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Definition of Emergency/Urgent Matters

Apr 2, 2020

For clarification, subsequent to the Announcement of Restricted Access to Alberta Courthouses made on March 27, and the associated Appendices released on March 23:

As per the Amended Master Order #2 Relating to the Court’s Response to the COVID-19 Virus, the Court continues to hear emergency and urgent matters. Parties and/or Counsel who believe that their matter is urgent are directed to submit a request through the online Emergency / Urgent Hearing Request form.

For the purposes of clarity, reproduced below are the definitions of matters that may be considered emergency or urgent. These definitions are reproduced, in full, from Appendix B of the associated appendices referenced above.

Appendix B
Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta
Matters of Highest Priority Requiring Immediate Attention (as of March 23, 2020):

Emergency matters, in which serious consequences to persons or harm to property may arise if the hearing does not proceed, or if there is a risk of loss of jurisdiction or expiration of an existing protection or restraining order, including, but not limited to:

A) Family Matters:

Orders where there is a risk of violence or immediate harm to one of the parties or a child.

Orders where there is a risk of removal of a child from the jurisdiction.

Emergency Protection Order reviews.

B) Civil Matters:

Orders relating to the pandemic, including quarantine orders.

Injunctions, where there is prima facie urgency, including refusal of treatment/end of life matters.

Civil Restraining Orders.

Preservation Orders.

Urgent Orders in the nature of habeas corpus, certiorari, mandamus and prohibition.

C) Surrogate Matters:

Emergency Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Orders, where there is a risk of harm to an individual or their property.

D) Criminal Matters:

Detention and bail review Orders.

Wiretap, Production and related Orders.

Fresh arrest warrants.

Urgent Matters Requiring Priority Attention (as of March 23, 2020):

Subject to the prior approval of a Justice or Master as the case may be, matters that do not rise to the level of the first priority, but must nevertheless proceed in a timely way in the context of a reduction in Court services. These matters include, but are not limited to:

  • Arraignments for in-custody accused and Jordan-threatened cases.
  • Criminal proceedings where there is a real risk to the fair and proper adjudication of the matter due to the passage of time and where there is consent to proceed by videoconference or audioconference.
  • Urgent Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Orders.
  • Urgent orders relating to parenting time, contact or communication with a child (that cannot reasonably be delayed).
  • Urgent or time sensitive Commercial matters where there are immediate and significant financial consequences which may result if there is no judicial hearing.
  • Urgent Surrogate Orders.
  • Anton Piller or Mareva-type injunctions.
  • Freezing Orders.