Re: Matters Heard By Associate Judges Sitting as Registrars in Bankruptcy
This Notice dated February 4, 2021 with regard to Bankruptcy will supersede the Notice to the Profession dated June 26, 2020 and more specifically pages 16 – 19.
Matters Heard by Associate Judges sitting as Registrars in Bankruptcy
1.1 In accordance with the Notices to the Profession, all in-person hearings will not resume until further notice by the Chief Justice or subject to any further direction from this court.
1.2 Associate Judges sitting as Registrars in Bankruptcy in Hamilton will now hear all bankruptcy matters virtually, in writing, by teleconference or video conference. In exceptional cases, the Registrars may use their discretion to determine whether a matter should be heard in-person, on a case by case basis.
1.3 The Bankruptcy Court Office will only schedule in person matters when a request is made and at the direction of the Registrar in Bankruptcy.
1.4 The Bankruptcy Court scheduling office will continue virtual operations until further notice or direction.
1.5 The party shall file their materials with the Bankruptcy Court office at Hamiltonciviloffice@ontario.ca. The party will also attach a completed Hearing request form. The party shall advise of preferred manner, dates and times for the hearing of the matter as well as a time estimate for hearing. If the estimated time for the hearing exceeds one hour, the party will also attach a completed Special Appointment Request Form. The Bankruptcy Court office will schedule the matter subject to the availability of the court and, if the matter is proceeding by teleconference or videoconference, the Bankruptcy Court office will provide connection details.
Conduct of Matters In writing, by Teleconference or by Videoconference
2.1 The types of motions as enumerated in paragraph 7.1 herein shall be heard in writing.
2.2 Bankrupts’ applications for discharge following compliance with prior discharge orders and bankrupts’ applications for discharge that are on consent or unopposed, including matters where opposition is withdrawn, shall be heard in writing and shall be scheduled to be heard in writing by the Bankruptcy Court office on the next available date, excepting matters where there are alleged conduct issues or section 178 (c), (d), (e), more than two (j), (k) and (l) BIA facts, in which case such matters shall be heard virtually.
2.3 Trustees’ applications for discharge shall be heard in writing.
2.4 Taxations of Statements of Receipts and Disbursement (where a clear Letter of Comment has been received and is anticipated to be unopposed) and Taxation of legal bills will be heard in writing. If a party wishes a taxation to be heard in writing, the party shall email the materials to the Bankruptcy Court office at Hamiltonciviloffice@ontario.ca and request that the taxation be scheduled for the next available date. While the court is operating under COVID-19 conditions, the following documents should be included in filings:
- Statement of Receipts and Disbursements (SRD) – each taxation submission should have (1) the record containing required documents for review including the SRD, and (2) a separate PDF copy of the SRD for signature;
- Comment letter;
- Trustee affidavit of fees, with dockets and any other relevant documentation (if there are extenuating circumstances or complexities concerning the administration of the estate, these matters should be addressed in the affidavit filed in support of the taxation);
- Inspector resolution approving the SRD (if not apparent from the SRD);
- Copies of taxed legal bills of costs;
- Statement of Affairs – one (1) copy only; and
- Estate general ledger or detailed trial balance.
2.5 The following documents are not necessary to include in these filings at this time:
- Duplicate copies of documents;
- Scans of forms that are blank or not filled in or completed or blank pages after tabs;
- Copies of documents, notices or reports in connection with the discharge of the bankrupt; and
- Affidavits of service proving service of the initiating bankruptcy documents.
Attachments are limited to thirty-five (35) MB.
2.6 All other motions may be heard by teleconference and videoconference at the request of the parties.
2.7 All other bankrupts’ applications for discharge by bankrupts shall be heard virtually. The Registrars in Bankruptcy shall use their discretion to order bankrupts’ application for discharge to be heard in-person.
Materials for Hearing
3.1 For each individual matter, parties shall email all relevant materials and documents necessary for the hearing to the Bankruptcy Court office at Hamiltonciviloffice@ontario.ca and the email shall contain in the subject line the bankruptcy/estate file number and surname of the bankrupt. The system cannot accommodate large records. Accordingly, the parties shall exercise discretion in determining what materials are necessary. Caselaw and other source materials referenced in a factum should be hyperlinked. Where hyperlinks are provided, the parties need not file a Book of Authorities. The Registrars in Bankruptcy will ask for further materials if necessary.
3.2 Hard copies of the electronically filed materials, with the appropriate filing fee and copy of the court endorsement or order disposing of the matter, shall be filed with the Bankruptcy Court office, once regular court operations resume. Hard copies of the materials shall conform with the Rules of Civil Procedure requirements respecting court documents, including but limited to binding as required by Rule 4 of the Rules of Civil Procedure.
3.3 All materials and documents necessary for the hearing shall be saved and emailed as attachments using the Standard Document Naming Protocol found in the Consolidated Notice to the Profession, Litigants, Accused Persons, Public and the Media. All electronic documents shall contain a hyperlinked table of contents/index and links to other electronically available documents, such as case authorities, etc.4.1
4.1 Parties are directed to O. Reg. 431/20 Administering Oath or Declaration Remotely under the Commissioner for Taking Affidavits Act, the Law Society’s Virtual Commissioning resource as well as the Law Society’s Corporate Statement re: COVID-19 which provides for alternate means of commissioning affidavits. The Bankruptcy Court will accept unsworn affidavits prior to the hearing on the condition that a sworn affidavit is provided prior to the hearing or the affiant is available at the teleconference to swear the contents.
5.1 Finalized draft orders requiring signing shall be emailed directly to the Bankruptcy Court office at Hamiltonciviloffice@ontario.ca. The signed order will be electronically delivered to the party.
Issuing Bankruptcy Applications
6.1 The usual process will continue to be followed for issuing bankruptcy applications. The party shall email the Bankruptcy Court office with the application and request issuance. The Bankruptcy Court office shall provide an electronically issued application. The party shall mail a hard copy of the issued application and the appropriate filing fee that day or the following day. A date for the hearing of the bankruptcy application to proceed in writing may be obtained on request by email to the Bankruptcy Court office at Hamiltonciviloffice@ontario.ca.
6.2 Proof of service, which must be effected in accordance with the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, must be filed by email at Hamiltonciviloffice@ontario.ca at least three days in advance of the in-writing hearing date.
6.3 If the application is on consent or unopposed, the Registrar will deal with the matter in writing. If the application is opposed, the Registrar will adjourn the matter to be heard by a judge on a date to be fixed by the trial coordinator.
Matters to be Heard In Writing
7.1 The following motions shall be heard by the Registrars in Bankruptcy in writing:
- Motions to extend proposal periods where a Notice of Intention has been filed;
- Motions to approve Division I proposals, if unopposed;
- Motions for substituted service;
- Motions for leave to file an assignment in bankruptcy, brought by the trustee or administrator of a deceased;
- Motions pursuant to s. 38 of the BIA;
- Motions to re-appoint the trustee;
- Motions to amend the style of cause/name of the bankrupt/debtor;
- Motions to approve the sale of assets to related parties, pursuant to s. 30(4) of the BIA;
- Motions to revive consumer proposals
- Motions seeking leave to file a completion or second consumer proposal; and
- Any other matter which the Registrars in their discretion determine is appropriate.
7.2 If a party seeks to apply for a bankrupt’s discharge following compliance with prior court discharge orders or where the application is on consent or unopposed, excepting matters where there are alleged conduct issues or section 178 BIA facts, the party shall email the materials to the Bankruptcy Court office at Hamiltonciviloffice@ontario.ca, together with a completed Hearing request form, and request that the application be scheduled for the next available date. If the estimated time for the hearing exceeds one hour, the party will also attach a completed Special Appointment Request Form. The system cannot accommodate large records. Accordingly, the parties shall exercise discretion in determining what materials are necessary. The party shall undertake to file a hard copy with the Bankruptcy Court office by regular mail, together with the appropriate filing fee, once regular court operations resume.
7.3 Motions in writing shall be heard during the following weeks where Associate Judges are assigned to Hamilton Bankruptcy Court:
- February 15, 2021
- March 15, 2021
- April 19, 2021
- May 17, 2021
- June 14, 2021
- July 19, 2021
- August 16, 2021
- September 27, 2021
- October 18, 2021
- November 15, 2021
- December 13, 2021
7.4 Once a date for the hearing of an in writing motion has been assigned, the party shall serve the motion in accordance with the notice requirements in the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and the procedure set forth in Rule 37.12.1 of the Rules of Civil Procedure shall apply. The moving party shall email the materials to the Bankruptcy Court office at Hamiltonciviloffice@ontario.ca together with proof of service. The system cannot accommodate large records. Accordingly, the parties shall exercise discretion in determining what materials are necessary. The party shall file a hard copy with the Bankruptcy Court office by regular mail, together with the appropriate filing fee, once regular court operations resume.
7.5 Orders that are granted will be electronically delivered to the party upon disposition. The order is effective from its date.
The Honourable Mr. Justice Paul R. Sweeny
Regional Senior Judge– Superior Court of Justice
Central South Region
Issued: February 4, 2021