In order to help minimize the spread of COVID-19, the Provincial Court of BC is holding urgent family, child protection, and small claims hearings by telephone instead of in person. We are also working towards being able to offer some hearings using video technology, when that is appropriate for the parties involved and their case.
The Provincial Court of BC has taken steps to help minimize the spread of COVID-19, including preparing to hold some family, child protection and small claims conferences by telephone or video instead of in person. This eNews provides information about how to prepare for and participate in these conferences.
Purpose of the conference
The COVID-19 coronavirus has brought changes in both government policies and court operations that affect peoples’ rights and responsibilities. Because the situation is so fast-moving, changes are being made almost daily.
To comply with the advice of public health officials to minimize the number of people physically in courthouses, the Court transitioned to an “essential services model” in March, limiting hearings primarily to urgent matters.
It’s been suggested the Provincial Court of British Columbia could make more use of technology, including cloud-based video-conferencing and apps like Zoom, FaceTime, and Skype, to link in participants by video for hearings and trials during the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve carefully examined the possibility of doing that.