On March 13, 2020, all regular activities of the judicial system were put on pause in Québec, including the Superior Court of Québec and the Court of Québec. This decision, taken in the context of the health emergency, was necessary in order to facilitate compliance with the guidelines to counter the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, thousands of planned trials did not take place and had to be postponed. Since then, courtrooms have been set up to comply with the public health guidelines.
The Quebec Bar has just informed its members that the courts should gradually return to a more intense level of activity, at the beginning of June 2020. Since the middle of March, only urgent cases have been heard, in virtual hearings, but little by little, more cases will be heard, either in virtual hearings or in person, but in accordance with mandatory distancing rules.
On Sunday, March 15, 2020, the Minister of Justice and the Chief Justice of Quebec issued Order 2020-4521, providing for the suspension of all prescriptive periods, all civil forfeiture periods and all civil proceedings, until the end of the period of health emergency declared by the Quebec government. Since then, procedural deadlines for filing civil proceedings have been suspended. Thus, the forfeiture period relating to the legal proceeding of a co-owner to request the annulment of a decision taken by the Board of directors or by the co-owner’s assembly has been suspended.
The return to normal
However, the gradual return to normal activities by the judicial system will not immediately lift the suspension of procedural, statute of limitations and forfeiture periods, in order to give the courts a transition period to properly restart the administration of justice.
By Me Yves Joli-Coeur for Condolegal.com
Montreal, May 23, 2020