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Scheduling of Family Matters in the Ontario Court of Justice (September 11, 2020) Resumption of In-Person Hearings in Stratford and Woodstock Delayed; Gore Bay Deferred

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The directives on this page have been superseded or replaced by subsequent directives published on the Ontario Court of Justice public website at:
https://uat.ontariocourts.ca/ocj/covid-19/notices-and-info-re-family/ They are included here for reference only.

On September 2, 2020 the Ontario Court of Justice announced that as part of the Ministry of the Attorney General’s Phase Two re-opening plan, family law matters in additional courthouses and courtrooms were expected to resume on September 14, 2020.  See: Scheduling of Family Matters at the Ontario Court of Justice

This resumption of hearings is the second phase (Phase Two) of an incremental plan established by the Ministry of the Attorney General, which is responsible for courts administration and courthouse facilities, to facilitate the return to full court operations across Ontario.

As part of the return to operations plan, the Ministry committed to implementing health and safety measures in each courthouse.  This involves the completion of site assessments of additional OCJ courtrooms and the implementation of all necessary health and safety precautions, based on public health expert advice, for the protection of all court users, including judicial officers, lawyers, litigants, witnesses, staff and members of the public.

More information about the precautionary health and safety measures at courthouses implemented by the Ministry is available on the following website:  COVID-19: Reopening courtrooms.

The Ministry also advised that it would not re-open a Phase Two site on September 14, 2020 unless it was satisfied that the health and safety of courthouse participants would be adequately protected.

The Ministry has advised that it is not satisfied that all the necessary health and safety measures are in place to allow in-person proceedings to resume in Stratford and Woodstock as of September 14, 2020.  As a result, the Court will not resume hearing in-person family matters in Stratford and Woodstock on September 14, 2020 until further notice.

In addition, the government has deferred the decision to open Gore Bay, until further notice.

Family Matters in Stratford and Woodstock may Proceed Using Remote Technology

The Court is prepared to hear family matters using remote technology (audioconference and videoconference) in Stratford, Woodstock and Gore Bay until further notice.