Notice to the Profession, Public, Accused Persons and the Media Regarding the Suspension of Criminal and Civil Jury Trials


This notice has been superseded by Chief Justice Morawetz’s May 13, 2020 Notice to the Profession at: Please see the May 13 notice for current information.

April 20, 2020

To protect the health and safety of all court users and to help contain the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Superior Court of Justice (SCJ) suspended in-person operations, effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020, and until further notice.

By order, all criminal matters scheduled for any type of appearance between March 17, 2020, and June 1, 2020, were adjourned.[1]  All civil matters scheduled to be heard on or after March 17, 2020, were adjourned with no fixed return dates.  The effect of those orders was to suspend most jury proceedings.

Since March 17, 2020, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has continued to hear high priority non-trial matters.

Given the on-going public health situation, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice will not recommence criminal or civil jury selection or jury trials until September, 2020, at the earliest.

The Court will monitor the public health situation and issue further direction in early May.

In the meantime, all dates for criminal matters that are currently scheduled for trial or for any other reason in June will remain in place until that further direction is issued.

For civil jury matters, each region of the Court will consider how it can best reschedule civil jury trials that were to have been heard during this suspension of regular operations.  Details will be shared in regional notices to the profession as they become available.

Geoffrey B. Morawetz
Chief Justice
Ontario Superior Court of Justice

[1] Matters set in March were adjourned until June 2, 2020; matters set in April were adjourned until June 3, 2020; and matters set in May were adjourned until June 4, 2020.