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The Provincial Court of Saskatchewan is taking precautions in response to the identification of the COVID-19 virus in the province. In keeping with public health advice recommending social distancing, the Court is discouraging all unnecessary visits to the court.
Court visits by classes and other groups have been cancelled effective immediately.
In consultation with Court Services, the Court is encouraging the use of video and audio appearances for individuals in custody. Lawyers are asked to obtain designations of counsel in indictable matters so that the accused person is not required to appear at the docket stage. As well, counsel is asked to obtain instructions from their clients at the docket stage to reduce unnecessary appearances in summary conviction matters by accused.
Trials and preliminary hearings currently scheduled will proceed on the dates set. The Court’s decision to proceed in this way will be revisited in the week of March 16. Until further notice, any lawyer or self-represented party who wishes to have their matter adjourned due to concerns about COVID-19 is encouraged to apply to the Court as soon as possible for an adjournment. This applies to proceedings conducted by Justices of the Peace as well as those held before Provincial Court Judges.
The Court continues to monitor the situation to ensure that the public continues to have meaningful access to justice, while also prioritizing the safety and well-being of all court participants.
Chief Judge J.A. Plemel