Members of the Ontario Estates Bench and Bar Liaison Committee have created sample Court Orders to assist practitioners in estate matters. These Orders can be accessed at the Superior Court of Justice website by following this link. model orders
While Caselines had changed its name globally to Case Center in 2021, Ontario courts continued to use the name Caselines. Further, Case Center will be launching version 7 this year, which will (or so the SCJ & OCJ told FOLA) provide a much more robust platform, address numerous issues, introduce new features, and deliver a much more modern interface.
There will be an announcement placed on Case Center which users will see when they log in. The Ontario courts (and FOLA) wanted to ensure that all law firms and law associations are aware of the upcoming changes. Below is information below from the courts:
Law Associations can contact Ryan Snushall from Thomson Reuters at firstname.lastname@example.org directly as needed about the Case Center (Caselines) platform.
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. A 2nd Version of the English version of the Best Practices for Remote Hearings was released on May 28th, 2021.
ENGLISH VERSIONS (2ND EDITION) (Published May 28, 2021
FRENCH VERSIONS (Published November 23, 2021)
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 email@example.com and put "REMOTE HEARINGS" in the subject line.
Best Practices for Remote Examinations for Discovery & Best Practices for Remote Mediations (published May 13, 2020)
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.
Notice to the Public and to the Profession – Clarifying the Mode of Counsel’s Appearance under the Interim Guidelines re Mode of Appearance for Ontario Court of Justice Criminal Proceedings – Oct 7, 2022
On May 9th, the OCJ issued a new CaseLines notice to the profession and public.
You can access it here.
Message from Chief Justice Maisonneuve re COVID-19 (Updated March 18, 2022)
Effective April 4, there will be increased access to in-person proceedings. While the Court can now accommodate more in-person proceedings, it is also committed to continuing the use of video and phone options for some hearings. The interim directions about how criminal, family, and provincial offences matters will be heard can be found here:
*note: the response includes helpful links - including: CaseLines in the SCJ – Quick Tips
For your convenience, summary charts of the Court’s Guidelines in Civil, Criminal and Family, with reference to any Regional variation, can be found here.
VIRTUAL TRIAL SITTINGS FOR CIVIL, NON-JURY CASES:
December 14, 2022: The SCJ Regional Senior Judges Council (“RSJ Council”) is commencing an initiative to address the backlog of civil trials that developed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to provide timely access to justice in civil cases, RSJ Council has resolved to schedule two, four-week long virtual trial sittings for civil, non-jury cases. Judicial resources from across the province will be pooled to provide pre-trial and trial dates.
The first sitting will target cases in Southwest Region. Cases will be selected based on age and likelihood of being scheduled for trial within a reasonable amount of time. During the second sitting, cases from all regions will be considered for inclusion based on the same criteria.
• Two, four-week long trial sittings will be held on the following dates:
November 14, 2023 to December 8, 2023
April 1, 2024 to April 26, 2024
• Civil, non-jury trials will be scheduled
• Both pre-trial conferences and trials will be held virtually
• Use of CaseLines will be mandatory
In the coming weeks, parties will begin receiving pre-trial and trial dates. In cases selected, counsel and witnesses must make themselves available.
On August 31, 2022, the Chief Medical Officer of Health Ontario provided updated recommendations relating to the upcoming respiratory season, including COVID. Accordingly, Chief Justice Morawetz’s Order, deferring potential jurors who are not vaccinated (or prefer not to answer), which expires today, September 2, 2022, will not be further extended.
On August 2nd, the SCJ announced that the Notice to the Profession, Parties, Public and the Media has been amended to clarify parties’ responsibilities in civil and family matters regarding (1) filing books of authorities and facta, (2) providing accurate hearing-time estimates, and (3) bringing to the attention of the court all relevant material facts and the authorities that establish the legal proposition relied upon (as it is not sufficient to merely upload filed materials to CaseLines). See Part II, paras. 1-4 and Part III, paras. 16-18.
ACJ McWatt’s Order extending Chief Justice Morawetz’s August Addendum Order deferring jurors, based on an answer that a juror is not fully vaccinated or prefers not to answer, further from July 8, 2022 to September 2, 2022
Chief Justice Morawetz’s Order extending his August Addendum Order deferring urors, based on an answer that a juror is not fully vaccinated or prefers not to answer, further from June 10, 2022 to July 8, 2022
SMALL CLAIMS COURT: As of June 1, 2022, the Small Claims Court
See section 11 of the Consolidated Notice to the Profession and Public Regarding the Small Claims Court for further information about examination hearings.
Chief Justice Morawetz issued an Order on April 27, 2022 extending his August Addendum Order deferring jurors, based on an answer that a juror is not fully vaccinated or prefers not to answer, further from April 29, 2022 to June 10, 2022.
Notice to Profession – Divisional Court (April 19 2022)
This notice was amended to address new processes regarding mode of hearings (in person or virtual), CaseLines updates, and other changes. It also incorporates the text of the previously free-standing Notice to Profession for Appeals from the Landlord and Tenant Board.
Effective: March 29, 2021
Jury selection and trials are scheduled in Brampton, Toronto and Hamilton. In Brampton, the Pearson Convention Centre, and in Toronto, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, are being prepared to support jury selection. In Hamilton, selection will occur on-site at the Hamilton courthouse. Trials at all three locations will be held on-site at each courthouse.
To best ensure the health and safety of all participants (individuals summoned to a jury panel, jurors, the judiciary, parties to the proceeding, and court staff and management, the Recovery Secretariat has developed the attached jury recovery guidance materials.
To request French translated versions, please get in touch at MAGRecoverySecretariat@ontario.ca
Visit the Federal Court website for access to all forms, e-Filing needs, "how to" docs & videos, Court files, and decisions.
In July 2020, in the midst of COVID-19, the Federal Court released their Strategic Plan for 2020-2025.
The 2020-2025 Strategic Plan addresses the steps that the Court intends to take in the pursuit of two principal objectives: (i) significantly increasing access to justice, and (ii) enhancing the ability of the Court to serve the public across Canada.
The primary focus of the first principal objective will be upon accelerating the Court’s shift away from being a paper-based organization, towards being a more accessible digital court. That shift was given added stimulus in the wake of the outbreak of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, when the Court rapidly expanded its capability to conduct virtual hearings with participants situated in their respective homes, by telephone and video conference.
As the Court continues to expand its digital capabilities, its principal areas of focus will include:
· making more broad-based use of e-filing and electronic service;
· moving toward treating electronically filed materials as the official court record;
· making more widespread use of electronic courtroom software, during in-person and “virtual” hearings;
· enhancing its internal and outward-facing electronic scheduling capabilities;
· providing the parties to disputes before the Court with an ability to electronically access non-restricted documents in the Court’s record;
· providing the public and the media with electronic access to non-confidential Court records, as well as to the non-confidential portion of electronic hearings; and
· making increased use of web-based virtual hearings and webcasting.
This strategic plan builds on the Court’s 2014-2019 Strategic Plan.
In brief, the Court and many others within its ecosystem need to expand their digital capabilities.