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CJO INFO MEMORANDUM ON SCJ MATTERS TO BE HEARD DURING COVID-19 CRISIS

TO: Bar associations, Media and Justice Stakeholders

FROM: Office of the Chief Justice, Ontario Superior Court of Justice

RE: Information on Matters to be Heard in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice during the COVID-19 crisis, Effective April 6, 2020

DATE: April 2, 2020

NOTE:  INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY – NOT A SOURCE OF AUTHORITY

Chief Justice Morawetz issued Notices to the Profession for criminal, civil and family matters on March 15, effective March 17, 2020. They suspended regular operations of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (SCJ) due to the COVID-19 crisis, until further notice, except for limited “urgent” civil, family and criminal matters.

On April 2, 2020, Chief Justice Morawetz issued two new Provincial Notices to the Profession – one for criminal, and for civil and family. Each Regional Senior Justice also issued Notices to the Profession. They are all effective April 6, 2020. The Provincial and Regional Notices to the Profession are posted on the SCJ website at https://www.ontariocourts.ca/scj/notices-and-orders-covid-19/

The new Provincial Notices to the Profession address how to email material to the court, service by email, media access to court proceedings, and gowning.

The eight Regional Notices expand upon the scope of matters that may be heard during the COVID-19 crisis beyond “urgent” matters. The Regional Notices to the Profession direct which matters may be heard in each region, and the process to follow. Each region has different case volumes and levels of support to enable virtual court hearings. Thus, the scope of matters to be heard varies among regions.

In addition to previously defined “urgent” matters, and effective April 6, 2020, the following civil […] matters will now be heard in most court locations:

CIVIL

  • Pre-Trial Conferences that have a settlement objective.
  • Rule 7 motions or applications for approval of settlement, in writing.
  • Consent motions, in writing.

[Family and Criminal Provisions omitted]

Please see original CJO Memorandum the chart providing summarizes of which matters may be heard in each region, with a full listing of all regions.

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