Home » COVID-19 Notices and Information » Notice to the Profession and the Public re: Criminal Trials and Preliminary Inquiries Resuming in the Ontario Court of Justice at Stratford on September 28, 2020 (Published September 25, 2020)

Notice to the Profession and the Public re: Criminal Trials and Preliminary Inquiries Resuming in the Ontario Court of Justice at Stratford on September 28, 2020 (Published September 25, 2020)

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On September 11, 2020 the Ontario Court of Justice announced that the resumption of criminal trials and preliminary inquiries in the Stratford courthouse, originally scheduled for September 14, 2020, would be delayed.
The Ministry has now advised that it is satisfied that all of the necessary health and safety measures are in place in the Stratford courthouse to allow in-person proceedings to resume. As a result, the Ontario Court of Justice will resume hearing in-person criminal trials and preliminary inquiries in the Stratford courthouse on September 28, 2020.

Background

The resumption of in-person hearings in the Stratford courthouse is part 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 is implementing health and safety measures in each courthouse. This involves the completion of site assessments at all courthouses 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 heath and safety measures include screening of all persons entering the courthouse. Before you enter an Ontario courthouse, you will need to answer screening questions. Based on your answers, you will be told whether or not you can enter. If you cannot enter, you will be told what to do next. You can complete the 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 courthouse.

The Ministry confirmed it would not re-open any courthouse unless and until it has concluded that the health and safety of courthouse participants will be adequately protected.

On September 11, 2020, the Ministry advised that it was not satisfied that all of the necessary health and safety measures were in place in the Stratford courthouse to allow in-person proceedings to resume as of September 14, 2020. As a result, the Ontario Court of Justice announced that it will not resume hearing in-person trials and preliminary inquiries at the Stratford courthouse on September 14, 2020.

The Ministry has now advised that the necessary health and safety measures are in place in the Stratford courthouse to allow in-person hearings to resume. As a result, the Ontario Court of Justice will resume hearing in-person criminal trials and preliminary inquiries at the Stratford courthouse on September 28, 2020.

For more information, see the previous notices issued by the Ontario Court of Justice:

Notice to the Profession and the Public re: Delay in Resuming Criminal Trials and Preliminary Inquiries in the Ontario Court of Justice at Gore Bay, Orillia, Stratford and Woodstock (Published September 11, 2020)
Notice to the Profession and the Public re: Resumption of Criminal Trials and Preliminary Hearings in the Ontario Court of Justice (Published August 26, 2020)
Notice to the Profession and the Public re: Criminal Trials and Preliminary Inquiries Resuming in the Ontario Court of Justice at Gore Bay, Orillia and Woodstock on September 16, 2020 (Published September 15, 2020)