Notice to the Profession and Public Regarding Jury Trials and In-Person Operations in Brampton, Newmarket, Toronto and Ottawa (November 5, 2020)


This notice has been superseded by Notice to the Profession and Public Regarding Court Proceedings (November 21, 2020)

As a result of Ontario’s new response framework for public health measures announced by the Premier on November 3, 2020, the proposal is that Peel region, York region and Ottawa will enter the Orange Zone (Restrict) on November 7, 2020 and that Toronto will enter the Orange Zone (Restrict) on November 14, 2020

Jury trials

Jury selection and new jury trials

As of Monday, November 16, 2020 new jury selection and new jury trials will recommence in Brampton, Newmarket and Toronto.

As of Monday, November 9, 2020 new jury selection and new jury trials will commence in Ottawa.

Courtroom capacity limits

Effective Monday November 16,2020 the 10-person capacity limit in each courtroom in Brampton, Newmarket and Toronto is lifted and replaced by the previous COVID 19 capacity limit. This capacity limit is lifted in Ottawa effective November 9,2020.

Notwithstanding the above, I recognize that some counsel, parties and justice participants may be uncomfortable attending a courthouse during this time. Some may have underlying health conditions, or live with someone who does, or have other issues arising from the pandemic. In view of the public health situation in these four centres, the Court must respond with great flexibility. I have encouraged all judicial officers, when exercising their authority, to be flexible and to respect the various reasons why an individual may not be comfortable attending a courthouse in person. The feasibility of a virtual hearing or alternate arrangements is to be explored, when requested. Similarly, I encourage counsel and parties to be accommodating when requests for virtual hearings or other arrangements are made by opposing counsel or parties.

In making this decision, I consulted with public health authorities. I acknowledge the efforts of the Ministry of the Attorney General and Recovery Secretariat for the many protocols that the Ministry has put into place in order to resume court operations and jury matters.

We must continue to do what we can to move matters forward while supporting public health efforts.

Geoffrey B. Morawetz
Chief Justice
Ontario Superior Court of Justice