July 13, 2021 – Over the summer, the Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General is rolling out a new online adjournment service for Criminal Provincial Court known as Adjournment Digital Services (ADS). Lawyers and duty counsel can use this service for initial appearances that would have typically been handled at a court location that has a Case Management Office (CMO).
Beginning up to a week before the appearance date – and continuing up to 30 minutes before the CMO closes – a lawyer can use ADS to request an adjournment from a justice of the peace using an online system. The system has already been rolled out in several jurisdictions and ADS is slated to come online across the rest of the province over the new few weeks in courthouses that have a CMO.
The Legal Aid Alberta Tariff allows roster lawyers to bill us for adjournments in the courtroom but not for online-only adjournments like those through ADS – but we know there is still some administrative burden associated with adjourning your clients’ matters using a website like ADS. That’s why we’re working to find a way to compensate our roster lawyers for online adjournments. Within the coming weeks, we’ll have an announcement about how we’ll be handling billing for these online adjournments.