General Litigation


“Is it possible to have a “Certificate of Service” on pleadings, instead of requirement to commission Affidavit of Service on motion records, which requires scheduling video conference with the other lawyer to sign the Affidavit, scanning and the page and sending to the other lawyer for them to print, commission, scan and send back in order to email the motion record to the Trial Coordinator. Can an e-signature be used, and if so, what methods are acceptable e.g. affidavit signed by docusign or by inserting a picture of a signature?”

The requirement to prove service with an affidavit of service can be dispensed with only in accordance with the rules of court. Paragraph B. 6 of the Civil and Family Notice to the Profession dated March 15, 2020 states: Where it is not possible to email a sworn affidavit, affidavits may be delivered unsworn but the affiant must be able to participate in any telephone or videoconference hearing to swear or affirm the affidavit.

“When will a daily schedule of court hearings be available on-line again?”

At present, some Superior Court of Justice hearing information is available at: All hearings are remote hearings unless otherwise specified.
Note that some cases do not appear in the daily court lists, including matters in writing, matters added after the list is posted and matters subject to statutory, common-law or court-ordered public access restrictions.
The Ontario Court of Justice is also working to make hearing information available as quickly as possible. It will post this information once it is able to do so.

“Given the importance of timely access to decisions relevant to various COVID-19 issues, can the courts make new decisions available on-line on an expedited basis?”

The Superior Court of Justice advises that CanLII has committed to expedite publication of any decision the judge notes as urgent.
Publication will occur within 24 hours.
The Court is also looking at other ways to post COVID-19 related matters.

“Can applications be filed at the Superior Court of Justice in civil matters?”

Yes, some regions are allowing certain applications to be emailed to the court and scheduled for hearing. Counsel would have to look at each region’s April 6 notices to the profession

“What is the current scope of matters that may be heard in the Superior Court of Justice?”

On April 2, the Superior Court of Justice issued three provincial Notices to the Profession dealing with the expansion of remote hearings that will begin being heard on April 6, 2020.

Please see:

The complete list of matters that may be heard in each region is contained in region-specific Notices to the Profession, issued April 2, 2020. They include the process to seek a hearing, and may be found here.

The provincial notices also include directions relevant to each practice area on:

  • Compliance with Existing Procedures & the Inherent Jurisdiction of the SCJ;
  • Service by Email During the Suspension of Regular Operations;
  • Filings;
  • Orders;
  • Gowning;
  • Public and media access to proceedings;
  • Communicating with the Court, Staff and Trial Coordinators; and,
  • Assistance for Self-represented persons. 

“Can the federal government toll the running of limitation periods in the same way as in Ontario?”

The OBA has been working with the CBA and understand that the federal government's view has been that it cannot presently take the same action as in Ontario because they do not have an equivalent statutory power that was exercised here (and BC and Quebec) to toll the limitations period. 

In addition to Practice Directions and Orders from the federal courts that provide for the suspension of specific statutory deadlines within the court's power, the federal government is currently tracking issues as they arise with respect to limitation periods in individual statutes in order to consider further steps. 

The CBA is continuing to seek a solution that provides better certainty for the bar. However, in the meantime if you have concerns about the application of any specific statutory limitation period, please let us know at and we will have it brought to the attention of the Minister of Justice’s office so it can be addressed.