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Notices and Info about Criminal Proceedings

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Latest Announcements About Criminal Proceedings in the OCJ

Update June 8, 2022: Out of Court Adjournment procedure for Enhanced Designations expanding to Goderich, Owen Sound, Stratford and Walkerton June 13, 2022
Update April 11, 2022:
Out of Court Adjournment procedure for Enhanced Designations expanding to Hamilton April 4, 2022 and to Simcoe County (Barrie, Bracebridge, Collingwood, Huntsville, Midland and Orillia) April 11, 2022
Update March 31, 2022:
New Court Case Search Tool 
Update March 18, 2022: Interim Guidelines re Mode of Appearance for Ontario Court of Justice Criminal Proceedings.

For more announcements, see COVID-19 Notices and Information

For contact information and other information about specific courthouses, see Contacts and Courthouse Info


The Ontario Court of Justice has issued a number of practice directions and notices as it has revised its operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  This page summarizes the Court’s policies and directives regarding criminal court proceedings during the COVID-19 pandemic that remain in effect as the Court transitions from the pandemic.

Previous versions of notices and directives are available on the Archives page of the Ontario Court of Justice website.

Trials and Preliminary Inquiries

Resumption of Trials and Preliminary Inquiries

Trials and preliminary inquiries will be conducted in person unless a judge has directed that participants can attend using remote technology (e.g. by video). See Interim Guidelines re Mode of Appearance for Ontario Court of Justice Criminal Proceedings.

If you are an accused person and are unsure whether you should attend for a trial or preliminary inquiry in person or by video, please contact your lawyer or, if you do not have a lawyer, contact the courthouse where your case is being heard using the contact information on this website. If you are a witness and are unsure whether you should attend court by video or telephone or in person, please contact the person listed on the subpoena or on the correspondence you received with your subpoena.  If there is no contact information on your subpoena, contact the courthouse where your case is being heard.


COVID-19 Trial Readiness Courts

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of court locations implemented special COVID-19 Trial Readiness Courts, in which cases scheduled for a trial or preliminary inquiry are spoken to approximately one week before the scheduled hearing date

For details about Trial Readiness Courts, the schedule for Trial Readiness Courts in each court location. please see the  COVID-19 Trial Readiness Courts page


Scheduling Trials and Preliminary Inquiries 

The Court has established a remote procedure for setting trial dates, using a combination of an online form and a trial scheduling conference with the Trial Coordinator’s office.  For details, please see:


Case Management Courts (including set date courts and remand courts)

Case Management Appearances by Accused Persons who are in Custody

Criminal case management appearances for accused persons who are in custody will be conducted by videoconference or audio unless otherwise directed by a judicial officer

During the pandemic, the court established an electronic process for obtaining a judge’s order to bring an in-custody accused person before the court for a remote appearance (video or audio) – see section 2 of the COVID-19: Notice to Counsel and the Public re: Criminal Matters in the Ontario Court of Justice – Interim notice while the Court transitions from the COVID-19 pandemic


Waiver of Personal Attendance and Request for Adjournment / Remand by Accused Persons in Custody

The Court has issued a Practice Direction that permits accused persons who are in custody to waive their right to appear personally before the Court and to request an adjournment in their absence, by instructing defence counsel to complete and file a form on their behalf.  For details, please see:


Judge-led Intensive Case Management Courts

To address the large backlog of cases in the Ontario Court of Justice case management courts arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Court has established a new case management court – the Judge-led Intensive Case Management Court (JICMC) – in every base court location across the province. The JICMCs will supplement and assist the permanent (“regular”) case management courts already operating at each court location.  The JICMCs will supplement and assist the permanent (“regular”) case management courts already operating at each court location.  Cases will be referred into the JICMC based on case age, with priority being given to older cases. For more details, please see

COVID-19 Judge-led Intensive Case Management Courts

Judge-led Intensive Case Management Courts – Connection and Scheduling Information


Virtual Case Management Courts for Accused Persons who are out of Custody

The Ontario Court of Justice has implemented virtual criminal case management courts in all court locations across Ontario.

The virtual case management courts allow accused persons who are not in custody to appear for their case management date by videoconference or by audioconference (telephone).

For more information about virtual case management courts, see Scheduling and Conducting of Virtual Criminal Case Management Appearances.

Each case management court has its own unique video link and its own unique telephone number / passcode combination that is needed to connect to the court. Click on a court location to see the scheduling and connection information specific to that location.

Alexandria Atikokan Attawapiskat Bancroft
Barrie Belleville Blind River Bracebridge
Brampton Bradford Brantford Brighton
Brockville Cayuga Chapleau Chatham
Cobourg Cochrane Collingwood Cornwall
Dryden Dryden Satellite Elliot Lake Espanola
Exeter Fort Albany Fort Erie Fort Frances
Goderich Gogama Gore Bay Guelph
Haileybury Hamilton Hearst Hornepayne
Huntsville Kapuskasing Kashechewan Kenora
Kenora Satellite Killaloe Kingston Kirkland Lake
Kitchener Leamington Lindsay London
Mattawa Midland Milton Minden
Moosonee Morrisburg Napanee Newmarket
North Bay Orangeville L’Orignal Orillia
Oshawa Ottawa Owen Sound Parry Sound
Peawanuck Pembroke Perth Peterborough
Picton Rainy River Red Lake Renfrew
St. Catharines St. Thomas Sarnia Sault Ste Marie
Sharbot Lake Simcoe Sioux Lookout Smooth Rock Falls
Stratford Sturgeon Falls Sudbury Sundridge
Thunder Bay Thunder Bay Satellites Timmins Toronto (311 Jarvis)
Toronto (College Park) Toronto East (1911 Eglinton) Toronto (Old City Hall) Toronto North (1000 Finch)
Toronto West (2201 Finch) Walkerton Walpole Island First Nation Wawa
Welland Wikwemikong Windsor Woodstock

All participants should review the Court’s remote proceeding guidelines prior to attending any virtual court proceeding.

For technical information about participating in a Zoom hearing, please see the ZOOM User Guide for Remote Hearings in the Ontario Court of Justice.


Enhanced Designation of Counsel 

The Court encourages accused persons with legal representation to consider filing an Enhanced Designation of Counsel. Accused persons who are represented by counsel and who have filed an Enhanced Designation of Counsel may have their matters adjourned, without the accused personally appearing, in accordance with the procedure set out in the Practice Direction and in accordance with rule 4.5 of the Criminal Rules of the Ontario Court of Justice.

Accused persons can sign Enhanced Designations of Counsel through their counsel, using the procedure set out in s. 10.1 of the Practice Direction.

Please see:

Accused persons can sign Enhanced Designations of Counsel through their counsel, using the procedure set out in s. 10.1 of the Practice Direction.

Out-of-court adjournments:  To further streamline appearances and reduce the burden on case management courts, the Court is implementing a procedure in which accused persons whose counsel have filed an Enhanced Designation of Counsel may have their matters adjourned to the next court date without the matter being addressed in court.  The procedure has been implemented in the following court locations: Ottawa; Toronto (1911 Eglinton Ave. East, 2201 Finch Ave. West, 1000 Finch Ave. West, College Park, Old City Hall); Oshawa; London; Guelph; Kitchener; Windsor; Newmarket, Hamilton,  Simcoe County (Barrie, Bracebridge, Collingwood, Hunstville, Midland, Orillia), Goderich, Owen Sound, Stratford and Walkerton.  More locations will be added as the procedure is implemented across the province.


 

Guilty Plea Proceedings

Except for certain pleas that may be conducted by video on consent, pleas will be conducted with the accused person attending in person, unless otherwise ordered by a judge:  see Interim Guidelines re Mode of Appearance for Ontario Court of Justice Criminal Proceedings.

For connection information for regularly-scheduled plea courts in a number of Ontario Court of Justice locations, please see:


Bail Proceedings

Bail Hearings Protocol

To ensure that bail proceedings are dealt with effectively, the Court has established a protocol governing the conduct of bail hearings. Please see:


Applications to Vary Release Orders and Police Undertakings

The Ontario Court of Justice has established procedures to allow individuals to apply to vary their release conditions by electronic means rather than attending at the courthouse. The new procedures govern consent variations of release conditions for individuals who have been released either by the Court (s. 515 of the Criminal Code) or by the police (s. 498, 499 or 503 of the Criminal Code). Please see:


Judicial Pre-Trials

The Ontario Court of Justice continues to offer judicial pre-trials (JPTs) to address resolution options (including withdrawals or guilty pleas), accurate time estimates, and procedural and evidentiary issues that promote the proper use of trial time.

JPTs will be held by videoconference, unless otherwise directed by the presiding judge:  see Interim Guidelines re Mode of Appearance for Ontario Court of Justice Criminal Proceedings.

For further details about JPTs, please see:


Serving and Filing Court Documents

Court documents can be served by email pursuant to rule 3.3(1) of the Criminal Rules of the Ontario Court of Justice.

Documents, may be filed electronically (by email) pursuant to section 4.2 of the COVID-19: Notice to Counsel and the Public re: Criminal Matters in the Ontario Court of Justice – Interim notice while the Court transitions from the COVID-19 pandemic  (April 4, 2022) and the Notice to the Legal Profession and the Public regarding the process of electronically submitting documents at the Ontario Court of Justice .

Documents may be signed using an electronic signature, pursuant to rule 3.4 of the  Criminal Rules of the Ontario Court of Justice


S. 810 Peace Bond Applications

If you wish to apply for a s. 810 peace bond, you may either attend your local courthouse in person or use a remote s. 810 peace bond application process recently established by the Court.  To find out how to submit an application online using the remote process, please contact your local courthouse using the contact information on the Contacts and Courthouse Info page of this website.

Prior to attending at or contacting the courthouse please review the Guide for Applying for a Peace Bond and the Peace Bond Application form.  The Guide may answer many questions that you may have. Please note that the courthouse staff and Justices of the Peace/Judges cannot provide you with legal advice. If you wish to obtain legal advice please contact a lawyer.

Guide for Applying for a Peace Bond
Peace Bond Application Form


Private Prosecution Applications

If you wish to apply to lay a charge against another person, you may either attend your local courthouse in person or use a remote application process recently established by the Court.  To find out how to submit a private prosecution application online using the remote process, please contact your local courthouse using the contact information on the Contacts and Courthouse Info page of this website.

Prior to attending at a courthouse or contacting the courthouse please review the Guide for Applying for a Private Prosecution and the Private Prosecution Application form.  The Guide may answer many questions that you may have.  Please note that the courthouse staff and Justices of the Peace/Judges cannot provide you with legal advice. If you wish to obtain legal advice please contact a lawyer.


General Notices and Resources

Remote Hearing Guides

The Ontario Court of Justice is holding some court proceedings by using the Zoom platform or the JVN (Justice Video Network) WebRTC  platform, or by audioconference (telephone).

To help to ensure that hearings involving the use of video or telephone communications run effectively, the Court has published Guidelines for Conducting Remote Hearings in the Ontario Court of Justice. The Guidelines provide best practices for these types of hearings.

For technical information about participating in a Zoom hearing, please see the ZOOM User Guide for Remote Hearings in the Ontario Court of Justice.

For technical information about participating in a JVN hearing, please see the JVN WebRTC Manual and JVN WebRTC Troubleshooting Tips.


Notice to the Public and the Media

Notice Regarding Public and Media Access to Ontario Court of Justice Proceedings during the COVID-19 Pandemic (July 4, 2020)


Resources for Self-Represented Accused Persons

The following document provides general information to self-represented accused persons who have criminal cases in the Ontario Court of Justice during the COVID-19 pandemic:


Not sure about your next court date in a criminal case?

The “Court Case Search Tool”, available through Justice Services Online, allows users (anyone with a Service Ontario ONe-key account) to search for OCJ adult criminal court case information, including future court dates and appearance type, by entering an accused person’s name or the Information number.  The Tool is available at https://www.ontario.ca/page/search-court-cases-online

To see a list of cases that are scheduled for that day or the next day at a particular courthouse, go to the Daily Court Lists website:  http://www.ontariocourtdates.ca/.

If you are unsure about the date of your next court appearance, whether you are required to attend court on that date, or whether you should be attending in person or by remote technology, please contact your lawyer. If you do not have a lawyer, please see contact the courthouse to ask for assistance.