Notice will confirm that until further notice … the Court will require all parties or witnesses … who wish to attend in person for their proceedings and who are coming from outside of Manitoba, to continue to isolate as before for the requisite 14 days.”