The Guide Concerning Best Practices for Civil Actions, Applications and Motions in the Toronto Region

Effective July 1, 2014

This Guide applies to civil actions, applications and motions in the Toronto Region, effective July 1, 2014. It supersedes the previous best practice document concerning civil applications and motions, which is hereby revoked.

Counsel and parties are advised to refer to the relevant Parts of the Consolidated Provincial Practice Direction, the Consolidated Practice Direction for Divisional Court Proceedings as well as other relevant Toronto region-specific Practice Directions and Guides (e.g. the Consolidated Practice Direction for Civil Actions, Applications, Motions and Procedural Matters in the Toronto Region).

All Superior Court of Justice Practice Directions and Guides are available on the Superior Court’s website at: www.ontariocourts.ca/scj.

Part I: Purpose

  1. The Consolidated Practice Direction for Civil Actions, Applications, Motions and Procedural Matters in the Toronto Region encourages parties to refer to this Guide. This Guide describes the practices the court encourages both counsel and self-represented parties to use in preparing and conducting civil actions, applications and motions.

Part II: Co-operation and Civility between Counsel and between Counsel and Self-Represented Parties

  1. To be fair and just an adversarial system of litigation requires the opponents to resolve their differences in a civilized manner. Although parties conduct civil actions, applications and motions within the context of an adversarial system, the court expects counsel and self-represented parties to conduct themselves, at all times, in ways that promote cooperation, effective and timely communication, and civility, as well as applying common sense to the resolution of issues that arise during the course of a proceeding.
  2. The court expects counsel to conduct applications and motions having regard to the Principles of Professionalism for Advocates and the Principles of Civility for Advocates published by The Advocates’ Society, found at: www.advocates.ca/assets/files/pdf/publications/principles-of-civility.pdf.

Part III: Assistance for Self-Represented Parties in Preparing Materials for Civil Proceedings

  1. Self-represented parties who are involved in a civil proceeding may find it helpful to learn that Law Help Ontario, a project of Pro Bono Law Ontario, provides pro bono legal services to eligible individuals who cannot afford to hire a lawyer.
  2. Law Help Ontario operates a walk-in centre on the main floor level of 393 University Avenue, Toronto. Information about Law Help Ontario, including the hours of operation of its walk-in centre, can be found at: www.lawhelpontario.org.
  3. Counsel who are involved in civil proceedings involving a self-represented party are encouraged to consult and be guided by the Canadian Code of Conduct for Trial Lawyers Involved in Civil Actions Involving Unrepresented Litigants published by the American College of Trial Lawyers and found at: www.actl.com/.

Part IV: Electronic Document Disclosure

  1. Parties are reminded of their obligation under Rule 29.1.03(4) to consult and have regard to the document titled The Sedona Canada Principles Addressing Electronic Discovery developed and available from the Sedona Conference. Applying the Sedona Canada Principles Addressing Electronic Discovery is particularly important in complex applications or motions which may involve significant documentary disclosure.
  2. The Sedona Canada Principles Addressing Electronic Discovery may be found at: www.thesedonaconference.org/publications.

Part V: Materials for Use of the Court in Civil Proceedings

A. Confirmation of Applications and Motions Required

  1. Parties are reminded that their confirmation form must be sent to the motions office no later than 2:00 p.m. three days before the scheduled hearing date under Rule 37.10.1.

B. Factums or Written Arguments

  1. Factums are required for all applications.
  2. Factums are required for all motions over two hours (except undertakings and refusals motions) and are strongly encouraged for all other motions.
  3. All factums should be clear and concise.
  4. For longer or more complex motions, the court finds it helpful for the parties to file electronic copies of their factums in Word format. Electronic copies of factums should be attached to the hard copy of the factum filed with the court on a disk and should be labelled with the court file name and number, event and content of the disk, as well as the return date of the matter. Counsel and parties should refer to the Guide Concerning e-Delivery of Documents available on the Superior Court’s website.

C. Books of Authorities

  1. Cases contained in books of authorities should be copied on both sides of a page. Electronic copies of books of authorities are helpful in longer or more complex motions. Disks should be labelled with the court file name and number, event and content of the disk, as well as the return date of the matter.

D. Complex Applications and Motions

  1. Where a matter is on-going or the materials in the court files are voluminous, counsel are requested to facilitate the hearing of the matter by:
  1. preparing a consolidated record;
  2. preparing a consolidated compendium;
  3. preparing a numbered list of all motion records, transcripts, casebooks and other materials; or
  4. by having a representative attend at the Civil Motions List Office before a hearing to ensure that all the materials needed for the motion, application or trial are available to the court.
  1. In appropriate cases, to supplement any required formal record, counsel are requested to consider preparing a compendium of the key materials to be referred to in argument (fair extracts of documents, transcripts, previous orders, authorities, etc.) to assist in focusing the case for the court. Relevant portions of the compendium should be highlighted or marked. Counsel are urged to consult among themselves in the preparation of a joint compendium, if possible.

E. Charts and Diagrams

  1. The court invites the use of diagrams, corporate organization charts, list of persons involved, point-form chronologies and other synopses of complex or technical evidence.

F. Organization of Materials on Continuing Matters

  1. Where a matter has been adjourned, parties are responsible to ensure that all the materials for the adjourned are available at least one week before the new hearing date. (This responsibility requires reviewing the court file and may require requisition documents that may have been transferred to storage.)
  2. Where there are prior endorsements, orders or judgments that are relevant to a continuing matter, parties are encouraged to file an Orders Brief containing the relevant material.
  3. Between 12 noon and 2:30 p.m. two days before the hearing date of a long or complex motion or application, it is recommended that a representative of the moving party attend the Civil Motions Office and organize the court file to put all relevant documents, particularly where materials are voluminous or where a matter is scheduled to reconvene.

G. Costs

  1. Parties are reminded that unless they have agreed on the costs of a motion or application, Rule 57.01(6) requires every party who intends to seek costs for a motion or application to give to the other party before the hearing of the motion or application a costs outline not exceeding three pages in length (Form 57B) and bring a copy to the hearing. It is within the discretion of the court not to entertain cost submissions unless the parties have complied with this rule.

Part VI: Court Contact Information for Applications and Motions

A. Civil Scheduling Unit

22. 10th Fl. 393 University Ave.
Tel: 416-327-5535
Fax: 416-327-9470

Short Motions or Applications (Under 2 hours before a Judge or Master)
Email: JUS.G.MAG.CSD.CivilMotionsScheduling@Ontario.ca

Motion Scheduling Court (Over 2 hours, before a Judge)
Email: MotionsSchedulingCourt@Ontario.ca

Motion Scheduling Court: Summary Judgment
Email: MotionsSchedulingCourt@Ontario.ca

Confirmations for Motions and Applications
Email: JUS.G.MAG.CSD.CivilMotionsConfirmation@Ontario.ca
Fax: 416-327-5484

B. Masters Administration

23. 6th Fl. 393 University Ave.
Tel: 416-327-0506
Fax: 416-326-5416

Long Motions before a Master
Email: Civil.Masters.Long.Motions@Ontario.ca

Motions in Construction Lien or References
416-327-9404 or 416-212-9783

References
Telephone 416-327-0506 or attend in person to the Masters Administration on the 6th Floor, 393 University Avenue

Case Management Masters
Fax: 416-326-5416

C. Trial Coordinators Office

24. 7th Fl. 330 University Ave.
Tel: 416-327-5320
Fax: 416-327-5697

Pre-Trial Conference (Ordinary and Simplified Procedure)
Email: Toronto.SCJ.Civil.Pre-Trials@Ontario.ca

Trial Dates
Email: MAG.CSD.Trials@Ontario.ca