Matters before Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan to be heard over phone, video

The Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan announced on Friday it’s adjusting its operations to safeguard against COVID-19.

All matters before a panel of three judges or by a single judge in chambers will be heard either by teleconference or by videoconference if available, effective March 23.

If a party believes an in-person oral hearing is necessary, they must explain the reasons in a letter or email to the registrar.

Anyone who enters the courthouse or attends proceedings must act in accordance with the applicable COVID-19 protocols.

Parties may consent to have an appeal or chambers application decided on the basis of written materials only.

The court said 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.

Limitation periods prescribed by statute have not changed, according to a statement.

Anyone who is unable to meet a filing deadline that is not prescribed by statutes, such as the filing of factums and appeal books, because of the novel coronavirus or the efforts to contain it, may send a letter or email the registrar in advance of the deadline to request an extension.

The door of the registry office will be closed in order to maintain social distancing, the court said. Staff will offer assistance to lawyers and self-represented litigants via phone at 306-787-5382 and email at [email protected].

Documents can be delivered to the office via eCourt, mail, email or fax at 306-787-5815. For litigants who need to file documents in person, there is a drop box available at the office.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials say the risk is low for Canadians but warn this could change quickly. They caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are asked to self-isolate for 14 days in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. And if you get sick, stay at home.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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