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Home > Court of Appeal > COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Update - Court of Appeal

March 20th Notice - PDF copy

 COURT OF APPEAL FOR SASKATCHEWAN
NOTICE TO THE PROFESSION AND THE PUBLIC CONCERNING COVID-19

Introduction

The Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan is actively monitoring the COVID-19 situation and is acting on the advice of public health authorities. It will adjust its operations as necessary in order to protect the health of its staff, the individuals involved in its proceedings and the public at large while, at the same time, maintaining those operations to the extent safely and reasonably possible.

Appeals and Applications to the Court
Effective March 23, 2020, all matters before a panel of three judges (appeals or applications) will be heard either by teleconference, or by videoconference if videoconferencing is available. If a party believes an in-person oral hearing is necessary, he or she shall explain the reasons for so believing in a letter or email to the Registrar. The Chief Justice or his designate will then make a ruling on how and when the matter will proceed.
The parties may consent to having an appeal or application decided on the basis of written materials only.
The parties may consent to adjourn an appeal or application sine die. The Registrar must be advised as far in advance of the scheduled hearing date as possible if there is to be a consent adjournment.

Chambers Applications
Effective March 23, 2020, all matters heard by a single judge in Chambers will be heard by teleconference or videoconference if videoconferencing is available. If a party believes an in person oral hearing is necessary, he or she shall explain the reasons for so believing in a letter or email to the Registrar. The Chambers judge will then make a ruling on how and when the matter will proceed.
The parties may consent to having a Chambers application decided on the basis of written materials only.
The parties may consent to adjourn an application sine die. The Registrar must be advised as far in advance of the scheduled hearing date as possible if there is to be a consent adjournment.

Limitation Periods
Limitation periods prescribed by statute have not changed. Notices of appeal and applications for leave to appeal must be filed within the applicable timelines.

Filing Deadlines
Anyone who is unable to meet a filing deadline that is not prescribed by statute (such as the ones relating to the filing of factums and appeal books) because of issues related to COVID-19 or the efforts being made to contain it, may write to the Registrar by letter or email in advance of the deadline to request an extension.

The Registry Office and the Mechanics of Filing
In order to maintain social distancing, the door of the Registry office will be closed. However, Registry staff will continue to offer assistance to lawyers and self-represented litigants by telephone at (306) 787-5382 and by email at caregistrar@sasklawcourts.ca.
Documents can be delivered to the Registry office via eCourt or by regular mail, email or fax at (306) 787-5815. For documents delivered via eCourt, automatic notification is sent to the filing party when the document is approved for filing or rejected. For documents delivered by regular mail, email or fax, Registry staff will notify litigants by telephone or email if the documents are not approved for filing. For litigants who are unable to use regular mail, email or fax and who need to file documents in person at the Registry office, there is a drop box available. Registry office staff will check the drop box several times each day. They will notify litigants by telephone or email if the documents are not approved for filing.

COVID-19 Protocols
Everyone who enters the court house or attends Court of Appeal proceedings in person must act in accordance with the applicable COVID-19 protocols.

The Honourable Robert G. Richards
Chief Justice of Saskatchewan

March 20, 2020

April 17, 2020
COURT OF APPEAL FOR SASKATCHEWAN
NOTICE TO THE PROFESSION, THE PUBLIC AND THE MEDIA CONCERNING ELECTRONIC HEARINGS

April 17 Notice - PDF copy

Introduction
Since March 23, 2020, the Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan has heard all appeals and applications electronically, either by teleconference or by videoconference.

This Notice is intended to clarify various issues relating specifically to electronic appeals and applications.

Counsel and Self-Represented Litigants
The Court’s registry office will arrange for the participation of counsel and self-represented litigants by extending an invitation to an electronic hearing, either by providing call-in information for a hearing by teleconference or by sending a WebEx meeting invitation for a hearing by videoconference.

Counsel who wish to have their clients observe a hearing must provide the Court’s registry office (caregistrar@sasklawcourts.ca) with contact information, specifically a telephone number (for a hearing by teleconference) or an email address (for a hearing by videoconference) for the client at least one clear day before the hearing date. The registry office will send all necessary invitations. Counsel are not to share their invitation link or conference call passcode with their clients.

Counsel and self-represented litigants will not be able to file documents with the Court during an electronic hearing. Any documents that have not already been provided to the Court and that counsel or self-represented litigants wish to file must be provided to the other party(s) and the Court’s registry office at least one clear day before the hearing date.

Counsel are expected to gown for electronic hearings before a panel of the Court in the same way as they would if the proceeding was conducted in person.

Media and Public
The Court recognizes the important role that members of the media play in informing the public about what takes place in court. Accredited members of the media may listen to or observe electronic hearings as they occur by contacting the Court’s registry office in advance for instructions. Members of the public who wish to listen to or observe electronic hearings should also contact the Court’s registry office. Registry office staff, in consultation with the Court, will determine whether public access is possible on a case by case basis.

Technological Requirements for All Participants in WebEx Video Conferences
Participants must install WebEx Meetings on their computers or devices prior to the hearing. It is the responsibility of each participant to ensure that their equipment is functioning correctly and that their internet service can accommodate the bandwidth video conferencing requires. WebEx provides a web-based tool to test an internet connection. A participant who wishes to schedule a test call with Court staff prior to the hearing date should contact the Court’s registry office at least one clear day before the hearing at the email address above.

Prohibition on Recording or Saving a Recording of an Electronic Hearing
The usual courtroom guidelines (which can be found at www.sasklawcourts.ca) continue to apply to the audio and video of an electronic hearing. Participants may not record or save still images or audio or video of the hearing unless they are accredited members of the media. Accredited members of the media may use recording devices or save audio recordings for the purpose of ensuring the accuracy of their reporting but not for broadcast or publication.


The Honourable Robert G. Richards
Chief Justice of Saskatchewan