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Notice to the Profession and the Public: Continuity of Court Operations in Thunder Bay using Remote Technology or at an Alternate Location (published November 6, 2020)

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Due to a fire at the Thunder Bay courthouse, court matters are either being conducted remotely or are being relocated to another location.

Until further notice, court proceedings other than trials or preliminary inquiries will be conducted virtually by teleconference or by video conference, unless otherwise directed by the judicial official.  Trials will be conducted either virtually (on consent of the parties) or in-person at an alternate location.

All court proceedings will proceed as originally scheduled, unless otherwise noted in a Notice published by the Court or otherwise directed by a judicial official.

This notice sets out general scheduling information that will apply, until further notice, to court proceedings of the Ontario Court of Justice in Thunder Bay.

This information is subject to change.  Weekly schedules for Thunder Bay court proceedings will be posted on the Ontario Court of Justice website (http://www.ontariocourts.ca/ocj/covid-19/notice-criminal-november6-2020/).  Please continue to check regularly for updates.

The Court would like to thank everyone, including court staff, counsel, other justice partners and the public for their continued efforts, patience and cooperation.

Family and Criminal Trials (including Preliminary Inquiries)

In person trials:

In-person trials and preliminary inquiries will be heard at an alternate site.

The Ministry of the Attorney General has been working diligently to identify and retrofit other locations to safely accommodate in-person hearings, including trials and preliminary inquiries.  This involves the completion of a site assessment 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.  The Ministry will not confirm an alternate location for court proceedings unless and until it has concluded that the health and safety of court participants will be adequately protected.

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 heath and safety measures include screening of all persons entering the alternate court site.  You can complete an online screening before going to court:  https://covid-19.ontario.ca/courthouse-screening. You must show the result as you enter.  If you cannot complete the screening online, other screening options are available at the alternate court site.

Two alternate sites have been approved for in-person court proceedings, including trials and preliminary inquiries:

  • The Valhalla Inn, 1 Valhalla Inn Road
  • 101 S. Syndicate Avenue – Victoriaville Mall (typically used for Provincial Offences Court)

All in-person trials involving persons who are in custody will take place at the Valhalla Inn. Location details for all in-person trials will be provided by the Trial Coordinator and will be published in the weekly scheduling notices published by the Court.

Virtual Trials:  Counsel are encouraged to consider and discuss with one another whether all or any portion of a hearing (including any witness testimony) can be conducted using remote technology. If counsel intend to propose that some or all of a hearing be conducted using remote technology, contact the Trial Coordinator, in advance, at ThunderBay.OCJ.Criminal.TrialCoordinator@ontario.ca

Virtual Family Proceedings

Family Conferences – Zoom or Teleconference

OCJ Family conferences will be conducted by Zoom or by teleconference.  Connection details will be provided by the Trial Coordinator.

Family Law Intake – Zoom

OCJ Family Court will be conducted by Zoom, which allows participants to attend by video (over the internet) or by telephone.

Internet: https://zoom.us/join                     Phone: 1-855-703-8985

Whether joining over the internet or by phone, you will need to enter a meeting ID and password:

Meeting ID:  658 2020 6619                     Password:     371039

Child Protection Court – Teleconference

Child Protection Court will proceed will be conducted by teleconference.  Connection details will be provided in the weekly scheduling notices published by the Court.

Note that Child Protection Hearings are held in the absence of the public unless the court orders otherwise: Child Youth and Family Services Act, s. 87.

Criminal Proceedings other than Trials and Preliminary Inquiries

Bail Hearing Court (#104) – Teleconference

Bail court will be conducted by teleconference:

Teleconference number: 1 866 633 0848            Conference ID: 4223974

Justice of the Peace Criminal Case Management Court (#105) – Zoom

The Justice of the Peace Criminal Case Management Court (First Appearances, Set Dates, Adjournments) will be conducted by Zoom, which allows participants to attend by video (over the internet) or by telephone.

Internet: https://zoom.us/join                     Phone: 1-855-703-8985

Whether joining over the internet or by phone, you will need to enter a meeting ID and password:

Meeting ID:  615 6271 9216                Password: 042968

Judge’s Criminal Case Management Court (#103) – Zoom

The Judge’s Criminal Case Management Court will be conducted by Zoom, which allows participants to attend by video (over the internet) or by telephone.

Internet: https://zoom.us/join                     Phone: 1-855-703-8985

Whether joining over the internet or by phone, you will need to enter a meeting ID and password:

Meeting ID: 667 0060 6651                       Password: 296363

Youth Court – Zoom

Youth Court will be conducted by Zoom, which allows participants to attend by video (over the internet) or by telephone.

Internet: https://zoom.us/join                     Phone: 1-855-703-8985

Whether joining over the internet or by phone, you will need to enter a meeting ID and password:

Meeting ID:  662 9327 7038                       Password: 892284

Plea Court and Criminal Trial Readiness Court – Zoom

Plea Court and Trial Readiness Court will be conducted by Zoom, which allows participants to attend by video (over the internet) or by telephone.

Internet: https://zoom.us/join                     Phone: 1-855-703-8985

Whether joining over the internet or by phone, you will need to enter a meeting ID and password:

Meeting ID    642 0673 5064                     Password:    344073

Judicial Pre-Trials – Teleconference

Criminal judicial pre-trials will continue to be conducted by teleconference.  Connection details will be provided by the Trial Coordinator.

If counsel needs to schedule or reschedule a Judicial Pre-Trial, they should contact the Trial Coordinator’s office.

Satellite Courts – Teleconference

Satellite Courts will be conducted by teleconference:

Teleconference number: 1 866 602 5461            Conference ID: 3354415

WASH (Weekend and Statutory Holidays) – Teleconference

The Northwest Region’s Weekend and Statutory bail court will be conducted by teleconference:

Teleconference Number:  1 866 633 0848          Conference ID:  4223974

Filing Materials

Counsel and parties are strongly encouraged to file all court documents electronically.

For criminal matters, counsel are required to file documents by email, unless otherwise directed by a judicial official.

For more information about filing documents electronically, see the Notice to the Legal Profession and the Public regarding the process of emailing documents at the Ontario Court of Justice.

Materials cannot be filed at the Thunder Bay Courthouse.  Limited counter services are available at the Ontario Public Guardian & Trustee Office at 189 Red River Rd., 9-11 a.m. & 2-4 p.m. Call (807) 626-7000 or email jus-g-mag-nwro@ontario.ca for additional information.

Access to Remote Proceedings

The public and the media are welcome to attend court proceedings, including remote proceedings.  However, some restrictions may apply because of court orders, legislative provisions and technological limitations.  For more information, please see the Court’s Notice Regarding Public and Media Access to Ontario Court of Justice Proceedings during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Further Information and Inquiries

If you require further information about court proceedings that were scheduled to proceed in Thunder Bay, please contact the courthouse at (807) 626-7000 or ThunderBay.OCJ.courts@ontario.ca

Weekly Schedules

Week of November 30 – December 4
Week of November 23 – 27
Week of November 16 – 20
Week of November 9 – 13
Week of November 2 – 6
Week of October 26 – 30
Week of October 19 – 23
Week of October 12 – 16
Week of October 5 – 9

WASH (Weekend and Statutory Holidays) Court Notice