Summary of Superior Court Notices to Profession re: Family Court Procedure effective May 19, 2020

  • May 24, 2020
  • Kelly Watson, lawyer, Nathens, Siegel LLP

Summary of Superior Court Notices to Profession re: Family Court Procedure effective May 19, 2020[i]

  Most recent Notice Available & Not Available Procedure & Timelines “Urgency” defined
All Ontario

May 13, 2020

(Morawetz, C.J.)

  • No in-person hearings until July 6 at the earliest
  • Check each Region’s Notice for details as to what issues can be heard
  • Oaths may be administered by video; affidavits should state it was commissioned by video conference.
  • Counsel/parties to cooperate to try to resolve matters before coming to court.
  • Hearings in-writing only, phone or video.[ii]   Not necessary to obtain consent or court order for hearing to proceed virtually.
  • Business attire for video; no need to gown.
  • Court will record hearing; you cannot.
  • Communicate w/ court staff, not judge directly[iii]
  • Filing: 35MB max. Must indicate when & how OP served.  Must include all relevant orders & endorsements.  Factums should be hyperlinked to the case.[iv]  No brief of authorities.  Encouraged to submit draft orders.  Service by email is allowed.  All docs filed by email shall be filed in paper format once courts reopen.

The following matters “shall” be heard by the court:

  1. Requests for urgent relief relating to the safety of a party or child or exclusive possession of home;
  2. Urgent issues relating to the well-being of a child including essential medical decisions or issues relating to the wrongful removal/retention of a child;
  3. Dire issues re: parties’ financial circumstances, including need for non-depletion order; and
  4. In a child protection case: all urgent or statutorily mandated events.

Refer to each Region’s Notice for details.

Most recent notice

Available/Not Available

Pleadings & Conferences

Motions & Other


393 University (Toronto)

May 14, 2020

(Firestone R.S.J.)


  1. Applications
  1. Case conferences
  1. Settlement conferences
  1. Certain motions
  1. Motions to change[v]

Not Available

  1. Trial management conferences
  1. Trials


  1. Email Application and other docs as required in Rules to  Send hard copy with filing fee by reg mail to court office that day or following day.  Court Services will issue Application and send email with court file number and date of issuance.
  1. Answer, Reply and other docs to be served and sent to same email address for filing.  Hard copy with filing fee to be sent by regular mail to court office same or following day.

Obtaining Case & Settlement Conference Dates

  1. Priority to conferences adjourned during March-May.
  1. If booking on consent go to Until May 25, 2020, this is only for conferences adjourned Mar-May.  After May 25, use same link for all matters for which Application already been issued.[vi]
  1. If booking is not on consent, email and request date. The coordinator will send 3 dates. If parties cannot agree on one of them within two days, coordinator will book one of the three dates.
  1. Conferences currently scheduled for June 1 and after will occur but time may change.  Parties must confirm by May 25th that conference is proceeding.  Send confirmation notice to  Once confirmed, coordinator will email teleconference/Zoom info.[vii] 

Scheduling an Urgent Case Conference

  1. Email coordinator at along with case conference brief.  They will provide date/time & teleconference or Zoom information.  Coordinator will provide date/time/contact info for call/videoconference.  Other party to file brief before 4:00p.m. 2 business days prior to conference.
  1. Case conf judge will determine if urgent, not triage judge.   If determined not urgent, conference will not proceed.   Parties to be directed on how to schedule non-urgent conference.
  1. No confirmation form required once date & time are received from conf coordinator.  One-hour limit.

Serving & Filing Case/Settlement Conference Briefs

  1. Case Conference Briefs: Limited to 1-2 issues.  Brief to be double spaced & at least 12-point font and no more than 6 pages plus NFP, support calcs & any reports. 
  1. Settlement Conference Briefs. No limit on issues.  15-page limit plus pleadings and all relevant endorsements.
  1. Follow naming convention.[viii]
  1. Serve by email and file by email w/ Affidavit of Service to
  1. Same timelines for serving & filing as per FLR.
  1. Case conferences: up to 1 hour.  Settlement conferences: up to 1.5 hours. 


  1. Urgent motions, Hague Applications & CAS appeals continue to be heard.
  1. Conf judges may schedule any motion to be heard after a conference.

Motions to Change - On Consent

Motions to Change - Not On Consent

with affidavit of service.Court Services will provide court file number by email.

Urgent Motions

  1. See definition of “urgency” above.
  1. To obtain a date, file motion materials on opposing party, save using file-naming convention and file by email to  Triage judge will asses whether urgent. If not urgent, triage judge will advise. If approved, parties will receive endorsement from triage judge and setting out date and time of hearing.  Coordinator will send out contact info for call or video.
  1. No confirmation form required.

Serving & Filing Motion Materials for Contested Motions (Urgent or Not)

  1. Moving party serves opposing party all materials and emails them to court at Materials to be “brief”.  Affidavits limited to 10 pages subject to court’s discretion.  Exhibits to be bookmarked.  Pages to be numbered.  Draft orders welcome; bills of costs encouraged.  Parties to follow file-naming convention.  Unsworn affidavits permitted if affiant participates in hearing to swear/affirm.

  1. All materials to be uploaded to an electronic document exchange portal-program and send link to opposing party and court at email above.  Factums to be uploaded in Word.  All other docs uploaded as PDFs.
  1. Separate sub-folder to be provided labelled “Endorsements” with all orders/endorsements saved as: date yyyy/mm/dd and judge’s last name, e.g., “20200418 – Paisley”. 
  1. Hyperlink your factum; no Book of Authorities.[ix]

Obtaining Order on Consent (by 14B Motions or Motions to Change)

  1. File by email to  Include approved draft order.  If order meets legislative requirements, it will be signed & returned by email.
  1. Order valid & enforceable on date when signed, not when issued.

Central East 

(Newmarket, Oshawa, Barrie, Bracebridge, Peterborough, Lindsay and Cobourg)

May 19, 2020

(Fuerst R.S.J.)


  1. Urgent issues as defined above.
  1. 14B motions requesting consent Orders on certain issues[10]
  1. Consent Motions to Change
  1. Case Conferences for pressing matters
  1. Urgent openness hearings in child protection matters.

Obtaining Leave (Family & Child Protection)

  1. Serve and file 14B motion on notice by email along with affidavit of no more than 4 pages including exhibits with proof of service unless service would likely have serious consequences.  Affidavit should identify case management judge or a specific judge familiar w/ file, include efforts to resolve issue prior to requesting conference and attach relevant orders or endorsement. 
  1. Responding party has 4 days to serve & file responding affidavit, including exhibits.  If no response received, will be decided on Applicant’s materials alone.  No other materials to be filed.  No further materials in support of the conference to be served unless and until permission for step is granted by court.  If  granted, conference limited to 30 minutes.  Briefs limited to 3-page narrative in lieu of Part 3 of standard brief.
  1. Documents to be filed by email at the addresses set out at footnote 10 below.


Not until further notice.  New trial dates will be addressed at the Return to Operations Scheduling Court.


Will respond to urgent family matters.  Not accepting any VOC requests.  Priority on high-conflict files.


Not sending any new notices of license suspensions & are in process of cancelling previously sent notices.  Objective to avoid urgent refraining motions and related motions to change.

Uncontested Divorces

Those filed prior to March 17, 2020 are not being processed at this time.  If there is a pressing need for them to be addressed, send email to the relevant Court Services Department.

Ex parte motions

Submit directly to Trial Coordinators.  Will be forwarded to duty judge at email addresses below.[11]  Endorsement will be returned by email.  Date will be set to have order reviewed.

Central West

(Brampton, Milton, Orangeville, Guelph, Owen Sound, Walkerton)

May 13, 2020

(Ricchetti, RSJ)


  1. Applications
  1. Motions to Change
  1. Urgent matters
  1. Consent motions
  1. Contested motions in writing
  1. Case conferences (no test or leave required)

Urgent Matters

  1. If seeking hearing on urgent matter, submit email (max 2 pages) to email below[12] setting out relief requested, nature of urgency, and whether it can be dealt with by tele/video conf if approved.  Attach draft order. 
  1. Court will email endorsement re: urgent or not.  If granted, teleconference will be set to deal with directions for filing of materials, service requirements, time/date of hearing and any other necessary info.
  1. If granted, affidavits are 10 pages max.  Attach only necessary/relevant excerpts of exhibits plus all relevant orders/endorsements. Once regular court operations resume, counsel to undertake to file paper copies & pay any required filing fee.

Case Conferences On Consent

  1. Where all parties agree to proceed with conference by tele/video, court will schedule and hear one, max of 45 minutes, 1-2 issues.  File by email at address set out in footnote 12 below.
  1. Briefs to be 4 pages max.  Attach only relevant excerpts plus Affidavit of Service, draft order sought & all relevant orders & endorsements. Size limit of 10 MB.  Briefs must include undertaking to file paper copies & pay any required fee once regular operations resume, and confirm counsel/parties have previously fully discussed the issues or provide reasons why not.
  1. Counsel/parties will then be contacted to schedule date/time of conference.

Case Conferences Not On Consent

  1. Requesting party files 2-page submission stating why case should proceed.   Responding party has 5 days to respond w 2-page submission. No reply.  File by email to address at footnote 12.
  1. Court review and informs if conference to proceed orally in-court upon resumption of operations or by tele/videoconference.  If the latter, a tele/videoconference will be convened.
  1. Briefs are 4 pages max.  Attach only relevant excerpts of exhibits, plus Affidavit of Service, draft orders & all relevant orders & endorsements.  Size limit of 10 MB.   Must also include undertaking to file paper copies & pay any required fee once regular operations resume. Parties/counsel must confirm they have previously fully discussed issues to be dealt with or provide detailed reasons why not.  File at email address set out at footnote 12.

Consent Motions

  1. File motion materials, consent by all parties, email addresses for all parties, and draft approved order to each court’s electronic address set out in footnote 12 below.  Copies of all relevant orders/endorsements must also be included.  Counsel/parties must advise whether a 14B motion was filed prior to court suspension and agree to abandon any previously filed 14b motion for the same or similar relief.

Contested Motions in Writing

  1. Where parties agree a contested motion can be heard and decided on written materials only, they shall agree on timetable for exchange of motion materials.
  1. Materials: affidavit (15 pages max, only include excerpts of exhibits necessary & relevant to issue being decided) & 10 MB max for attachments.  Include relevant orders & endorsements, facta (20 page max), draft order, email addresses of all counsel/parties, and confirmation of agreement to proceed by written submissions only.  File electronically.   Counsel must expressly include undertaking to file paper copies when court resumes & pay any fees.
  1. Court may request parties deal with additional issues in writing or require attendance at tele/videoconference.