The following notices have been posted by the Provincial court relating to COVID-19:
Notice – Provincial Offences Act proceedings – Update May 19th – Further to the notices of March 16, 2020 and April 15,2020, the Court Office at 373 Broadway will remain closed to the public until July 6, 2020. There will be limited resumptions of services as well as options for remote dealings. Options for dealing with tickets are provided.
Notice – Teleconference Availability in Provincial Court courtrooms (May 26, 2020) – “Further to the notice issued by the Provincial Court on March 23, 2020. The purpose of this practice notice is to reduce the number of people who are attending to the courthouse, including legal counsel.” Instructions for teleconferences are detailed.
Notice – Pre-Trial Coordinator Timelines (May 28, 2020) – “The timelines as set out in the PTC Protocol will continue to apply but the period of time the out of custody dockets and trials were suspended due to COVID-19 will be deducted from the timeline calculation.” “The PTCs may also entertain longer remands within the timelines in order to prevent unnecessary appearances in Court while COVID-19 restrictions are in place.”
Notice – Update to the Judges and Judicial Justice of the Peace Weekend Bail Courts (May 28, 2020) – “Further to the Court’s Notices of April 9, 2020 and May 6, 2020, the weekend Judge’s dockets will be discontinued and therefore no longer sitting effective June 6, 2020.”
For all court notices regarding disruptions caused by COVID-19 see here.
The Provincial Court has also posted a notice regarding Scheduling of Criminal Code Dispositions – “On June 1, 2020, the Provincial Court Disposition Coordinator will assume the scheduling of all Criminal Code dispositions in Winnipeg” “The process currently used to set dispositions with the disposition coordinators will apply to these disposition courts.”
To stay up to date on all Provincial Court notices and directions please see here.
The Provincial Court of Manitoba has posted a new notice to the profession here which states that “the Provincial Court of Manitoba will reopen court proceedings on a staged and incremental basis beginning June 1, 2020”
There will still be limitations and restrictions in place, detailed in an attached notice with safety and cleaning procedures.
Out-of-custody matters will begin to be heard in the six major court centres, Brandon, Dauphin, Portage la Prairie, The Pas, Thompson and Winnipeg.
As of May 19, those dealing with Provincial Offences Act ticket offences may deal with guilty pleas with an explanation by teleconference.
Additionally, “The circuit courts which require the court party to fly into the community will not sit during June” and “All other circuit court locations throughout Manitoba are further suspended for the month of June.”
Finally, “Case management conferences will continue as scheduled and may be conducted by teleconference.”
For full details please the entire notice here, or visit the Manitoba Courts COVID-19 notices here
A new notice to the profession has been posted from all three courts detailing further restriction of access to the courthouses. This notice will limit the number of support persons to two per accused or victim.
It also reminds counsel to respect social distancing and maintaining a two meter gap.
To see the whole notice, please click here.
There is a general presumption, based on principles of access to justice, matters will be heard in the community in which the incident is alleged to have occurred. It is in the public interest to have matters heard in the community or the closest judicial centre so that members of the affected community can participate fully in the proceedings and see that justice is done.
There may be extenuating circumstances where the above principles should not apply. If that is the case and counsel are seeking to have any matter heard in a judicial centre other than the judicial centre closest to where the incident is alleged to have occurred, counsel shall bring an application before the presiding judge, in the originating judicial centre in which the incident is alleged to have occurred, requesting the matter be transferred to another judicial court centre.
This protocol applies to all jurisdictions and all matters and is effective immediately.
The original signed by Chief Judge Margaret Wiebe on July 25, 2019.