SUPERSEDED Notice to Profession – Northeast Region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This notice has been superseded.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 1, 2020

In a Notice to the Profession, the Public and the Media dated March 15, 2020, The Honourable Geoffrey B. Morawetz, Chief Justice of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (the “SCJ”), advised that the court was suspending all regular operations effective March 17, 2020, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Since then, the SCJ has heard only urgent criminal, civil, and family matters.

Commencing on or about April 6, 2020 (the “expansion date”), the SCJ in the Northeast Region will begin hearing the following non-urgent matters via video or audio conference, using materials filed electronically as follows:

Criminal Matters

  1. Judicial pre-trial conferences (“JPTs”).
    1. Non-urgent JPTs shall be held for the purpose of exploring resolution only, and not for the purpose of trial management.
    2. All JPTs shall be arranged by the office of the trial coordinator, who will schedule the JPT once both the Crown and the defence have filed their pre-trial conference briefs using the generic email address for the trial coordinator at the court location in which the case is pending (see the list below).
    3. For the purpose of these non-urgent JPTs, the pre-trial conference briefs shall not be in Form 17 (see the Provincial Practice Direction effective May 21, 2019). Instead, both the Crown and the defence shall submit a brief containing: (1) a detailed synopsis of the allegations, (2) a list of the substantive and evidentiary issues the resolution of which would likely affect the outcome of the case, (3) a summary of each party’s position on those issues, and (4) a summary of the accused person’s criminal record.
    4. The court will begin on the expansion date with JPTs that were scheduled to be heard on and after that date, as the schedule existed before the court’s operations were suspended on March 17, 2020.
    5. As judicial resources allow, the trial coordinators will also schedule JPTs for cases in which JPTs were scheduled but were not held in the period between March 17 and the expansion date, and cases where the trial has been cancelled.
    6. As judicial resources allow, JPTs will also be scheduled for matters in which there has already been one or more JPT, where either the Crown or the defence believes that the JPT may assist in resolving a case.
    7. Where a case is not resolved after the expansion date, a trial management conference will be arranged by the trial coordinator once normal court operations resume.
  2. Guilty pleas.
    1. Guilty pleas will be heard and sentencing undertaken on all matters in which an accused person is presently in custody.
    2. Guilty pleas will be heard and sentencing undertaken in matters where the accused person is not in custody only where the sentence will not involve the immediate imposition of a period of custody, other than a conditional sentence.
    3. All pleas of guilt and sentencing hearings shall be arranged through the office of the trial coordinator by contacting the trial coordinator using the generic email address for that court location (see the list below).
    4. The Crown shall be responsible for advising the trial coordinator if a victim wishes to participate in the proceeding, in which case the trial coordinator shall endeavour to make arrangements with the Crown to allow the victim(s) to participate via audio or video conference. Where possible, victim participation should be facilitated by a means other than by providing the victim(s) with information allowing them to access one of the limited number of teleconference lines available to the court.
    5. Before being provided with the information necessary to join the audio or video conference by the trial coordinator, victims wishing to participate shall undertake not to interrupt the proceedings, not to publish the information in any way, and not to use the information for any purpose other than participating in the subject proceedings.
    6. Counsel are directed to the provisions of ss. 650, 650.01 and 715.23 of the Criminal Code with respect to the court’s ability to proceed via video conference, audio conference or in the absence of the accused. The matter may only proceed via audio conference with the consent of the accused unless he is represented by designated counsel.

Family Matters

  1. Motions brought using Form 14B under Rule 14(10) of the Family Law Rules involving orders made on consent.
    1. These motions are to be made by submitting the materials called for by the Family Law Rules electronically via Court Services Division’s (“CSD’s”) generic email address for each court site (see the list below).
  2. Motions brought using Form 14B under Rule 14(10) of the Family Law Rules relating to procedural and disclosure issues.
    1. These motions are to be made by submitting the materials called for by the Family Law Rules electronically via CSD’s generic email address for each court site (see the list below).
  3. Case conferences.
    1. To request a case conference, the parties must file the necessary materials using the generic email address of the trial coordinator for the centre in which the case is proceeding (see the list below).
    2. The case conference briefs filed by each party shall be no more than six pages in length (using the formatting required by the Family Law Rules). References to attachments shall be made using hyperlinks. References to case law shall be by hyperlink to CanLII.
    3. Once the necessary materials have been filed, the case conference will be scheduled by the trial coordinator.
    4. The case conference shall be no more than one-half hour in length, subject to the discretion of the presiding judge.
    5. Counsel shall ensure that his or her client will be available during the conference to provide instructions.
    6. Before being provided with the information necessary to join the audio or video conference by the trial coordinator, self-represented litigants shall undertake not to interrupt the proceedings, not to publish the information in any way, and not to use the information for any purpose other than participating in the subject proceedings.

Civil Matters

  1. Judicial pre-trial conferences (“JPTs”).
    1. Non-urgent JPTs shall be held for the purpose of exploring resolution only, and not for the purpose of trial management.
    2. All JPTs shall be arranged by and through the office of the trial coordinator in each centre.
    3. To request a JPT, the parties must file a pre-trial conference brief using the generic email address of the trial coordinator for the centre in which the case is proceeding (see the list below).
    4. The parties must certify in their pre-trial conference briefs: (1) that the case is ready for settlement discussions, (2) that there are no impediments to a full discussion of resolution, such as outstanding experts reports or productions, and (3) that the parties will be available to provide instructions and will have full authority to settle.
    5. The pre-trial briefs shall be no more than 10 pages in length (using the formatting required by the Rules of Civil Procedure) and shall not include any sections dealing only with trial management issues. References to attachments shall be by hyperlink. Hyperlinks to case law shall be to CanLII.
    6. Where the parties are represented by counsel, counsel shall provide a video or audio conference line, where possible.
    7. Before being provided with the information necessary to join the audio or video conference by the trial coordinator, self-represented litigants shall undertake not to interrupt the proceedings, not to publish the information in any way, and not to use the information for any purpose other than participating in the subject proceedings.
    8. The court will begin on the expansion date with JPTs that were scheduled to be heard on and after that date, as the schedule existed before the court’s operations were suspended on March 17, 2020.
    9. As judicial resources allow, the trial coordinators will also schedule JPTs for cases in which JPTs were scheduled but were not held in the period between March 17 and the expansion date, and cases where the trial has been cancelled.
    10. Thereafter, JPTs will be scheduled for cases in which no JPT has yet been scheduled.
    11. As judicial resources allow, JPTs will also be scheduled for matters in which there has already been one or more JPT, where any party believes that the JPT may assist in resolving a case.
    12. Where a case is not resolved after the expansion date, a trial management conference will be arranged by the trial coordinator once normal court operations resume.
  2. Motions in writing involving orders on consent.
    1. These motions shall be made by submitting the materials called for by the Rules of Civil Procedure electronically via CSD’s generic email address for each court site (see the list below).
    2. The materials shall be no more than 10 pages in length (using the formatting required by the Rules of Civil Procedure). References to attachments shall be by hyperlink. Hyperlinks to case law shall be to CanLII.
  3. Motions and applications for the approval of settlements under Rule 7 of the Rules of Civil Procedure.
    1. These motions shall be made by submitting the materials called for by the Rules of Civil Procedure electronically via CSD’s generic email address for each court site (see the list below).
    2. Supporting material, such as expert reports, shall be included by way of hyperlink. Hyperlinks to case law shall be to CanLII.

A list of the generic email addresses for the trial coordinators at each court location can be found here:

SCJ Locations Trial Coordinator Generic E-mail Address
Cochrane Cochrane.SCJ.TC@ontario.ca
Gore Bay / Manitoulin GoreBaySCJTC@ontario.ca
Haileybury Haileybury.scj.tc@ontario.ca
North Bay NorthBay.scj.tc@ontario.ca
Parry Sound ParrySound.scj.tc@ontario.ca
Sault Ste. Marie SaultSteMarie.scj.tc@ontario.ca
Sudbury Sudbury.SCJ.TC@ontario.ca
Timmins Cochrane.SCJ.TC@ontario.ca

A list of the generic email addresses for CSD at each court location can be found here:

SCJ Locations CSD Generic E-mail Address
Cochrane cochranecourthouse@ontario.ca
Gore Bay / Manitoulin gorebaycourthouse@ontario.ca
Haileybury haileyburycourthouse@ontario.ca
North Bay northbaycourthouse@ontario.ca
Parry Sound parrysoundcourthouse@ontario.ca
Sault Ste. Marie saultstemariecourthouse@ontario.ca
Sudbury sudburycourthouse@ontario.ca
Timmins cochranecourthouse@ontario.ca

The Honourable M. Gregory Ellies
Regional Senior Judge for the Northeast Region