Practice Direction: Judge-led Intensive Case Management Courts
Published September 3, 2021; last updated May 8, 2023
- The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a very large volume of cases in the Ontario Court of Justice case management courts. To address this backlog of cases, 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 supplement and assist the permanent (“regular”) case management courts already operating at each court location.
Threshold / Scope of Cases for the JICMC
- Cases will be referred into the JICMC based on case age, with priority given to older cases.
- Unless otherwise directed by the Regional Senior Judge or designate, all cases in “regular” case management courts that are 15 months or older will be referred to the JICMC.
- At the direction of the Regional Senior Judge or designate, the age threshold for referral to a JICMC may be adjusted in a location to account for case volumes. For example, if a location has already addressed most cases at the 15-month threshold, it may lower the threshold (e.g. 12 months)
- Cases that meet the age threshold but do not require further case management may be adjourned into a different court. For example,
- if a trial or preliminary inquiry date is set and no outstanding issues require an intervening date (other than a confirmation / second event), the case can be adjourned to the confirmation / second event date, rather than the JICMC
- if the matter is resolving, the matter may be adjourned to a plea / resolution court, rather than the JICMC.
- Both counsel matters and self-represented accused matters will be referred to the JICMC.
Appearances in the JICMC
- Unless otherwise directed by a judicial officer, accused persons and counsel may appear in the JICMC virtually (using Zoom) or in person.
- Accused persons who attend using Zoom, are encouraged to appear by videoconference wherever possible, however, they may attend by audioconference (telephone), unless a judicial officer orders otherwise.
- Counsel who attend using Zoom are expected to attend by videoconference. Counsel who cannot attend by videoconference may attend by audioconference (telephone) with permission of a judicial officer.
- Note: Nothing in this notice affects the authority of a judicial officer to direct that an accused person or counsel appear in court using a particular mode of appearance. In adjourning any matter, a judicial officer may direct that the accused or counsel attend the next court date in person to ensure a meaningful appearance to move their matter forward.
- The connection information for the JICMC in each court location is available in the Courthouse location and information search tool on the Ontario Court of Justice website.
* Note re previous versions. This practice direction was originally issued on September 3, 2021 entitled, “COVID-19: Judge-led Intensive Case Management Courts”. Previous versions of the practice direction are available on the Archives page on the Ontario Court of Justice website.