SUPERSEDED Notice to Profession – Central West Region

IMPORTANT NOTICE

This notice has been superseded. Please refer to:  http://www.ontariocourts.ca/scj/notices-and-orders-covid-19/#REGIONAL_NOTICES for current information.

April 2, 2020

By Notice to the Profession dated March 15, 2020, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (SCJ) advised the profession, the media and the public that, while the SCJ was suspending court operations, it would continue to hear only urgent matters in criminal, family and civil.

During the intervening period the SCJ has continuously explored all avenues to expand the services it provides to the public.  As set out in the Province-Wide April 2, 2020 Notice to the Profession issued by Geoffrey B. Morawetz, Chief Justice, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, each Region is expanding the scope of matters it will hear effective April 6, 2020.

Having considered the various resource and technological constraints to hearing matters during the suspension of court operations, the Central West Region will, effective April 6, 2020, expand matters and hearings to deal with the following  matters.

During the next several weeks, Central West Region will continue to monitor the situation and, if possible, will further expand the types of matters and hearing that will be heard during these extraordinary times.

CRIMINAL MATTERS

Urgent

All urgent requests for hearings in criminal applications are to be set out in a letter (max 2 pages) setting out that:

  1. the relief requested;
  2. the reason why the matter is urgent;
  3. confirming that the matter can be dealt with by way of a conference hearing.

The request must be sent electronically to:

Brampton-Peel Region Courthouse scjtrialofficebrampton@ontario.ca
Milton-Halton Region Courthouse SCJHaltontrialoffice@ontario.ca
Orangeville – Dufferin County Courthouse OrangevilleSCJTrialOffice@ontario.ca
Guelph- Wellington County Courthouse GuelphOffice.SCJ@ontario.ca
Owen Sound- Grey County Courthouse SCJGreyBruce@ontario.ca
Walkerton- Bruce County Courthouse SCJGreyBruce@ontario.ca

The letter will be reviewed by an SCJ judge to determine whether the matter is urgent.  If not, counsel requesting will be advised by return email.

If the SCJ judge determines that the matter may be urgent, the SCJ judge will arrange a conference call with counsel/parties.

If the application proceeds directions for the application will be provided to counsel/parties and an SCJ judge will be assigned to hear the application

The application materials from either party are limited to 10MB unless the SCJ judge grants an order permitting the materials to be sent on multiple email batches.

The parties undertake to file all materials and any fee payable upon resumption of normal court operations.

The following criminal matters will continue to be heard by the SCJ:

  1. Bail issues (detention reviews and initial hearings on s. 469 offences) for those in custody;
  2. Urgent bail issues for those on release (health or Covid19 related);
  3. Joint submission guilty pleas for those in custody who are at a time-served position;
  4. In-custody pre-trial conferences;
  5. Extending stays of driving prohibitions, fine payments and bail pending appeal orders for Summary Conviction Appeals that have a sunset clause before May 1; and
  6. Habeas corpus

Additional Criminal Matters

All requests for the following hearings in criminal matters should be delivered electronically to:

Brampton-Peel Region Courthouse scjtrialofficebrampton@ontario.ca
Milton-Halton Region Courthouse SCJHaltontrialoffice@ontario.ca
Orangeville – Dufferin County Courthouse OrangevilleSCJTrialOffice@ontario.ca
Guelph- Wellington County Courthouse GuelphOffice.SCJ@ontario.ca
Owen Sound- Grey County Courthouse SCJGreyBruce@ontario.ca
Walkerton- Bruce County Courthouse SCJGreyBruce@ontario.ca

The electronic materials should set out in two pages or less the relief requested and any other relevant matter to the SCJ judge’s consideration for the hearing.

The letter will be reviewed by an SCJ judge to determine whether and how to proceed.  If not, counsel requesting will be advised by return email.

If the SCJ judge determines that the matter should proceed, the SCJ judge will arrange a conference call with counsel/parties.

The SCJ judge will provide directions on how and when the matter will proceed.

The application materials from either party are limited to 10MB unless the SCJ judge grants an order permitting the materials to be sent on multiple email batches.

The following additional criminal matters are subject to this expansion:

  1. Joint submission guilty pleas for those in custody who will receive a penitentiary sentence;
  2. Out-of-custody pre-trial conferences with priority given to scheduled pre-trials which were adjourned due to the court suspension; and
  3. Extending stays of driving prohibitions, fine payments and bail pending appeal orders that have a sunset clause before June 1.

Counsel/Parties are advised that the SCJ is not setting criminal trial or dates for applications because:

    1. No certainty when courts will re-open
    2. Whenever courts re-open in custody cases will have to be prioritized considering already scheduled in-custody and other high priority trials
    3. Jury summonses must be mailed 28 days before the court date – the June 1 start-up date will have to be re-assessed by mid to late April.

FAMILY MATTERS

Urgent Matters

All urgent requests for hearings in family matters (as described in the March 15, 2020 Notice to the Profession) are to be set out in a letter (max 2 pages) setting out:

  1. the relief requested;
  2. the reason why the matter is urgent;
  3. a draft order(s);
  4. confirmation that the matter can be dealt with by way of a conference hearing, if approved.

The request must be sent to:

Brampton-Peel Region Courthouse scjtrialofficebrampton@ontario.ca
Milton-Halton Region Courthouse SCJHaltontrialoffice@ontario.ca
Orangeville – Dufferin County Courthouse OrangevilleSCJTrialOffice@ontario.ca
Guelph- Wellington County Courthouse GuelphOffice.SCJ@ontario.ca
Owen Sound- Grey County Courthouse SCJGreyBruce@ontario.ca
Walkerton- Bruce County Courthouse SCJGreyBruce@ontario.ca

The letter will be reviewed by an SCJ judge to determine whether the matter is urgent.  If not, the party requesting the hearing will be advised by an endorsement in a return email.

If the SCJ judge determines that the matter is urgent, the judge will issue an endorsement by email setting out the term for the filing, service, the time of and any other directions for the hearing of the application.

The electronic materials from each party are limited to 10MB. Judges will NOT have access to court record files. As a result, parties must include electronic copies of all court filed documents which are relevant to the matter.

The parties must undertake to file all materials and any fee payable upon resumption of normal court operations.

Additional Matters

Consent Motions:

All consent motions in family law matters, may be delivered electronically to:

Brampton-Peel Region Courthouse scjtrialofficebrampton@ontario.ca
Milton-Halton Region Courthouse SCJHaltontrialoffice@ontario.ca
Orangeville – Dufferin County Courthouse OrangevilleSCJTrialOffice@ontario.ca
Guelph- Wellington County Courthouse GuelphOffice.SCJ@ontario.ca
Owen Sound- Grey County Courthouse SCJGreyBruce@ontario.ca
Walkerton- Bruce County Courthouse SCJGreyBruce@ontario.ca

The electronic materials must include the motion materials, consent by all parties, email addresses for all parties and a draft order.  Materials previously filed must also be included in the motion materials.

The electronic materials from each party are limited to 10MB. Judges will NOT have access to court record files. As a result, parties must include electronic copies of all court filed documents which are relevant to the matter.  The parties must advise that a “basket motion” had been filed prior to court suspension and agrees to abandon any basket motion for the same or similar relief.

An SCJ judge will review the materials and, if appropriate, issue an order as requested or amended.

In the event an SCJ judge has issues or concerns with the materials or the proposed order, the SCJ judge will provide the parties with an endorsement by email regarding the deficiencies or reasons for denial of the order.

The parties must undertake to file all materials and any fee payable upon resumption of normal court operations.

Motions in Writing:

Where all the parties agree that the motion can proceed based on written materials only without a conference hearing, the parties may deliver the motion materials electronically to:

Brampton-Peel Region Courthouse scjtrialofficebrampton@ontario.ca
Milton-Halton Region Courthouse SCJHaltontrialoffice@ontario.ca
Orangeville – Dufferin County Courthouse OrangevilleSCJTrialOffice@ontario.ca
Guelph- Wellington County Courthouse GuelphOffice.SCJ@ontario.ca
Owen Sound- Grey County Courthouse SCJGreyBruce@ontario.ca
Walkerton- Bruce County Courthouse SCJGreyBruce@ontario.ca

The electronic motion materials must include the motion materials from both parties, factums, draft orders, email addresses of all parties and written confirmation by all parties to proceeding with the motion by written submissions only.

The electronic materials from each party are limited to 10MB. Judges will NOT have access to court record files. As a result, parties must include electronic copies of all court filed documents which are relevant to the matter.

An SCJ judge will consider the materials and, in due course, issue an endorsement/order on the motion.  The SCJ judge may reserve the issue of costs and give directions for written submissions on costs.

The parties must undertake to file all materials and any fee payable upon resumption of normal court operations.

Case Conferences:

Where all the parties wish to proceed with a case conference limited to a total of 1/2 hour conference hearing time on one or two urgent or pressing issues identified by the parties, the parties may send their case conference materials to:

Brampton-Peel Region Courthouse scjtrialofficebrampton@ontario.ca
Milton-Halton Region Courthouse SCJHaltontrialoffice@ontario.ca
Orangeville – Dufferin County Courthouse OrangevilleSCJTrialOffice@ontario.ca
Guelph- Wellington County Courthouse GuelphOffice.SCJ@ontario.ca
Owen Sound- Grey County Courthouse SCJGreyBruce@ontario.ca
Walkerton- Bruce County Courthouse SCJGreyBruce@ontario.ca

The materials must include case conference briefs, proof of service, identification of the issues to be canvassed and draft orders.  At least 3 available dates and times for the hearing must also be included.

Counsel/parties must confirm in their materials that they have previously fully discussed the issues to be dealt with at the case conference.

The electronic materials from each party are limited to 4 pages plus limited attachments (as described in the Family Law Rules). Judges will NOT have access to court record files. As a result, parties must include electronic copies of all court filed documents which are relevant to the matter.

An SCJ judge will review the case conference briefs and the judge will issue a brief endorsement by email setting out the time of and directions for the case conference.

The parties must undertake to file all materials and any fee payable upon resumption of normal court operations.

CIVIL MATTERS

Urgent Matters

All urgent requests for hearings in civil matters (as described in the March 15, 2020 Notice to the Profession) are to be set out in a letter (max 2 pages) setting out that:

  1. the relief requested;
  2. the reason(s) why the matter is urgent;
  3. a draft order(s);
  4. confirming that the matter can be dealt with by way of a conference hearing, if approved.

The request must be sent to:

Brampton-Peel Region Courthouse scjtrialofficebrampton@ontario.ca
Milton-Halton Region Courthouse SCJHaltontrialoffice@ontario.ca
Orangeville – Dufferin County Courthouse OrangevilleSCJTrialOffice@ontario.ca
Guelph- Wellington County Courthouse GuelphOffice.SCJ@ontario.ca
Owen Sound- Grey County Courthouse SCJGreyBruce@ontario.ca
Walkerton- Bruce County Courthouse SCJGreyBruce@ontario.ca

 

The letter will be reviewed by an SCJ judge to determine whether the matter is urgent.  If not, the party requesting the hearing will be advised by return email.

If the SCJ judge determines that the matter is urgent, the judge will issue an endorsement setting out the term for the filing, service, the time of and any other directions for the hearing of the application.

The electronic materials from each party are limited to 10MB. Judges will NOT have access to court record files. As a result, parties must include electronic copies of all court filed documents which are relevant to the matter.

The parties must undertake to file all materials and any fee payable upon resumption of normal court operations.

Additional Matters

Rule 7 and Consent Motions:

All Rule 7 and consent motions in civil law matters, may be delivered electronically to:

Brampton-Peel Region Courthouse scjtrialofficebrampton@ontario.ca
Milton-Halton Region Courthouse SCJHaltontrialoffice@ontario.ca
Orangeville – Dufferin County Courthouse OrangevilleSCJTrialOffice@ontario.ca
Guelph- Wellington County Courthouse GuelphOffice.SCJ@ontario.ca
Owen Sound- Grey County Courthouse SCJGreyBruce@ontario.ca
Walkerton- Bruce County Courthouse SCJGreyBruce@ontario.ca

The electronic materials must include the motion materials, (for consent motions) consent by all parties, email addresses for all parties and a draft order(s).

The electronic materials from each party are limited to 10MB. Judges will NOT have access to court record files. As a result, parties must include electronic copies of all court filed documents which are relevant to the matter.  If the parties have previously filed a “basket motion” they must advise of this and undertake to withdraw the “basket motion”.

An SCJ judge will review the materials and, if appropriate, issue an order as requested or amended.

In the event an SCJ judge has issues with the materials or the proposed order, the SCJ judge will provide the parties with an endorsement regarding the deficiencies or reasons for denial of the order.

The parties must undertake to file all materials and any fee payable upon resumption of normal court operations.

Motions in Writing:

Where all the parties agree that the motion can proceed based on written materials only without a conference hearing, the parties may deliver the motion materials electronically to:

Brampton-Peel Region Courthouse scjtrialofficebrampton@ontario.ca
Milton-Halton Region Courthouse SCJHaltontrialoffice@ontario.ca
Orangeville – Dufferin County Courthouse OrangevilleSCJTrialOffice@ontario.ca
Guelph- Wellington County Courthouse GuelphOffice.SCJ@ontario.ca
Owen Sound- Grey County Courthouse SCJGreyBruce@ontario.ca
Walkerton- Bruce County Courthouse SCJGreyBruce@ontario.ca

The electronic motion materials must include the motion materials from both parties, factums, draft orders, email addresses of all parties and written confirmation by all parties to proceeding with the motion by written submissions only.

The electronic materials from each party are limited to 10MB. Judges will NOT have access to court record files. As a result, parties must include electronic copies of all court filed documents which are relevant to the matter.

An SCJ judge will consider the materials and in due course, issue an endorsement/order on the matter.  The SCJ judge may reserve on the issue of costs and give directions for written submissions on costs.

The parties must undertake to file all materials and any fee payable upon resumption of normal court operations.

A/RSJ Ricchetti