Effective September 21, 2020, the Court of Appeal for Ontario has resumed public/media access to its Records Office and the viewing of court files. In addition to the information available on the Court’s website, and until further notice, the Court will permit access to court records based on the following criteria:
The following precautions will continue to be taken to ensure the health and safety of all clients and staff during this emergency period:
Resources available for use:
The following fees apply to view court files:
Requests to view court files can be initiated as follows:
Photocopies of court documents can be made by:
Only the Court or a lawyer on record can requisition the original papers and reproducible exhibits from the originating court and have them transferred to the Court of Appeal for Ontario.
For criminal appeals, a lawyer on record may sign out exhibits once received by the Court with the written consent of the Crown, unless a judge of the Court of Appeal for Ontario orders otherwise.
For civil appeals, original court documents and exhibits are only transferred to the Court of Appeal for Ontario by order of a judge of this court pursuant to Rule 61.09 (2) of the Rules of Civil Procedure.
Exhibits may be viewed by any member of the public/media if judicial approval is obtained from a judge of the Court of Appeal for Ontario. Judicial approval can be sought by completing and submitting a “Request Form Access to Exhibits”. The form can be obtained as follows:
Judicial approval is not required to access exhibits contained in appeal books. All court documents and exhibits transferred to the Court of Appeal for Ontario are returned to the originating court after the appeal or motion is heard and closed.
The Court of Appeal for Ontario retains closed files on-site for a period of 3 years from the date of the release of the final decision. After that time, they are transferred to an off-site location.
Closed files on-site are available for viewing the same day or next day after a request is made. The requesting party is notified at the time of ordering when the file will be available for viewing. The files are available for viewing for 1 week, unless an extension is requested. If no further extension is requested, the file will be returned to storage and must be requisitioned at the prescribed fee.
Closed files off-site take 3-5 business days to be transferred to the Court. The requesting party is contacted when the file is available to be viewed. The files are available for viewing for 2 weeks, unless an extension is requested. If no further extension is requested, the file will be returned to storage and must be requisitioned at the prescribed fee.
The Court of Appeal for Ontario retains access to closed files for a period of 30 years from the date of the final decision. Index books are available in the Records Office to obtain file numbers for court files from 1965 to 1990 as there are no electronic records for these files.
After 30 years, files are transferred to and retained by Archives of Ontario. Archives of Ontario can be contacted as follows:
Archives of Ontario
134 Ian Macdonald Boulevard
Toronto, Ontario, M7A 2C5
Toll-Free: 1-800-668-9933 (Ontario only)
Inquiries by Media: MGCS.MediaRelations@ontario.ca