The Alberta Courts are attempting to balance the open court principle with public health priorities. The Courts are taking proactive preventative measures to protect justice system participants and reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Effective March 30, 2020, access to all courthouses in the province of Alberta will be restricted until further notice.
Members of the general public will not be permitted to enter a courthouse unless they are:
(a) parties to the litigation/appeal,
(b) counsel to the parties to the litigation/appeal,
(d) interpreters whose presence is required for a proceeding,
(e) support persons as set out in s. 486.1(1) and (2) of the Criminal Code,
(f) support workers authorized by the Courts to assist parties to the litigation/appeal,
(g) members of the accredited media,
(h) persons paying a criminal fine or restitution order or paying bail or surety applications on behalf of an accused because they are unable to access electronic payment,
(i) persons filing documents at a Court registry, or
(j) persons whose attendance has been approved by a judge or justice of the Court in which a proceeding is being held.
Lawyers are urged to make use of expanded access to email and fax filing in order to better manage traffic at courthouse counters. Lawyers, Court Runners and Litigants attending at courthouses to file documents in person are directed to make use of the dropboxes or the other alternative forms of filing that have been made available.
Attendance at all courthouses will also be refused to persons:
(a) who have been advised to self-isolate by public health officials or their doctor,
(b) who are self-isolating as a result of travel or contact with individuals with COVID-19, or
(c) who are experiencing any COVID-19 related symptoms.
Catherine Fraser Mary Moreau Terrence Matchett
Chief Justice Chief Justice Chief Judge
Court of Appeal Court of Queen’s Bench Provincial Court