Home » COVID-19 Notices and Information » Notice to the Legal Profession and the Public regarding the process of electronically submitting documents at the Ontario Court of Justice (updated November 19, 2020)

Notice to the Legal Profession and the Public regarding the process of electronically submitting documents at the Ontario Court of Justice (updated November 19, 2020)

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The Ontario Court of Justice has modified procedures and practices as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For detailed information about these procedures and practices, please refer to the criminal notices on the COVID-19 Notices and Updates page on the Ontario Court of Justice website.

To support physical distancing and prevent the spread of COVID-19, the number of people who can attend in a courthouse remains limited.  To reduce the need for in-person attendances at the courthouse to file documents, court filings can be submitted electronically. In criminal cases, counsel and agents authorized under s. 800(2) of the Criminal Code are required to file documents by email, unless otherwise directed by a judicial official.  If you are unable to file documents electronically, contact your local courthouse to find out about other options that are available or information about attending your local courthouse.

Instructions for filing documents or submitting requests by email are as follows:

FILING REQUESTS OR DOCUMENTS BY EMAIL FOR CRIMINAL MATTERS:

  1. Documents and requests shall be sent by email to the appropriate courthouse. For a list of email addresses, see Ontario Court of Justice – Courthouse Email Addresses.
  2. In order to ensure your request is received and processed by the appropriate court office, the subject line should include the following information, unless otherwise specified in a Practice Direction or Notice issued by the Court:
    • LEVEL OF COURT (OCJ)
    • TYPE OF MATTER (Criminal)
    • INFORMATION NUMBER or ACCUSED NAME
    • TYPE OF DOCUMENT (Bring Forward Request, Trial Application to Exclude Evidence, Other Request)
  1. The body of the email should include the following information if applicable:
    1. the Information file number (if known)
    2. name and date of birth of the accused and charge(s)
    3. details of next scheduled court appearance (date, courtroom and nature of appearance)
      Note:  if unsure of the next court date, include details of the last scheduled court appearance
    4. if a particular judicial officer is seized with the matter, the name of the officer.
    5. nature of filing / request (e.g. bring forward request, probation variation)
    6. list and description of documents attached (note: attachments cannot exceed 35MB)
    7. confirmation of service, setting out when and how any other party was served.
    8. name, role (i.e. lawyer, agent, Crown, defence, etc.,) and contact information of the person submitting the request (email and phone number).
  1. Delivery/receipt of a document by email is not confirmation that the document has been accepted by the Court for filing.
  2. Requests to bring an out of custody criminal matter before the Court are subject to approval by a judicial official. If a hearing is scheduled, the lawyer/party will be contacted and provided with details regarding the hearing, including arrangements for remote attendance, e.g. attendance by telephone.
  3. If a hearing is not required (for example, an application to vary a probation condition that the judge decides in chambers), the party/counsel who submits the request and/or documents will be contacted and advised of the Court’s determination.

Legal Resources and Assistance

For information about resources that may be able to provide you with legal assistance in connection with your matter, please refer to the criminal notices on the COVID-19 Notices and Updates page and the Contacts and the Courthouse Information page on the Ontario Court of