Ontario Superior Court of Justice - Central West

  • June 23, 2021

For the latest information from the Courts and MAG, including the latest courthouse COVID-19 updates, visit the OBA Courts Reopening page

 

Endorsement of Operations at Milton Off-Site Court Location

November 18, 2021

The Ministry of the Attorney General’s Recovery Secretariat has advised that the Milton temporary off-site court location at 2515 Wyecroft Rd., Oakville, has been endorsed to resume in-person operations.

For more information, please see the OBA Courthouse Reopening Status page for the site assessment, verification checklist, and MAG Decision Letter.

 

SCJ Central West: Notice to the Profession Regarding CaseLines in Criminal Matters (June 17, 2021)

June 23

Commencing July 5, 2021, CaseLines shall be used for all pre-trial motions, prerogative remedies and summary conviction appeals. 

During the week of June 21, 2021, invitations will be sent to the Crown and defence counsel to upload their materials for hearings scheduled commencing July 5, 2021 and thereafter. Commencing June 21, 2021, when a new pre-trial motion, prerogative remedy or summary conviction appeal is scheduled, the matter will use CaseLines, if the accused person is represented by counsel.  Once a CaseLines file is opened for a pre-trial motion, the CaseLines file will remain open to be used for hearing materials throughout the subsequent pre-trial motions, trial or plea, subject to the exceptions noted below.

CaseLines will also be used for newly filed prerogative remedies and summary conviction appeals commencing July 5, 2021.

For further details, please see the SCJ website

SCJ: Central West Region Family – Notice to the Profession and Public Regarding Family Law Proceedings – Effective June 10, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a substantial backlog of court proceedings across Ontario, including family law matters in the Central West Region.  Following a period of consultation, this Notice to the Profession sets out certain practice directions to assist the Central West judiciary in its efforts to provide timely, efficient and more affordable access to justice in Family Law Applications and Motions to Change. Specifically, this Notice will address the greater use of community and other family law resources, comprehensive Case and Settlement Conferences, the limited use of Urgent Motions, more focussed Motions including 14B Motions, enhanced trial planning at Trial Management Conferences; and a focus on resolution at every stage of the proceeding.  For more information on the changes, please see the Notice to the Profession and Public Regarding Family Law Proceedings

SCJ: Regional Notices from RSJ/LAJ re Notice from CJ Morawetz re Stay-at-Home Order and Court Proceedings

April 22, 2021 Updates

  •  

SCJ: Notice from CJ Morawetz re Stay-at-Home Order and Court Proceedings

Due to the strengthened stay-at-home order, the Court will reduce the number of court staff, counsel and parties that attend in-person court proceedings. The court will defer as many matters as possible, including virtual hearings.

The Court will focus on hearing:

  • serious child protection matters
  • urgent family matters
  • critical criminal matters
  • some urgent commercial or economic matters

Matters that are in progress may be heard at the discretion of the trial judge. The Court seeks the cooperation of counsel to defer as much as possible. For more information please see the Notice.

Updated SCJ Notice to the Profession and Public Regarding Court Proceedings

On April 8, 2021, the SCJ Notice to the Profession and Public Regarding Court Proceedings was updated in light of Ontario’s most recent stay-at-home order. For the duration of the stay-at-home order, the Court will not hold any in-person matters except for the most serious child protection matters, urgent family matters and critical criminal matters, where other options are absolutely unavailable. 

Amendments to the Rules of the Small Claims Court re: Electronic Processes 

On April 6, 2021, O. Reg. 249/21 was filed to amend the Rules of the Small Claims Court. This amending regulation:

  • authorizes the use of the new Small Claims Court Submissions Online Portal to electronically file and issue certain court documents in Small Claims Court proceedings;
  • consolidates and centralizes the rules relating to electronic filing and issuance through the Small Claims Court E-Filing Service Portal and clarify which documents may be submitted through this portal; and
  • removes the requirements to submit a paper copy of documents that are filed electronically through the Small Claims Court E-filing Service Portal.

The regulation amends 12 rules and creates 2 new rules. The amendments will come into force on May 24, 2021.

Health Information Update - Brampton Courthouse MAG was informed of a confirmed positive COVID-19 case at the 7755 Hurontario Street Courthouse. View March 19th Memo for the7755 Hurontario Street Courthouse.

Superior Court of Justice - Amendments to the Notice to the Profession Regarding Court Proceedings - March 17th Update

The SCJ has amended its January 13th Notice to the Profession Regarding Court Proceedings. In response to the evolving current public health situation, the Court anticipates resuming the conduct for some jury trials in June and July, 2021.

Subject to further directions from the Regional Senior Justice and public health information, jury selection and jury trials are scheduled to resume on the following dates:

  • June 7, 2021 for Central West, Central East, Central South, and East regions. 
  • July 5, 2021 for the Toronto, Northwest, Northeast, and Southwest regions.

Until further notice, all non-jury matters in all regions should proceed virtually unless it is absolutely necessary to hold the proceedings in-person. For more information, please see the Notice.

Superior Court of Justice (Small Claims Court) Update – March 15

The SCJ has amended its Consolidated Notice to the Profession and the Public Regarding the Small Claims Court. On March 15, 2021, the following amendments will take effect:

  • Section 3: Filing requirements for urgent matters are stated more clearly
  • Section 4: The Court is accepting requests to schedule settlement conferences no matter when defendants filed defences (or were noted in default)
  • Section 5: The Court is accepting requests for any motion on notice to other parties
  • Section 7.1: Assessment hearings will not be scheduled unless all applicable fees are paid and a request is submitted in accordance with this Notice.

For more information, please see the Notice.

SCJ – Notice re CaseLines: Tips for Counsel and Self-Represented Parties

The SCJ has issued a Notice on CaseLines Hearings – Tips for Counsel and Self-represented Parties. The Notice includes 16 tips for both the pre-hearing and hearing phases, including how to upload documents, document naming conventions, and hyperlinking in CaseLines. For more information, please see the Notice.

Health Information Update - Guelph Courthouse MAG informed  that late this afternoon the ministry was contacted regarding a probable/confirmed positive COVID-19 case at the Guelph Courthouse, 36 Wyndham Street, South. View March 2, 2021 Memo for Guelph Courthouse

Amended SCJ Notice to the Profession re: Court Proceedings The SCJ has amended its Notice to the Profession and Public Regarding Court Proceedings to remove the 10-person limit on in-person court proceedings (this does not apply to lockdown regions Toronto and Peel, where in-person proceedings will maintain the 10-person limit). All other measures will remain in place for the time-being, including conducting only in-person  proceedings that are absolutely necessary. For more information, please see the amended Notice.

Updated SCJ Notice to the Profession for Civil and Family Law Matters Regarding Caselines, E-Filing and Fee Payment

Chief Justice Morawetz's Supplementary Notice to the Profession and Litigants in Civil and Family Matters Regarding the Caselines Pilot, E-Filing, and Fee Payment has been updated. The Notice outlines that CaseLines has now been implemented in Toronto civil, Divisional Court, family and criminal matters and includes a schedule for the expansion of CaseLines for select matters in the East and Northwest regions. The Notice also includes information related to electronic court filings using Justice Services Online for family and civil law matters. For more information, please see the updated Notice.  

Amendment to SCJ Consolidated Notice to the Profession and Public Regarding the Small Claims Court The Consolidated Notice to the Profession re: Small Claims Court has been amended to include a section on Trial Continuations. The Notice outlines that the Court is rescheduling dates for Small Claims Court trials that had started but were interrupted when in-person operations were suspended in March 2020. The trial continuations will continue by video conference. For more information, see the amended Notice.

Divisional Court: Revised Notice to the Profession

There is a revised Notice to the Profession for the Divisional Court. This Notice updates and replaces the Notice of June 29, 2020. The Notice covers the manner of commencing a proceeding and scheduling Divisional Court matters, protocols for electronic hearings, submitting electronic documents for hearings, filing documents with the court and other important court protocols. For more information, please see the Notice.

Health Information Update - Brampton Courthouse MAG learned that a person who works in the building has tested positive for COVID-19. View February 5th Memo for the Brampton Courthouse

Health Information Update - MAG learned that a person who works in the building has tested positive for COVID-19. View February 4th Memo for the Brampton Courthouse

Amended Small Claims Court Notice

The SCJ has amended its Consolidated Notice to the Profession and the Public Regarding the Small Claims Court. Parties are encouraged to use either the Small Claims Court E-filing portal or the Small Claims Court Submissions Online portal to file forms and documents without going to court in-person. For more information about filing documents online for Small Claims Court matters, please see Section 10 of the amended Notice to the Profession and the Public.

Health Information Update -  Brampton Courthouse MAG learned that that a person who works in the building tested positive for COVID-19. View January 24th Memo for the Brampton Courthouse.

Justice Services Online Platform Expansion to Small Claims Court

The Justice Services Online (JSO) platform has been expanded to enable online filing of Small Claims Court documents that cannot be filed through Service Ontario’s Small Claims Online platform. Almost 70 additional Small Claims Court documents are now eligible for filing through JSO to make it easier and more convenient for Ontarians to file Small Claims Court documents during the COVID-19 outbreak and beyond.

New Toronto Criminal Notice regarding Caselines and Upcoming Training Sessions

The SCJ has issued a new Toronto Criminal Notice to Profession Re: CaseLines, which can be found here. There is also a Q & A document on CaseLines, which can be found here.

There will also be Information Sessions for lawyers (crown and defence) on January 19 & January 25, please see below for details on the sessions:

The Superior Court of Justice (SCJ) and Ministry of the Attorney General ( Ministry) continue to expand the use of CaseLines, a cloud-based document sharing platform for remote and in-person court proceedings. This platform supports our efforts to modernize and to reduce the number of in-person court attendances at courthouses in accordance with the recommendations of public health advisors. The Ministry and the SCJ piloted CaseLines through selected civil proceedings at the 330 University Avenue courthouse and selected family proceedings at the 361 University Avenue courthouse in Toronto.  CaseLines is expanding to selected criminal proceedings at the 361 University Avenue courthouse, Toronto including pretrial motions, summary conviction appeals and applications for prerogative remedies commencing February 8, 2021 and onward.

About CaseLines

CaseLines is a cloud-based document sharing platform for remote and in-person court proceedings. It was developed by Netmaster Solutions Ltd. and is used in courts in the United Kingdom, South Africa and the United States.

CaseLines offers many benefits including:

  • A platform where court documents of any size and file format can be uploaded;
  • A function that allows users to make private notes and highlights on documents;
  • An ability for users to search terms in all uploaded documents;
  • An ability for users to navigate to specific documents and share their computer screen with other users and the court during a proceeding;
  • A function that allows users to view uploaded documents at any time; and
  • A user-friendly interface.

CaseLines does not replace the filing of court documents and it does not constitute the court record. Court documents must continue to be filed with the court office in accordance with the applicable Rules of Procedure and Notices to the Profession. However, in locations where CaseLines has been implemented, counsel will now be able to upload filed court documents to CaseLines for review by the court and for sharing by opposing  counsel.

For criminal matters, CaseLines will only be used on matters where there is counsel and access will only be available to lawyers and their designated staff. Direct access to Caselines will not be available to accused persons, witnesses, etc. whether or not they are represented by counsel. Lawyers must not provide CaseLines access to their clients. Lawyers must arrange to share necessary documents with their clients using other appropriate means. 

Online demonstration of CaseLines

CaseLines will be hosting online demonstrations on January 19th & January 25th 2021 for lawyers. Information about these sessions is set out below. There are 500 spaces in each webinar. A recording will be offered for those who are unable to attend. We will provide additional sessions as we implement in other regions. Criminal lawyers practicing in Toronto should prioritize attending at these sessions.

Below are the zoom details for each demonstration:

When: Jan 19, 2021 08:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Topic: CaseLines Demonstration for Criminal (#1)

Please click the link below to join the webinar

Passcode: 382179

 When: Jan 25, 2021 01:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Topic: CaseLines Demonstration for Criminal (#2)

Please click the link below to join the webinar

Passcode: 921034

SCJ Update regarding Assessment Hearings and Settlement Conferences

The SCJ has announced that effective January 18, 2021, the Small Claims Court will accept all requests to clerk for assessment hearings. In addition, all requests for settlement conferences in the Small Claims Court will follow a single procedure - there will be no distinction between a request on consent of all parties or a request by a single party. For more information, please see the Notice.

Health Information Update - Brampton Courthouses at 7755 and 7765 Hurontario Street Brampton - MAG has learned that two non-OPS people who work in the courthouses have tested positive for COVID-19. View January 12th Memo for the Brampton Courthouses at 7755 & 7765 Hurontario Street, Brampton.

SCJ Updated Notice to the Profession 

The SCJ’s Notice to the Profession and Public was updated today to account for the new provincial restrictions announced on January 12. In light of these new restrictions, the suspension of jury trials will be extended until May 3, 2021 at the earliest. No new jury selection will commence during this period. Proceedings that are in progress may continue subject to the discretion of the trial judge. For more information, see the updated Notice here.

Small Claims Court Document Naming Protocol - The Small Claims Court notice now provides a document naming protocol in is in the Email Filing section of the public notice.

Small Claims Court Proceedings Adjourned to March 1, 2021 - Chief Justice Morawetz’s has issued an order adjourning outstanding Small Claims Court proceedings to March 1. For more information, see the Order.

SCJ FAQs re CaseLines

The SCJ has updated its FAQ Page about using the CaseLines document sharing platform. In particular, FAQ 7 outlines the new document naming protocol, and FAQ 8 specifies that tabs and bookmarks are now functional in CaseLines. For more information, please see the FAQ Page.

SCJ to Require Cost Outlines for Class Action Certification and Other Motions

The SCJ has announced that effective Jan 18, 2021, paras 43-44 in Part II of the Consolidated Provincial Practice Direction will require cost outlines for class action certification and other motions. These amendments also create a new Class Proceedings Judge’s Book of Authorities, which will be made available electronically to each judge hearing motions in class proceedings. For more information, please see the Consolidated Provincial Practice Direction.

SCJ Revised Consolidated Provincial Practice Direction re In-Person Attendances

The SCJ has announced that effective Jan 18, 2021, Part VI(A) of the Consolidated Provincial Practice Direction will be revised. These amendments specify types of in-person attendances where gowning will not be required, and also stipulate that counsel may modify traditional court attire to accommodate personal circumstances. For more information, please see paras 59-61 of the Consolidated Provincial Practice Direction.

SCJ Updated Notice to the Profession re: Filing Fees

Chief Justice Morawetz’s Supplementary Notice to the Profession and Litigants in Civil and Family Matters Including Electronic Filings and Document Sharing (Caselines Pilot) was updated today with current information about payment of filing fees for documents filed by email. It now provides, in section 2 (Electronic Court Filings – Justice Services Online):

  • Where counsel and parties deliver materials by email, subject to direction from the Court, they undertake to file the same materials in paper format, and pay the requisite filing fee, at the court when regular court operations resume. This includes preparation of the court’s Continuing Record for family cases.

For more information, please see the Notice.

SCJ (Central West Region) Updated Notice to Profession 

The SCJ has amended its September 25th Notice to the Profession for the Central West Region. Effective January 1, 2021, a new protocol will be implemented for civil and family long motions in the Central West Region. For more information, please see the revised Notice.

SCJ Memo Regarding Document Naming Protocol - Effective January 11, 2021, a single, provincewide document naming protocol for all practice areas will be implemented in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, including the Small Claims Court. View Document Naming Protocol Memo


SCJ Notice to the Profession and Public Regarding Court Proceedings - While the Ontario Superior Court of Justice remains open during the provincial lockdown, the court must respond to the current public health situation with great flexibility.  Effective December 29, 2020, all (non-jury) matters should proceed virtually unless it is absolutely necessary to hold the proceedings in-person. This applies to proceedings throughout the province and will remain in effect until the lockdowns in Northern and Southern Ontario are lifted or until further notice of this Court. View Dec 22 SCJ Notice 


SCJ Revised Practice Direction Regarding Caselines

The SCJ has revised its Sept. 2nd Supplementary Notice to the Profession and Litigants in Civil and Family Matters. The Notice includes a timeline for the roll-out of the CaseLines document sharing platform. The Notice also outlines various methods for the electronic filing of documents, including via the Ministry's recently-expanded Justice Services Online platform.

The SCJ continues to hear non-urgent matters in accordance with the applicable regional notice to the profession. Appeals from the Consent and Capacity Board (“CCB”) are also being heard by the SCJ. In Toronto, these matters will be scheduled in Civil Practice Court; these matters will be treated as long motions in other judicial regions. In regions where long motions are not being heard, only urgent CCB appeals may be heard at this time. 

Health Information Update – Brampton Courthouse - MAG has learned that an OPS employee who works at the Brampton courthouse has tested positive for COVID-19. The person was last present on Friday, December 4th, 2020. They were not symptomatic while in the courthouse, and have confirmed that they adhered to all transmission control precautions while present. They developed COVID symptoms on the evening of December 4th, and also became aware that they had been in close contact with a positive case. They were tested on December 8th , and received positive results on December 13th. This person is currently self-isolating as a normal public health preventative procedure and is following the direction of medical professionals. They will not return to work until cleared to do so by medical professionals.View December 15th Memo for Brampton Courthouse


SCJ Extension of Jury Trial Suspension

The SCJ has issued a new Notice to the Profession and the Public. In all regions of Ontario except for “Green Zones,” Chief Justice Morawetz has extended the suspension of jury trials until at least January 29, 2021. The earliest date that jury trials may resume will be February 1, 2021.

Jury trials that are already in progress may proceed, subject to the discretion of the trial judge. The SCJ will not commence any new jury selection except in “Green Zone” locations until at least January 4, 2021. The SCJ will provide a further update on December 29, 2020.

In the lockdown regions of Toronto and Peel, new in-person (non-jury) matters must maintain a 10-person limit in each courtroom. Other regions that are not subject to lockdown restrictions are nevertheless encouraged to use virtual proceedings where possible. Counsel and parties are encouraged to be accommodating when requests for virtual hearings or alternative arrangements are made by opposing counsel and/or parties.

SCJ: Alternative Court Locations for Jury Events

MAG has been working with the Superior Court of Justice (SCJ) to identify locations where jury events will require alternative venues and to find such venues. Alternative venues will be used for jury proceedings only and will not affect the court locations for other proceedings. View the full posting here.

Regulation to Amend Rules of Civil Procedure

On December 8, 2020, a regulation was filed to amend the Rules of Civil ProcedureO. Reg. 711-20. The regulation makes administrative amendments to align the Rules of Civil Procedure with legislative amendments that were introduced to remove the office of a traditional master. The amendments were made to the Courts of Justice Act through the Smarter and Stronger Justice Act, 2020, Schedule 5. The rule amendments and legislative amendments come into force on January 8, 2021. In addition, the regulation makes administrative amendments relating to the new rule for the CaseLines document sharing platform by clarifying the requirements for the naming of a document which is to be submitted (amends rule 4.05.3(6)2). These amendments come into force on January 1, 2021. A summary of the regulation is available on Ontario’s Regulatory Registry here.

OCJ & SCJ (All regions): Dec 7 Update

The Daily Court Lists website publishes the daily court lists for both the OCJ and SCJ. This website provides information about case names, as well as the time, location, and reasons for court appearances. As of December 7, 2020, two changes have been made to this website:

  • The website now publishes information for the current day, as well as the next day. 
  • The initial case information is posted online at 8am, and is updated three additional times throughout the day.

Small Claims Court Amendments to Consolidated Notice

The SCJ has amended its Consolidated Notice to the Public and the Profession regarding the operations of the Small Claims Court. Beginning on November 30, 2020 the Small Claims Court will be accepting requests for (1) all motions in writing without notice to another party, and (2) settlement conferences if all defendants filed a defence or were noted in default prior to August 31, 2020. The Court will be using different request forms for motions in writing and requests to clerk. For more information, please see the Notice.

Health Information Update  Brampton Courthouse

MAG has advised that an OPS individual who works in the Brampton Courthouse (7755 Hurontario Street) has tested positive for COVID-19. For details see the memo provided by the MAG Recovery Secretariat.

Amendments to SCJ Consolidated Notice

Chief Justice Morawetz’s Consolidated Notice to the Profession, Litigants, Accused Persons, Public and the Media has been amended. Parts D(3) and D(5) were amended to inform filers in civil and family matters of the appropriate online filing platforms and to provide additional clarity about orders. Part D(6) was amended to clarify requirements related to the subject line and the formats of corrected documents.

Health Information Update - Milton Courthouse - MAG has advised that an non-OPS individual who works in the Milton Courthouse (491 Steeles Ave. E) building has tested positive for COVID-19. For details see the memo provided by the MAG Recovery Secretariat.


SCJ Update Regarding Court Proceedings

Chief Justice Morawetz has issued a new Notice to the Profession and Public indicating that effective Monday, November 23, 2020, the Court will not commence any new jury selection in any court location except in those in a Green Zone as defined by the Ontario Government as of November 21, 2020. This will remain in effect until at least January 4, 2021. An update will be issued on December 29, 2020.

To be clear, only court locations in Green Zones as of the date of the Notice will commence new jury selection until at least January 4, 2021. Jury trials currently in progress can proceed, subject to the discretion of the trial judge.

In the lockdown regions of Toronto and Peel, until further notice new (non-jury) matters that do proceed in-person will be required to maintain a 10-person limit in each courtroom. Matters that are in progress involving greater than 10 persons in a courtroom, may continue at the discretion of the trial judge.  


Health Information Update – Brampton Courthouse - MAG has learned that an OPS employee who works in the courthouse has tested positive for COVID-19. The person was last in the courthouse on Thursday, November 12th, 2020, five days prior to being confirmed positive. The person was not symptomatic while in the courthouse, and still shows no symptoms. This individual is currently self-isolating as a normal public health preventative procedure and is following the direction of medical professionals. VFor details see the memo provided by the MAG Recovery Secretariat

Health Information Update - Brampton Courthouse - MAG has advised that a person who works at the Brampton Courthouse has tested positive for COVID-19. For details see the memo provided by the MAG Recovery Secretariat.


SCJ Notice to the Profession and Public Regarding Jury Trials in Brampton, Milton, Orangeville and Toronto

Today, Chief Justice Morawetz issued a Notice to the Profession with an update on jury trials and jury selection in select regions. The Notice outlines that due to the deteriorating public health situation in Brampton and Toronto, new jury selection and new jury trials will not resume on November 16, 2020 as previously announced. The Notice also suspends new jury selection and new jury trials in Milton and Orangeville as those court locations had been using the Pearson Centre in Brampton for jury selection.  Jury trials that are currently in progress may proceed subject to the decision of the trial judge. In-person non-jury matters will continue to proceed. For more information, see the Notice.


UPDATED LINKS:  CaseLines Upcoming Training Sessions

CaseLines information sessions for counsel and legal staff are being held by Zoom on Tuesday, November 10, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. and Wednesday November 18, 2020 at 1:00 p.m.  For those who wish to attend, please click the link below to join this session on your preferred date and time, noting the passcode for each session:

SESSION 1

Tuesday, November 10, 2020 from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Topic: CaseLines Demonstration

Please click the link below to join the webinar:

https://ca01web.zoom.us/j/67415753802?pwd=RXVibnczN2k3VFJjSWRNTlpROTR1QT09

Passcode: 166793

Or iPhone one-tap :

Canada: +12042727920,,67415753802#,,,,,,0#,,166793#  or +14388097799,,67415753802#,,,,,,0#,,166793#

Or Telephone:

Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):

Canada: +1 204 272 7920  or +1 438 809 7799  or +1 587 328 1099  or +1 613 209 3054  or +1 647 374 4685  or +1 778 907 2071  or 855 703 8985 (Toll Free)

Webinar ID: 674 1575 3802

Passcode: 166793


SESSION 2:

Wednesday, November 18, 2020 from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Topic: CaseLines Demonstration

Please click the link below to join the webinar:

https://ca01web.zoom.us/j/69537344852?pwd=a0hsLzRybTQvSDY1c0dWSGdCalJ4dz09

Passcode: 532477

Or iPhone one-tap :

Canada: +16473744685,,69537344852#,,,,,,0#,,532477#  or +17789072071,,69537344852#,,,,,,0#,,532477#

Or Telephone:

Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):

Canada: +1 647 374 4685  or +1 778 907 2071  or +1 204 272 7920  or +1 438 809 7799  or +1 587 328 1099  or +1 613 209 3054  or 855 703 8985 (Toll Free)

Webinar ID: 695 3734 4852

Passcode: 532477


SCJ Update for Brampton, Newmarket, Ottawa and Toronto

Chief Justice Morawetz issued a new Notice to the Profession and the Public regarding jury trials and in-person operations in Brampton, Newmarket, Ottawa, and Toronto. Due to the new public health response framework introduced by the Ontario government on November 3, Peel Region, York Region, and Ottawa will enter the Orange Zone (restrict) on November 7, 2020. Toronto will enter the Orange Zone (restrict) on November 14, 2020. Accordingly, new jury selection and new jury trials will commence in Ottawa on November 9, 2020, and will recommence in Brampton, Newmarket, and Toronto on November 16, 2020. The 10 person capacity limit in courtrooms will be lifted in Ottawa on November 9, 2020,  and in Brampton, Newmarket, and Toronto on November 16, 2020. Chief Justice Morawetz concludes the Notice by stating that judicial officers should continue to be flexible and try to accommodate parties who are uncomfortable attending in-person proceedings. Virtual hearings and alternate arrangements should be explored when requested. For more information, please see the Notice.

Extension of Small Claims Court Adjournment to January 2021

Today, Associate Chief Justice Frank Marrocco issued an order extending the adjournment of Small Claims Court matters to January 4, 2021. The Order states that all proceedings that were scheduled for a hearing between March 16, 2020, through December 31, 2020, and are not assigned a new date between March 16, 2020, and December 31, 2020 will be adjourned to January 4, 2021, or other such date as determined by the Court. Attendance in Court on January 4, 2021 is not required and the Court will notify parties on or after January 4, 2021 about the next hearing date for their proceedings. For more information, see Associate Chief Justice Marrocco’s Order.


MAG Update on Courthouse Phase 3 Reopening 

This week MAG provided an update on the phase 3 of the reopening of courtrooms to in-person proceedings, including target readiness dates for phase 3 locations. This phase of work includes the preparation of additional courtrooms in locations which have already resumed in-person appearances and select new satellite court locations.

Proposed readiness dates are as follows:

PHASE Region Municipality Address Target Readiness Date for All Phase 3 Courtrooms
Phase 3 CENTRAL EAST Barrie 75 Mulcaster December 7, 2020
Bradford 57 Holland St. E November 30, 2020
Lindsay 440 Kent St W December 7, 2020
Newmarket 50 Eagle St W November 1, 2020
Oshawa (Durham) 150 Bond St November 1, 2020
CENTRAL WEST Brampton 7755 Hurontario St December 14, 2020
Brantford 70 Wellington St
44 Queen St
December 7, 2020
Burlington 2021 Plains Rd E TBD
Hamilton 45 Main St E
55 Main St W
December 14, 2020
Milton 491 Steeles Ave W December 14, 2020
Orangeville 10 Louisa St December 28, 2020
St Catharines 59 Church St December 28, 2020
Welland 102 East Main St December 7, 2020
EAST Alexandria 110 Main St. N November 30, 2020
Belleville (Quinte) 15 Bridge St W December 7, 2020
Cornwall 29 Second St W December 7, 2020
Kingston 5 Court St
279 Wellington St
469 Montreal St
December 7, 2020
Ottawa 161 Elgin St November 1, 2020
Pembroke 297 Pembroke St E December 7, 2020
Picton 67 King St November 30, 2020
NORTH EAST Elliot Lake 200 Ontario St November 30, 2020
Kirkland Lake 140 Government Rd November 30, 2020
North Bay 360 Plouffe St December 7, 2020
SS Marie 426 Queen St E December 14, 2020
Sudbury 155 Elm St
159 Cedar St
November 1, 2020
NORTHWEST Red Lake 115 Howey St. November 30, 2020
Sioux Lookout 18 Fourth Ave. N November 30, 2020
Thunder Bay 125 Brodie St N TBD
TORONTO Toronto 1000 Finch Ave W December 14, 2020
Toronto 130 Queen St W December 14, 2020
Toronto 1911 Eglinton Ave E December 21, 2020
Toronto 2201 Finch Ave W December 14, 2020
Toronto 311 Jarvis St December 21, 2020
Toronto 330 University Ave December 14, 2020
Toronto 361 University Ave December 14, 2020
Toronto 393 University Ave December 21, 2020
Toronto 444 Yonge St December 21, 2020
Toronto 45/47 Sheppard Ave E December 21, 2020
Toronto 60 Queen St W December 21, 2020
WEST Chatham 425 Grand Ave December 28, 2020
Guelph 36 Wyndham St S
74 Woolwich St
November 1, 2020
Kitchener (Waterloo Region) 85 Frederick St December 14, 2020
London 80 Dundas St December 14, 2020
Owen Sound 611 9th Ave E December 28, 2020
Sarnia 700 Christina St N December 28, 2020
St Thomas (Elgin County) 4 Wellington St December 28, 2020
Windsor 200 Chatham St E
245 Windsor St
December 28, 2020

Small Claims Court New Notice on  Expanded Operations

The Small Claims Court has expanded its operations effective October 28, 2020. Accordingly, the Court has amended its Notice to the Profession and the Public Regarding the Small Claims Court., which now outlines that the Court will accept requests for the following matters:

  • motions to set aside a noting in default and/or default judgment;
  • requests to clerk for an assessment hearing, if initially filed before March 16, 2020; and
  • motions in writing, if initially filed before March 16, 2020.

The updated notice also provides new information about email filing. For more information, please see the notice here. For answers to frequently asked questions related to CaseLines, see here.


Small Claims Court New Notice on  Expanded Operations

The Small Claims Court has expanded its operations effective October 28, 2020. Accordingly, the Court has amended its Notice to the Profession and the Public Regarding the Small Claims Court., which now outlines that the Court will accept requests for the following matters:

  • motions to set aside a noting in default and/or default judgment;
  • requests to clerk for an assessment hearing, if initially filed before March 16, 2020; and
  • motions in writing, if initially filed before March 16, 2020.

The updated notice also provides new information about email filing. For more information, please see the notice here.


Guelph Courthouse 36 Wyndham St. S. CLOSED

The Guelph Courthouse location at 36 Wyndham Street South will be closed effective Wednesday October 21, 2020 due to an HVAC concern. This closure will remain in effect until further notice.  View Memo


SCJ Notice to the Profession - Changes to Court Operations in Toronto, Peel and Ottawa

On October 9, 2020, Chief Justice Morawetz issued a new Notice to the Profession, which made adjustments to Superior Court of Justice operations in response to the return to a modified Stage Two in Peel, Toronto and Ottawa. Jury selection has been suspended for 28 days; and the decision to continue matters that are in progress, including jury trials, will be made by the trial judge. For more information, see the Notice here


Brampton Courthouse – Sept. 28 Update

Effective September 28, the following courtrooms will proceed by Zoom. 

  • Courtroom 105 – extra bail court, as required
  • Courtroom 306 – special bail court
  • Courtroom 307 – provincial bail court (formerly courtroom 206 bails) 

A recurring Zoom link for courtroom 202, family has been created and added. The case management courts have also shifted. For the full list of Brampton Courts, please see here.


SCJ & OCJ Milton Courthouse In-Person Matters Suspended

Effective immediately, the SCJ and OCJ have suspended all in-person court hearings and processes for the Milton Courthouse due to the discovery of mould in the facility. Information about the rescheduling of in-person criminal, youth, intake court, family, and civil proceedings will be forthcoming. For more information, please see here.


Small Claims Court Updated Notice

The SCJ has issued a Consolidated Notice to the Profession and the Public regarding Small Claims Court operations. Effective October 9th, 2020, the Small Claims Court is lifting the date range limiting the previously-scheduled settlement conferences that it will hear remotely at the request of one party. For more information, please see here.

The Ministry of the Attorney General has also advised that counter services are now open at Small Claim Court locations. For more information, please see here.


The Small Claims Court has updated its Consolidated Notice to the Profession and Public Regarding the Small Claims Court today.

Effective today,

  • The Court is lifting the date range limiting the previously scheduled settlement conferences it will hear remotely at the request of one party.
  • There is now information about the re-opening of Small Claims Court counter service.

SCJ Update: New Electronic Process For Applying for a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee

As of October 6, 2020, Chief Justice Morawetz’s Consolidated Notice to the Profession, Litigants, Accused Persons, Public and the Media provides for an electronic process to apply for a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee. For more details, please see the new section D(6) of the Notice here.


Application by the Attorney General for Ontario – Effect of Suspension of Limitation Periods - MAG has notified the OBA that it intends to bring an application to the Superior Court of Justice with regards to the effect of the revocation of Regulation 73/20, as amended, on limitation periods. MAG will be seeking a declaration that the suspension period shall not be counted in the calculation of any limitation period to which Regulation 73/20, as amended, applied.


SCJ - Central West Region Notice to the Profession Effective October 5, 2020

The SCJ has issued a new Notice to the Profession for the Central West Region, effective October 5, 2020. The new Notice provides information regarding the resumption of in-person criminal proceedings at various courthouses; civil and family matter proceedings; and the new electronic filing requirements. For more information, please see here.


SCJ Notice to the Profession re: Electronic Filing and Document Sharing (CaseLines Pilot) in Civil and Family Matters

The SCJ issued a Notice to the Profession and Litigants on September 2nd regarding the use of CaseLines for civil and family law matters. The Notice outlines that the court received positive feedback on the pilot, and will be doing additional customization to the platform based on suggestions from attendees to the CaseLines information sessions. In addition, during the week of September 7, 2020, new matters will be added to CaseLines for hearings scheduled the week of September 21, 2020. The Notice also highlights that counsel and parties should continue to use the recently expanded Justice Services Online platform, including the Civil Submissions Online and Family Submissions Online portals and should avoid attending courthouses in person where possible. For more information, see the Notice to the Profession and Litigants.


Expansion of Small Claims Court Matters – August 17, 2020

The Small Claims Court further expanded its remote hearings as of August 10, 2020. This expansion will be staggered over time, applying first to settlement conferences that were scheduled to take place between March 16 and March 31, 2020 and cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, see the Notice Regarding the Suspension of Small Claims Court Operations.


August 12 - As of today, the Superior Court of Justice’s Provincial Practice Direction Regarding Criminal Proceedings has been replaced with the Provincial Practice Direction / Amendment to the Criminal Proceedings Rules Regarding Criminal Proceedings. For more information  


August 10

The SCJ has revised its Notice regarding the suspension of Small Claims Court operations. The Small Claims Court has now expanded the range of remote settlement conferences that it will hear. For more information, please see here.


SCJ Supplementary Notice to the Profession and Litigants in Civil and Family Matters – Including Electronic Filings and Document Sharing

The Superior Court of Justice has released a Supplementary Notice to the Profession and Litigants in Civil and Family Matters – Including Electronic Filings and Document Sharing. The Notice outlines that MAG has procured CaseLines, a cloud-based document sharing and storage e-hearing platform for remote and in-person court proceedings. There will be a two week test phase of CaseLines beginning on August 10th. The Notice also outlines the expansion of the Justice Services Online platform. For more information, see the SCJ Notice.


On August 5, 2020, the Justice Services Online platform will expand, allowing the online submission of nearly 400 more types of civil and family law court documents. The new services, “Civil Submissions Online” and “Family Submissions Online,” will allow for the electronic submission of court documents at every step in a case for new or existing:

  • civil actions or applications at the Superior Court of Justice; and
  • family proceedings at the Superior Court of Justice and the Ontario Court of Justice.

Court filing fees can be paid online securely by debit or credit card, and individuals may use the system to request a fee waiver certificate or submit documents with an existing fee waiver certificate. Parties are encouraged to use the new civil and family law filing services in order to avoid in-person attendance at Ontario courthouses where possible.  

Click here more information about online filing for civil matters, and here for more information about online filing for family law matters.


The Superior Court of Justice posted a new notice on July 21st regarding counsel, parties and justice participants who are uncomfortable attending a courthouse in person during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Notice to the Profession re: Justice Participants Unable to attend In-Court Hearings in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice outlines Chief Justice Morawetz’ instructions to judicial officers to be flexible when exercising their authority in this regard, as well as the encouragement to explore virtual hearings when requested.


The SCJ is providing guidance on both the resumption of in-person hearings and the expansion of virtual matters through regional notices to the profession, that can be found here.

July 10: The SCJ has announced the continued suspension of Small Claims Court operations. All Small Claims Court proceedings that were, as of March 13th, scheduled for a hearing between March 16th and October 30th, and are not assigned a new date between March 16th and October 30th, are adjourned to November 2nd or to such other date as determined by the Court.


July 7

The Superior Court of Justice issued an Amendment Notice today. The Notice amends the Chief Justice Court Order Suspending Residential Evictions so that residential evictions are now suspended until the end of the calendar month in which the state of emergency is terminated, unless the court orders otherwise.

The Superior Court of Justice has also issued an amendment to the June 25, 2020 Notice to the Profession, Litigants, Accused, Media and Members of the Public correcting a typo in para.F.c.iii.


The SCJ has revised its Notice Regarding the Suspension of Small Claims Court Operations. Effective June 2, the Small Claims Court will begin scheduling remote settlement conferences in non-urgent matters where certain conditions, listed in the Notice, are met. The Notice also includes instructions for how to proceed with scheduling a settlement conference.


The OBA has been working closely with Ontario courts to ensure that more matters are available to be conducted remotely during the emergency period. Today, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice announced the expansion of matters to be heard during the emergency period. The new Consolidated Notice to Profession consolidates previous Notices, and each Regional Senior Justice issued updated Regional Notices to the Profession available here. The Regional Notices to the Profession direct which matters may be heard in each region and the process to follow, without the need to refer to previous regional notices. A summary of the matters that will be heard in each region can be found in the chart below.  The Divisional Court Practice Direction can be located here.

New sections of the Consolidated Notice to the Profession include: an expectation that lawyers/parties will take positive steps to move a case forward, including participation in virtual mediations; guidance on commissioning affidavits virtually; recommended etiquette during virtual hearings; and an obligation to deliver copies of relevant previous orders and endorsements in family and child protection matters.

While there will be no in-court hearings until July 6, 2020 at the earliest, and no jury trials until September 2020, the Superior Court of Justice remains open. Lawyers and litigants are encouraged to seek hearings for matters that are being heard in each region.

The OBA is continuing to work with the Superior Court of Justice in identifying priority items for continued expansion that will allow lawyers to continue to sustain their practice and to serve their clients. We invite suggestions from all counsel on creative ways to resolve, streamline or move matters forward by remote or alternate processes. Those can be emailed to covid19support@oba.org.

Region

Civil

Criminal

Family

Central East

  • Pre-trials cancelled due to court closure may be rescheduled
  • Rule 7 approval of settlement
  • Civil motions on consent
  • Contested short motions
  • Urgent estates matters
  • Judicial pre-trials
  • 90-day and other bail reviews
  • Pre-trial motions
  • Summary conviction appeals
  • Consent orders
  • 14B consent motions
  • Motions to Change on consent
  • Certain case conferences
  • Additional CYFSA matters

Central South

  • Consent motions
  • Rule 7 approval of settlement
  • Motions in writing
  • Civil pre-trials
  • Short contested motions & applications
  • Long motions and summary judgments
  • Case conferences
  • Urgent bankruptcy matters
  • Taxations in writing
  • Bail, bail review and detention reviews
  • Joint submission guilty pleas for those in custody
  • Extending stays of driving prohibitions, fine payment, bail pending appeals
  • Habeas corpus applications
  • Judicial pre-trials
  • Guilty pleas for non- custody matters
  • Pre-trial motions
  • Consent and basket motions
  • Motions in writing, where agreement to be heard in writing
  • Case conferences and settlement conferences on consent
  • Divorces and adoptions
  • Short contested motions & applications

Central West

  • Consent motions
  • Rule 7 approval of settlement
  • Contested Motions in writing
  • Pre-trials for upcoming jury trials
  • Long motions, on consent or with leave
  • Summary conviction appeals
  • Bail hearings
  • Guilty pleas
  • Extending stays of driving prohibitions, fine payment, bail pending appeals
  • Habeas corpus applications
  • Judicial pre-trials
  • Other matters
  • Consent motions
  • Contested family motions in writing where agreement to be heard in writing
  • Case conferences on consent, or with leave
  • Long motions, on consent or with leave

East

  • Ex parte, consent and unopposed motions
  • Contested motions with agreement to proceed in writing
  • Rule 7 approval of settlement
  • Adjourned and other motions and applications with leave
  • case conferences
  • pre-trial conferences
  • urgent bankruptcy matters
  • Bail, bail review,detention review,judicial pre-trials, guilty pleas for joint submissions
  • Habeas corpusapplications
  • Summary conviction appeals
  • Previously adjourned matters on consent
  • Other pre-trial motions/applications approved by LAJ
  • 14B consent motions or for procedural or disclosure orders
  • Other motions, with leave
  • Case conferences and settlement conferences, as directed by LAJ
  • Other adjourned matters, with leave
  • Uncontested divorce, adoption applications and other routine matters

Northeast

  • Pre-trial conferences
  • Consent motions
  • Rule 7 approval of settlement
  • Contested motions and applications
  • Bail & detention reviews
  • Judicial pre-trials
  • Guilty pleas for persons in custody and out of custody
  • Pre-trial applications
  • Judge alone trials, with leave
  • Summary conviction appeals
  • 14B Motions on consent or for procedural or disclosure orders
  • Consent motions to change child support
  • Joint divorce applications
  • Case conferences and settlement conferences
  • Contested motions

Northwest

  • Consent motions
  • Rule 7 approval of settlement
  • Motions in writing
  • other motions and applications
  • Pre-trial conferences
  • Bail, bail review and 90-day detention reviews
  • Joint submission on guilty pleas
  • In-custody and out- of-custody pre-trials
  • Extending stays of driving prohibitions, fine payment, bail pending appeals
  • Habeas corpus applications
  • Summary conviction appeals
  • Case and trial managed matters
  • Certain pre-trial motions and applications approved by the LAJ
  • 14B Consent motions
  • Procedural motions and motions for disclosure
  • other motions
  • case conferences and settlement conferences
  • completion of matters that were adjourned
  • Uncontested divorces

Southwest

  • Pre-trial conferences
  • In writing motions or applications under Rule 7
  • In-writing consent or unopposed motions
  • Short opposed motions and applications (excl. summary judgment)
  • case conferences
  • class action hearings
  • Judicial pre-trials
  • Guilty pleas
  • Habeas corpus applications
  • Summary conviction appeals and certiorari applications
  • certain criminal motions
  • other matters through remote means
  • 14B motions – consent, procedural and disclosure orders
  • Case conferences
  • Consent, uncontested or default divorce orders
  • Settlement conferences

Toronto

  • Pre-trial conferences
  • Motions and applications in writing, on consent or unopposed
  • Case conferences
  • Opposed short motions and applications
  • Rule 7 approval of settlement
  • Consent motions
  • Select Commercial and Estate List matters, including motions, applications, conferences, pre- trials, and judicial settlement conferences
  • urgent matters by Bankruptcy registrar
  • Class action motions in writing, conferences, and select motions
  • Construction Act motions (ex parte, on consent, or unopposed), motions to vacate a lien, other motions and conferences
  • Judicial pre-trials
  • Pleas for in- custody and out-of- custody accused
  • Bail/bail review, 90- day reviews
  • Contested hearings
  • Consent bail variations
  • Pre-trial applications
  • Summary conviction appeals/extraordinary remedies
  • Bail pending Appeal/Stays
  • Case conferences
  • Settlement conferences
  • Certain motions
  • 14B Motions and Motions to change on consent

Divisional Court

  • Urgent matters
  • Non-urgent but time sensitive matters
  • Other matters upon request, with approval of Administrative Judge

June 29: The SCJ released a Notice to the Profession this afternoon regarding the Divisional Court. The Divisional Court will not resume in-person hearings on July 6, 2020 and will continue to hear matters remotely until further notice. The Court’s schedule of cases as of the suspension of ordinary court operations is, itself, entirely suspended until September 4, 2020, and matters will not be heard according to that schedule. A party in a matter that has been scheduled previously for hearing up to September 4, 2020 will have to obtain a new date for hearing following the process set out in the Notice, if they wish the case to proceed during the suspension of in-person hearings.


Small Claims Court: May 4 – Update

Since March 16, 2020, sittings of the Ontario Small Claims Court were suspended until further notice. The Small Claims Court has now announced that it will hear urgent motions and urgent garnishment hearings by telephone or videoconference.

Urgent matters include:

  1. Cases in which a judgment debtor has an outstanding warrant for arrest that was issued in relation to a Small Claims Court proceeding; or
  2. Time-sensitive cases that would result in immediate and serious financial hardship if a hearing were not scheduled.

For more information, see here.


April 28 Update Chief Justice Morawetz issued an Order that provides procedural flexibility for all active Division I and Division II proposals, as well as all active bankruptcies filed with the Office of the Superintendent in Bankruptcy between Mar 13 and June 30, 2020. This Order affects various deadlines and filing requirements provided by the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. For more information, see the Order here.

Updated SCJ Notice to the Profession and Public Regarding Court Proceedings

On April 8, 2021, the SCJ Notice to the Profession and Public Regarding Court Proceedings was updated in light of Ontario’s most recent stay-at-home order. For the duration of the stay-at-home order, the Court will not hold any in-person matters except for the most serious child protection matters, urgent family matters and critical criminal matters, where other options are absolutely unavailable.