Conduct of hearings
Will courthouse hearings still be held despite the government’s announcements on January 6, 2021?
Until further notice, judicial activities are maintained at all courthouses in Québec, but will be held via technological means where possible. If you were summoned by the court to attend a hearing, please comply with the summons.
For more information, please contact your lawyer, if you are represented, or contact the client contact centre directly at 1-866-536-5140.
Do I have to attend a hearing despite the curfew?
People who were summoned to appear before a court during the curfew (between 8:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.) are allowed to do so. If this is your case, make sure to have your summons document with you when you go to the courthouse.
What safety measures have courthouses implemented?
To access a courthouse, you must wear a mask or a face covering. An exception can be made for people who are under the age of 10 or who have a medical condition preventing them from wearing a mask. If you qualify for one of these exceptions, you must state so as soon as you arrive at the courthouse.
Before you enter a courthouse, an employee or security agent will assess your state of health to determine your risk level. You will also be asked about the reason for your visit to ensure that it is valid and to limit the number of people admitted.
Hearing rooms, interview rooms and service counters have been adapted to comply with current public health guidelines, including through the addition of protective panels. Sanitizer dispensers have been set up in common areas and near room entrances. Rooms and equipment like chairs, microphones and tables will be disinfected regularly.
Everyone who enters a courthouse must sanitize their hands using the sanitizer provided. Every person authorized to enter a courthouse must sanitize their hands using the sanitizer provided. They must follow courthouse directives, such as cough etiquette, hygiene measures and two-metre distance between people, at all times.
Access to courtrooms is also controlled.
When will i hear back about my file?
Unless a previous notice of hearing is still valid, a new notice of hearing will be mailed for all proceedings that were set to be held before September 1, 2020.
You can contact your lawyer, if you are represented, or contact the client contact centre directly at 1 866-536-5140.
Will some matters be prioritized by the courts? Will all regions of québec resume activities at the same time?
The suspension of time limits expires on September 1, 2020. All regular court activities will therefore resume from this date.
I have received a jury summons. Do I have to report for jury duty?
Jury trials are not suspended at present. You must still report for jury duty. All necessary measures to ensure your safety have been implemented.
What do I need to know as a prospective juror during the pandemic?
The COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in a new reality which the Ministère de la Justice has to contend with, particularly when conducting jury trials.
That is why, in collaboration with the Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ), we have implemented the necessary measures to limit the risk of infection.
Our staff will greet you in the safest conditions possible and will guide you through the selection process. It is also mandatory to wear a face mask or covering when circulating in the courthouse’s common areas.
If you are considered at risk according to the criteria established by the INSPQ, or if you have COVID-19 symptoms, you can apply for an exemption or for postponement to a later session by explaining your situation in the exemption form you received. To learn more about who is considered at risk, please visit the INSPQ's website.
In any event, if you have COVID-19 symptoms or test positive for COVID-19 shortly before your appearance date, please communicate with the courthouse prior to going.
What about administrative tribunals and other bodies holding hearings?
The same rules of access to courthouses apply to administrative tribunals and other bodies holding hearings.
For more information on administrative tribunals and other bodies holding hearings, please see their website or contact them directly:
- Bureau des présidents des conseils de discipline des ordres professionnels
- Comité de déontologie policière
- Commission d'accès à l'information du Québec
- Commission de la fonction publique
- Commission de protection du territoire agricole du Québec
- Commission des transports du Québec
- Commission municipale du Québec
- Régie de l'énergie
- Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux
- Régie des marchés agricoles et alimentaires du Québec
- Régie du bâtiment du Québec
- Tribunal administratif du logement
- Financial Markets Administrative Tribunal
- Administrative Tribunal of Québec
- Administrative Labour Tribunal