Important court proceedings update

Lawyer looks at documents

The below notice was issued by Chief Justice Morawetz of the Superior Court of Justice April 20th, effective immediately. Please note that Courts will be deferring as many matters as possible, including virtual hearings.

We have been told that implementation will be local, so if you or your clients have questions about what proceedings will go ahead in your region between now and May 7, you should speak to the Regional Senior Justice.

Discretion about how to handle matters already in-progress is being left to the trial judge.

Notice to Profession and Public Regarding Court Proceedings – UPDATE April 20, 2021

In view of the strengthened stay-at-home order and the critical situation with the pandemic, over the next several weeks until May 7, to reduce the number of court staff, counsel or parties required to leave their homes to participate in court proceedings, the Court will defer as many matters as possible. This includes virtual hearings.  

The Court will focus on hearing

  • the most serious child protection matters
  • urgent family matters
  • critical criminal matters, and
  • urgent commercial or economic matters where there are employment or economic impacts.

Subject to the discretion of the trial judge, matters that are in-progress can continue. The positions of the parties and staff should be strongly considered and alternate arrangements should be made for those who do not wish to attend in-person.

The Court is seeking the cooperation of counsel to defer as much as possible.

Geoffrey B. Morawetz
Chief Justice
Ontario Superior Court of Justice