contested matters (litigation)
Legal issues that cannot be resolved through negotiations are subject to litigation with the court. At this time, the court is continuing to restrict hearings through to May 25, 2020, “subject to evolving information concerning the virus”. However, according to a recent update by the Court of Queen’s Bench, family division:
1. The court will continue to hear emergent matters which they define as:
a. An immediate or imminent risk of harm to a party or a child of a party
b. The removal of a child from Manitoba
c. The loss or destruction of property
2. The court’s doors remain open for filing. Filing deadlines continue to remain in place and processes that usually occur without court attendance, such as “documents only” divorces or consent orders, continue to be processed.
For all other matters that require court intervention, we encourage litigants to continue to prepare as though the courts doors were not closed. This is also an opportune time for those parties to seek a change in representation as the lawyer will have the necessary time to become familiarized with the file. This preparation includes continuing to amass the necessary documents and preparing the documents that must be filed in order to proceed through the court system. This approach will also ensure that we are well prepared for 4-way meetings and settlement discussions, which can and should be occurring despite the court’s closure and are a necessary pre-requisite to entering the court system in any event, and particularly if it appears that the court’s closure will be on a long term basis (in which case the parties may wish to find alternative solutions). Continuing in this way ensures that the file will proceed through the court system as quickly and seamlessly as possible once its doors have reopened and will avoid being caught in what we expect will be a tremendous backlog at the court.
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