WONDERING WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN VISITING A COURTHOUSE?
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In the above Notice, Chief Justice Geoffrey B. Morawetz advised the profession, litigants, accused, the media and the public of the steps that are expected to be completed to permit some in-court hearings to resume at certain court locations, effective July 6, 2020.
On June 19, 2020, Ontario's Recovery Secretariat hosted a virtual town halls on COVID-19 safety and the reopening of Ontario's Courts.
The town hall offered an overview of MAG's phased, gradual and responsive plan for court recovery, which aligns with the Framework for Reopening Our Province.
MAG & the Courts have engaged advisors in health and safety and medicine to assist in applying the direction of the Chief Medical Officer of Health in a courthouse setting and their advisors led the June 19th virtual town hall to help address any concerns about COVID-19 and the ministry’s health and safety approach.
Here are materials from the town hall and information session:
COA Notice Regarding Videoconference Appearance Technology (Zoom) informing the bar that, as of July 6th, 2020, the CAO will use the Zoom video conferencing platform for all remote hearings. The notice offers an overview of the process for Zoom appearances at the COA; best practices for participating in Zoom appearances at the CAO; and information for members of the public and the media about how to request access to observe a Zoom hearing at the COA
On August 5, 2020 MAG filed a regulation to amend the Rules of Civil Procedure, O. Reg 441/20.
The amendments introduce a new court rule, rule 4.05.2, to authorize the use of the Civil Submissions Online system. This new online system, released this morning, allows the electronic submission of over 250 types of documents for filing and issuance in Superior Court of Justice civil actions and applications. A summary of the amendments is available on the Ontario Regulatory Registry.
Further inquiry can be directed to the following addresses, with O. Reg 441/20. in the subject line: email@example.com
OCJ Notice to the Profession and the Public: Re: the Scheduling of Criminal Trials and Preliminary Inquiries (August 12, 2020)
OCJ Practice Direction: RE: Waiver of Personal Attendance and Request for Adjournment / Remand by Accused Persons in Custody (August 12, 2020)
(The SCJ has replaced Provincial Practice Direction Regarding Criminal Proceedings with the Provincial Practice Direction / Amendment to the Criminal Proceedings Rules Regarding Criminal Proceedings)
OCJ Notice - Scheduling of Family Matters in the OCJ (August 10)
OCJ Notice re: the process of electronically submitting documents at the OCJ (August 10)
SCJ Notice - re: the Suspension of Small Claims Court Operations (Aug 10)
OCJ Notice re: criminal case management appearances, including the virtual case management court pilot (July 29)
OCJ guide for family Self Represented Litigants during COVID-19.
SCJ Notice - posted a new notice from Chief Justice Morawetz regarding justice participants unable to attend SCJ proceedings in person (July 21)
COA Notice- Amended Practice Direction Regarding the Electronic Conduct of Matters During the Covid-19 Emergency (JULY 13)
SCJ NOTICE - Continued suspension of Small Claims Court operations due to COVID-19 (July 10)
OCJ NOTICE - Scheduling of Family Matters - Addition (July 2, 2020)
OCJ NOTICE - Provincial Offences Act Matters (July 2, 2020)
OCJ NOTICE - Criminal Case Management Appearances and Setting Trial and Preliminary Inquiry Dates (Published July 2, 2020)
Criminal Case Adjournment Dates – Out-of-Custody Accused (updated July 2, 2020) * Note: The criminal case adjournment dates are subject to change. Please check this website regularly for any updates.
SCJ NOTICE - Divisional Court (June 29, 2020)
OCJ NOTICE - Resumption of Criminal Trials and Preliminary Hearings as of July 6, 2020
OCJ NOTICE - COVID-19 Scheduling of Family Matters in the Ontario Court of Justice
SCJ UPDATE - Notice Regarding the Suspension of Small Claims Court Operations (June 2, 2020)
OCJ UPDATE -CRIMINAL: Notice to Counsel and the Public re: Criminal Matters in the OCJ - Effective May 11, 2020, updated May 22, 2020
Criminal Case Adjournment Dates – Out-of-Custody Accused -updated May 22, 2020
Order Adjourning Child Protection Matters (May 6, 2020)
OCJ Notice: Scheduling of Family Matters (May 7, 2020)
SCJ UPDATE: Information on Matters to be Heard in the SCJ during the COVID-19 crisis, Effective May 19, 2020
OCJ UPDATE: Notice to Counsel/Paralegals and the Public re: Provincial Offences Act Matters - May 19 2020
OCJ UPDATE: Notice Regarding Media and Public Access to OJC Proceedings during the COVID-19 Pandemic (revised May 15, 2020)
OCJ NOTICE ABOUT REOPENING - DELAY (MAY 4)The OCJ will not be returning to full operations on May 29, 2020. No trials or preliminary inquiries will be conducted until July 6, 2020 at the earliest, unless a judge seized with a continuing matter orders otherwise. READ FULL NOTICE
NOTICE: SMALL CLAIMS COURT (MAY 4) In order to protect the health and safety of the public and court staff, Small Claims Court counter services are suspended until further notice. READ FULL NOTICE
Provincial Notices to the Profession from Chief Justice Morawetz (Criminal and Civil/Family). They address a variety of issues including emailing material to the court, service by email, media access to court proceedings, and gowning. They include links to the eight Regional Notices to the Profession. The eight Regional Notices identify which matters may be heard in each region, and the process to have a matter heard. APRIL 2, 2020
Memo from the Office of the Chief Justice that provides a summary of the Notices to the Profession issued April 2, 2020
Notice to the Legal Profession from Chief Justice Morawetz announcing that the scope of events that may be heard remotely by the Superior Court of Justice will expand, effective April 6, 2020.
Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, all sittings of the Ontario Small Claims Court are suspended until further notice. See full notice here.
SCJ notice to the profession, the public, and the media regarding civil and family proceedings: suspension of SCJ regular operations - March 15
SCJ Notice to profession, accused persons, crown, Public Prosecution Service of Canada, correctional institutions, witnesses, jurors, the public, and the media regarding criminal operations: suspension of SCJ regular operations - March 15
Quick-Reference Chart: Remote Appearances by under the Criminal Code
Ontario SCJ notice to the profession concerning the effect of COVID-19 on court operations in the province - March 13
COVID-19 Pandemic Planning for the Scheduling of Matters in the Ontario Court of Justice (includes definition of "urgent" regarding family and criminal matters)
The report of the discount rate subcommittee of the Civil Rules Committee dated April 27, 2020 and entitled “ Report to the Civil Rules Committee on rules 53.09 and 53.10” is now available on the Court of Appeal’s website,
The report was prepared by the discount rate subcommittee to assist the Civil Rules Committee in its quadrennial review in accordance with s.66(4) of the Courts of Justice Act of the following:
1. the discount rate to be used in determining the amount of an award in respect of future pecuniary damages;
2. the method of calculating the amount to be included in an award of damages to offset any liability for income tax on income from investment of the award;
3. the prejudgment interest rate with respect to the rate of interest on damages for non-pecuniary loss.
The report was provided to the members of the Civil Rules Committee and was the subject of discussion at a recent meeting. The Civil Rules Committee will reconvene to further consider the report.
If your organisation wishes to make submissions on the report, please do so by July 31, 2020. The submissions should be no more than 5 pages and should be sent to:
All submissions made to the discount rate subcommittee have been made available to the members of the Civil Rules Committee. If your organisation made submissions to the discount rate subcommittee, the Committee asks that you not repeat submissions already made. If any error was made in the report in summarizing your submissions, please advise.
In April 2020, FOLA, along with the Advocates’ Society, the Ontario Bar Association, and the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association, created the joint E-Hearings Task Force to review technologies that can help ensure Ontario’s justice system continue to function during and following the coronavirus pandemic.
On May 13, 2020, the e-Hearings Taskforce released some helpful documents (linked below) on best practices to help provide guidance to anyone who is considering preparing for and participating in a remote hearing.
WE WANT YOUR FEEDBACK!
If you've participated in a remote hearing and have some additional suggestions, we'd love to hear them! Please email Katie Robinette at firstname.lastname@example.org and put "REMOTE HEARINGS" in the subject line.
The OTLA prepared a submission to the Courts and MAG regarding the Modernization of Ontario's Civil Justice System. Chapter 4 covers: Best Practices for Remote Examinations for Discovery
Chapter 5 covers: Best Practices for Remote Mediations
You can download the report here.
A video tour by the Ontario Government showing lawyers and clients what to expect as they re-enter Courthouses and Courtrooms.