Practice Direction: Bail Court Waiver of Appearance and Bring Forward Protocol

Effective Date: March 11, 2024

The following Practice Direction is issued under rules 4.5 and 5 of the Criminal Rules of the Ontario Court of Justice.


The objective of this practice direction is to enhance access to fair and timely bail proceedings.  To ensure the highest and best use of court time and institutional video resources, this practice direction will reduce the number of administrative appearances in bail court through two initiatives.  First, accused persons whose bail matter is going to be adjourned may waive their bail appearance through counsel and have the matter adjourned in their absence.  Second, the court has established a procedure to allow accused persons to bring their matter forward by email to be addressed in bail court. This will encourage accused persons who are working on a bail plan to adjourn their matter for a longer period, rather than appearing day-to-day.

Application and Interpretation

  1. In this Practice Direction, “defence counsel” includes duty counsel and agents authorized under sections 800(2) and 802.1of the Criminal Code.
  2. This practice direction applies to bail appearances at the court locations listed in appendix A as of March 11, 2024.

Waiver of Appearance

  1. Accused persons may waive their right to appear personally before the Bail Court and request to have their matter adjourned in their absence through defence counsel, in accordance with the procedure set out in this practice direction. By waiving their bail appearance, the accused person is waiving their right to appear before the Court, consenting to their matter being addressed and adjourned in their absence, and waiving their right to be present when the Warrant of Remand authorizing their detention until their next court appearance is addressed and signed.
  2. Defence counsel must appear, either personally or by agent, to address the Court and confirm the waiver and seek an adjournment on behalf of the accused person. This appearance may be either in person or using remote technology.
  3. Upon hearing from defence counsel and the Crown, the Court may adjourn the matter without the accused personally appearing in court, in accordance with rule 4.5 of the Criminal Rules of the Ontario Court of Justice. The Court may also address and sign a Warrant of Remand, authorizing the accused person’s continued detention until the next court date, in the accused person’s absence.
  4. The waiver is subject to judicial approval. The presiding judicial officer may reject the waiver and direct that the accused appear before the Court.
  5. Defence counsel must advise the accused of the adjournment and the next court date by telephone or videoconference or, if arrangements have been made with the institution, by sending an email to the institution which will be printed and provided to the accused person.
  6. The waiver procedure cannot be used if a non-communication order under s. 516(2) is being imposed by the Court.
  7. No single adjournment under this practice direction can be for longer than seven (7) business days.
  8. No more than four consecutive appearances may be waived by an accused person. After the accused person has appeared before the Court, the presiding judicial officer may direct whether the accused may waive any subsequent bail appearances.

Bringing Forward a Bail Appearance by Email

  1. Accused persons may bring their matter(s) forward to be addressed in bail court on a date earlier than their next-scheduled appearance, using the procedure set out in this section.
  2. This bring-forward procedure may only be used for a video appearance. If the accused person wishes to appear in person, a judge’s order is required.
  3. Defence counsel may complete these steps on the accused person’s behalf.
  4. Defence counsel must send an email to the relevant local court staff, the relevant Crown Attorney’s office and the relevant correctional institution, using the contact information set out in appendix B.
  5. The email must be sent at least 24 hours in advance of the requested bring forward date and must comply with the following:
  1. The email subject line is: “Bringing Bail Matter Forward[Name of Accused Person]”
  2. The content of the email should include
    • Name and date of birth of the accused person
    • Information numbers (if known) or description of charges
    • Name of the custodial institution where the accused is currently detained
    • Details regarding the currently scheduled next appearance – date, court location, courtroom and mode of appearance.
    • Date and courtroom to which the matter is to be brought forward.
    • Confirmation that the accused person has requested that the matter be brought forward for a video appearance, and the purpose of the appearance, e.g. consent release, bail hearing; to set a date for a bail hearing.
    • Defence counsel’s name, phone number and email.

Attached as appendix C is a sample email that satisfies these elements.

  1. The bring forward request is subject to judicial approval.
  2. Upon receipt of the email, unless a judicial officer directs otherwise:
  1. court staff will arrange to have the matter brought forward to be addressed in court, e.g. locate the Information(s) to bring into court, add the matter(s) to the appropriate bail docket, etc.
  2. the correctional institution will locate and produce the Warrant(s) of Remand and will arrange to have the accused person brought before the relevant bail court for a video appearance on the requested date,
  3. if the Crown Attorney’s office has a concern about the matter being brought forward, the Crown should immediately email defence counsel, local court staff, and the correctional institution.


Appendix A – List of Locations

Appearances from the Monteith Correctional Complex in the Monteith Bail Court, which serves the following court locations: Cochrane, Haileybury and Timmins

Appearances in the Sault Ste. Marie bail court from the Algoma Treatment and Remand Centre.


Appendix B – Email Contact Information

Correctional Facilities

Monteith Correctional Complex:

Algoma Treatment and Remand Centre

For email bring forwards:

For counsel to advise of next court dates:

Court Locations / Court Staff

Cochrane Courthouse (court staff):

Haileybury Courthouse (court staff):

Timmins Courthouse (court staff):

Sault Ste. Marie (Algoma) Courthouse (court staff):

Crowns Offices

Cochrane Provincial Crown:

Cochrane Federal Crown (PPSC):

Haileybury Provincial Crown:

Haileybury Federal Crown (PPSC):

Timmins Provincial Crown:

Timmins Federal Crown (PPSC):

Wawa Federal Crown (PPSC) (include both emails) and

Sault Ste. Marie (Algoma) Provincial Crown:

Sault Ste. Marie/Elliot Lake Federal Crown (PPSC):


Appendix C – Sample Email to Bring Forward for a Bail Appearance

Subject Line: Bringing Bail Matter Forward – John Doe [accused name], DOB  1 January 1999 [date of birth]

John Doe [Name of Accused Person] is presently detained at the Monteith Correctional Complex [correctional institution] on the following Information(s)/charges:  4810-2023-999-1122 [Information number or description of charges].  The accused person’s next bail court appearance is currently scheduled for February 10, 2024 [current next date] in the Monteith Bail Court by video.  I am requesting the matter be brought forward to February 7, 2024 [bring forward date] for a video appearance in the Monteith Bail Court for the purpose of a consent release [purpose of appearance].

Defence Counsel: Jane Smith
Xxxxx.XXXXXX@Xxxxx [email]

Ontario Court of Justice