Until July 8th, courts are only hearing matters they consider to be urgent. However the BC Provincial Court is working on expanding the types of matters that can be heard while ensuring that public health is protected. Starting July 8 Provincial Court family court filings can be made by email, mail or fax. The Provincial Court is slowly returning to the pre-COVID process for bringing matters before the court.
Child protection (CFCSA) presentation hearings and protection hearings are urgent and will proceed by telephone on the day they are scheduled. The COVID-19 Notice No. 19 gives some other examples of urgent criminal, family, child protection (CFCSA), maintenance enforcement (FMEA), and small claims matters that may proceed during the period of reduced court operations. It also provides directions on how hearings can be arranged for urgent matters.
It is always best if you and the other party can work out the issue on your own. If that is not possible, there are professionals who can help you work out the issues.
Mediate BC has a new program for people dealing with conflict resulting from quarantine or isolation.
Family Justice Services will continue to provide a full range of services to citizens through telephone and other virtual service options until further notice. Services include dispute resolution.
If you cannot agree and the matter is urgent, family court filings can be made by email, mail or fax. A judge will first determine whether your matter is urgent and then your application will be heard by phone. For more information, see the Provincial Court’s Notice to the Profession and Public for guidance on how to make the application. See the Family Law BC website for family law resources and help during the COVID-19 Coronavirus crisis.