From Justice Fryer. Please distribute widely.
The following information applies to the Durham Region Courthouse, located in Oshawa:
Until further notice, all court appearances are to be presumptively held virtually by Zoom as set out in the Notice to the Profession dated July 26, 2020.
If it is felt that an in-person hearing would be beneficial, and all parties and counsel agree to attend in person, this request may be put to the Case Management judge at the virtual hearing as a request for the next event or put forward in a 14B motion well in advance of the scheduled event.
If one participant – party or lawyer – is not comfortable attending the court in person, the hearing shall proceed virtually by Zoom.
Even if all parties and counsel agree to the in-person hearing, it may not be possible to accommodate the request if the presiding judge is not one of the judges scheduled to be sitting in one of the available court rooms that week. Currently there are only two Superior Court courtrooms open in Oshawa for all court cases: family, criminal and civil. Similarly, cases involving a larger number of parties and lawyers may not be appropriate for an in-person hearing due to restrictions on the number of people permitted in the courthouse at a given time and the physical arrangements in the two available courtrooms among other things.