Suspension of SCJ operations, Chatham-Kent


TO:                 The Practising Civil and Family Bar of Chatham-Kent

FROM:           Mr. Justice J. Paul R. Howard

                        Local Administrative Judge – Chatham-Kent

DATE:             March 16, 2020


As you know, to protect the health and safety of all court users and to help contain the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Superior Court of Justice (“SCJ”) is suspending all regular operations, effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020, and until further notice.

As you also know, the Office of the Chief Justice issued a “Notice to the Profession, the Public and the Media Regarding Civil and Family Proceedings” on March 15, 2020 (“Notice to the Profession”). A copy of the Notice to the Profession has been posted on the SCJ website and is available at:

I am writing to provide members of the Bar with further information and dates concerning the implementation of the process described in the Notice to the Profession in Chatham-Kent. In this regard, please note the following:

  1. The regular Assignment Court for Civil and Family matters, currently scheduled for Monday, June 1, 2020, is cancelled and rescheduled as set out below.
  2. All SCJ matters in Family proceedings (including all conferences, uncontested hearings, motions, trials, and assignment court matters) scheduled to be heard between March 16, 2020, and June 1, 2020, are adjourned to Monday, June 8, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. to set a new date.
  3.  All SCJ matters in Civil proceedings (including short and long motions, pre-trials, trials, and assignment court matters) scheduled to be heard between March 16, 2020, and June 1, 2020, are adjourned to Tuesday, June 9, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. to set a new date.
  4. Counsel are not required to submit or file any documents or take any action to give effect to these adjournments.
  5. Any motion made returnable June 9, 2020, will not be heard that day and will be spoken to, in accordance with the above, to set a new date for hearing.
  6. As set out in the Notice to the Profession, until further notice, only certain designated “urgent and emergency” civil and family matters will be heard by the SCJ. The process by which those urgent and emergency matters are to be heard is set out in Sections A and B of the Notice to the Profession. Paragraph 1 of Section B refers to the list of email addresses for urgent filings for each courthouse. Please note the email address for urgent filings at the Chatham courthouse is:

I join with the Chief Justice in extending to you the Court’s appreciation for your cooperation, flexibility, and understanding during this extraordinary time.

Thank you.

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