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Bench/Bar -4- Motions etc.

The following is part a series of Camberwell House summaries of some key court and courthouse information as recently relayed to the Middlesex Law Association by Justice Duncan Grace, Regional Senior Justice Bruce Thomas, and Trial Coordinator Joy Beattie.  It is not in the order of the notes provided by the Courthouse, but is organized by topic.

  • All civil matters between March 19 to May 31 have been adjourned By endorsement of Mr. Justice Grace.
  • All hearings after March 19 are suspended indefinitely other than “Urgent Matters” which are to be strictly limited.
  • Urgent Motion Records or Application Records are considered “filed” with the court once emailed in accordance with the Notice to the Profession.  However, eventually someone will have to file it in the usual way and pay a fee after.
  • When an urgent motion is filed, the basis for urgency should be outlined in the cover letter to the trial coordinator and in the motion materials. Some specifics: (1)  If matter is ex parte or on consent the basis for urgency could be outlined in cover letter. (2) Where one party claims urgency but the other side denies urgency or hasn’t been consulted that issue should be highlighted in a cover letter to the trial coordinator. Then a conference call would be scheduled with Justice Grace.
  • Regarding the time limit for Friday civil motions: It is hard to predict if it will be is one hour per motion, or one hour in total for all motions on the same Action.  It will depend on how busy the court is that day.  If you need 2 hours for 1 file it’s probably not going to be heard on a Friday.
  • Motions: (1) Urgent matters are addressed elsewhere.  But note that such urgent matters will be triaged by Grace J., and no additional motion record with respect to the issue of urgency is required.  It is expected of lawyers that they consult with each other to determine if a motion is urgent. There (may) may be a quick scheduling call to timetable the steps and set a hearing date. If the matter cannot be dealt with in writing, it will be by telephone.
  • Basket Motions and electronic filing: Grace J. says, “when the London courthouse re-opens, if there are counter hours, then the basket motions will be filed in the usual way. If the basket motion is urgent, will have to speak to someone on that. They need to use the email mentioned if it is urgent with an indication as to why it is urgent, and it will be triaged and will be dealt with by a judge. Separate copies of the order should also be filed to be signed.
  • If the parties want to bring a motion to adjourn a trial on consent, it can it be submitted by way of basket motion.

Q: Is it known yet how the adjournment of current trials and other matters will impact court appearances and trials currently scheduled for after the resumption of operations in June, especially the fall trial sittings?

 Answer: No; we don’t have any idea yet. Will have a host of criminal matters to reschedule aggressively and will probably require all hands on deck for criminal for a while.

  • Business is not and will not be normal for a while.
  • No one should assume that the pre-pandemic level of service will be maintained or restored anytime soon.
  • There will be a very large backlog when court re-opens.
  • There will be a significant of family and criminal court matters that will take priority over civil matters when we are back.

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