Alberta Courts says it’s attempting to balance the principle of open courts with public health priorities by enacting further measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As of March 30th, access will be restricted to all of the province’s courthouses, including Grande Prairie’s, until further notice with a few, limited exceptions.
Members of the general public will not be allowed 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.
(j) persons whose attendance has been approved by a judge or justice of the Court in which a proceeding is being held.
Those who’ve been advised to self-isolate by health officials, who are self-isolating due to travel or contact with someone who’s been diagnosed with COVID-19, or those who are experiencing symptoms will not be allowed to attend Alberta courthouses, under any circumstances. Lawyers, court runners, and litigants are also being urged to use email, fax, dropbox or other alternative methods for filing that have been made available.