Updated February 5, 2021
Please find below frequently asked questions and answers about using CaseLines in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
1. How do I know if my case has been selected for the CaseLines Pilot
Tip: Make CaseLines a trusted sender by saving caselines.com in your list of email contacts or regularly check your junk folder for emails from CaseLines.
Tip: Remember to include your current email address on all court documents filed with the court.
If your case has been selected for the CaseLines pilot, you will receive an email invitation from CaseLines to upload your materials about 1 to 2 weeks before your court event. The email will include a link to your case within the system. If you have not received notification that your case will proceed using CaseLines, please do not call the trial coordination office asking for your case to be added. Criminal: If a matter fits the criteria for Toronto criminal pilot and no invitation is received, Crown and defence counsel can confer and notify the Criminal Intake Office.
2. If I upload my documents into CaseLines, is this the same as filing them with the court?
No. Court documents must first be filed in accordance with the applicable rules of court and COVID-19 notices to the profession before being uploaded into CaseLines, unless the Court has ordered otherwise prior to the hearing. After you file your documents with the court office, please upload your documents into CaseLines at least 5 days prior to your court date so the judicial official can review them in advance of the hearing. Criminal documents for pre-trial motions are to be uploaded the Thursday prior to the week the motion is set to be argued.
Tip: Certain civil and family court documents can be filed (and fees paid) online under the rules of court and notice to the profession. To e-file civil documents under the Rules of Civil Procedure, click here. To e-file family documents under the Family Law Rules, click here. For documents continuing to be emailed to the court office (e.g. Divisional Court and Toronto Bankruptcy Office filings) please review the relevant COVID-19 notice to the profession.
Criminal filings are by e-mail.
3. How do I Register for CaseLines?
To register for CaseLines, go to https://ontariocourts.caselines.com/. Click “Register” at the top right-corner and fill in the required information.
4. How do I login to CaseLines?
To login, click “Log On” at the top right corner and enter your username (which can either be the username you created or your email address) and your password.
Tip: CaseLines is used in many jurisdictions around the world. Access Ontario Courts CaseLines by clicking on the following link: https://ontariocourts.caselines.com/. You can also save it as a favourite in your web browser.
Tip: View this short video for more information.
Caselines – logging in: https://vimeo.com/473540428
5. How do I find my case in CaseLines?
If your case was selected to be included in the pilot, login to CaseLines and click on the “View Case List” button at the top of the screen. If you have multiple cases, scroll down to select the case you wish to view. You can also search for the name of the case by entering information into the “Hearing date to/from” fields or text field and then clicking the “Apply Filter” button.
Tip:Search for your case by entering all or part of the name of a case, the court file number, or a hearing date.
6. How do I invite other lawyers, my law clerk or my legal assistant to have access to my cases in CaseLines?
Lawyers can give other professionals in their office access to their cases by taking the following steps:
- From the case list, click on the “Update Case” button beside the case.
- Select the “People” tab at the top of the case update screen to take you to the “People Index”.
- Select “Invite New Participant”.
- You will then be prompted to add the person’s email address (which the program will remember after you have inputted it once) and select a role (e.g. Legal Assistant). You will not have to select a role if the new participant has already registered in CaseLines.
- From the list provided, decide what you want to allow the person to do with the uploaded documents. Every tick you add grants a new permission, every tick you take away removes one.
- Click on “Invite”. An email will then be sent to the person with a link to access the materials.
Tip: To access a quick reference guide on inviting people to the case, login to CaseLines and then click the following link: https://caselines.freshservice.com/support/solutions/articles/2000024301-04-case-invitations-and-permissions
7. How should I name my documents before uploading them into CaseLines?
Effective January 11, 2021, when documents are submitted to the court in electronic format, the document name must indicate the following information:
- Document type (including the form number in family cases),
- Type of party submitting the document,
- Name of the party submitting the document (including initials if the name is not unique to the case), and
- Date on which the document was created or signed, in the format DD-MMM-YYYY (e.g. 12-JAN-2021).
Below are sample document names:
Expert Report – Defendant – Loblaws Inc. – 13-MAR-2021
Financial Statement Form 13.1 – Respondent – A. Wong – 21-NOV-2021
11b Application – Defence – Nathanson – 12-JAN-2021
This provincewide document naming protocol applies in all practice areas, including the Small Claims Court. It will allow the judiciary to quickly and easily identify documents during virtual and in-person hearings.
8. Will my tabs and bookmarks function in CaseLines?
Effective January 7, 2021, hyperlinks to bookmarks or tabs that point to a location within the same document retain their functionality when uploaded into CaseLines. Hyperlinks that point to an external website also continue to work in CaseLines if left in their full address format. As compared to multiple paper documents which can be spread out on a dais during a hearing, a judge/master will likely only have one or two screens for viewing documents. As a result, navigating among separate documents can be challenging. Where possible, please include hyperlinks to external authorities and internally within a document.
Another way to assist the judicial official in navigating to a particular page during a hearing is to advise them of the CaseLines page number (including the preceding letter — e.g. A13). CaseLines automatically numbers each page on a document-by-document basis. Other features in CaseLines, such as searching, notetaking, and document sharing, all use the CaseLines-generated page numbering. CaseLines automatically creates an index that can be used from the review screen. This index can also be downloaded from the Bundle Tab in the update screen.
Tip: To access a quick reference guide on uploading individual documents, login to CaseLines and then click the following link: https://caselines.freshservice.com/support/solutions/articles/2000028072-22-upload-a-document
9. How can I see a list of my upcoming hearings using CaseLines?
Click on the “View Hearings” button at the top of the screen to see a list of upcoming hearings. This area can also host a link to video conferencing if a video conference platform is being used for your hearing.
10. How do I upload documents into CaseLines?To add/upload documents:
To locate your case, click the “View Case List” button, find your case and then click “Update Case” to the right of your case name in the list
To add/upload documents:
- Click the “Sections” button at the top of the screen
- Click “Upload Documents” next to the relevant section. You can click and drag documents into the box or click “Add Files” and select the files you want to add.
You will see a list of “unnamed event” bundles (subfolders) in your case. In advance of each hearing, the trial coordinator will assign a name to the next available unnamed bundle. For example, if you are preparing for a motion hearing, the trial coordinator will change the title of the next available unnamed bundle to “motion”. Upload all your motion documents into that bundle. If the next event in your case is a pre-trial conference, upload all documents you will be relying on at the pre-trial conference into the bundle titled “pre-trial”. Uploading in this manner will make it clear to the judge or master which documents should be reviewed prior to the hearing.
When uploading documents with fillable fields, such as the Trial Management Plan under Rule 76 or draft orders, please upload the Word version of the document to allow the fields to remain functional in CaseLines. To make edits to a document containing fillable fields, download the document from CaseLines, edit it, and then upload it in place of the old document.
Tip: You can add multiple documents at once. Select all documents that you want uploaded and then click “Start Upload.”
Tip: To access a quick reference guide on uploading documents, login to CaseLines and then click the following link: https://caselines.freshservice.com/support/solutions/articles/2000024312-14-download-upload-documents-from-the-review-screen
11. How do I view documents in CaseLines?
Locate your case by clicking on the “View Case List” button. To view documents:
- Click on the case name
- Click on the “Review Evidence” button to the right of your case name
- Click on the name of the document in the left-hand column. Click on the bold type to open a section and see the available documents within the section.
You can also view your documents from the update screen:
- From your Case List, click Update Case to the right of your case name.
- Click Index at the top of the screen
- Click View next to the document you want to look at
Tip: More information is provided in the video tutorial below. To access a quick reference guide on navigating and viewing the bundle (the case file), login to CaseLines and then click the following links:
Caselines Training – Review Evidence: https://vimeo.com/473540393
12. How do I make notes on documents in CaseLines?
CaseLines has multiple features for making notes and highlights on your version of the uploaded documents. When viewing a document:
- Click on “Notes” at the top of the screen to make additional feature buttons appear.
- Click on “Add a page note”.
- Select the type of note you would like to make (e.g. “Draw a box”).
- Type in your note.
- Click “Save.”
- An index of the notes you have taken will appear in a column on the right-hand side of the screen — click on the “Page” button within each note in the index to be taken back to it.
Tip: To access a quick reference guide on notes, login to CaseLines and then click the following link: https://caselines.freshservice.com/support/solutions/articles/2000024313-15-notes
13. How do I return to the last-viewed page of a document previously opened in CaseLines?
If you wish to move between multiple documents in CaseLines and return to the last-viewed page:
- Click on “Find” at the top of the screen to make additional feature buttons appear, and
- Click on the “Previous Document” button.
14. How can I direct the judge or master to a specific page of a document?
One way to direct a judicial official to a specific page is to advise them of the section letter and page number generated by CaseLines for the document (e.g. A13). The judicial official would then:
- Click on “Find” at the top of the Review screen
- Click “Find Page” and enter the page number, and
- Either click “Find Page” or press the enter button on your keyboard to be taken to the desired page.
Another way to direct a judicial official to a specific page of a document is for the party to open the document in CaseLines, click on “Find” at the top of the screen, and then click on the “Direct Others to Page” button. This will send a message to all other parties that they can click on to be taken to the same page. In virtual hearings, this is preferred over sharing your Zoom screen because the writing in the document is often too small for the judge or master to read on the laptop screen where Zoom is displayed. Directing others to a page in CaseLines is also preferred because it protects the privacy of personal notes made in CaseLines which would be shown if you share in Zoom.
Tip: To access a quick reference guide on directing others to a page, login to CaseLines and then click the following link: https://caselines.freshservice.com/support/solutions/articles/2000024311-13-direct-others-to-a-page
15. Can I view more than one CaseLines document on my screen at the same time?
You can open multiple documents in CaseLines by taking the following steps:
- Click “View” at the top of the screen to make additional feature buttons appear
- Click on “Open in New Tab”
A second reading pane will open so that you can read two documents side by side. You can also use the dual panes feature:
- Click on the Dual Panes Icon in the top right corner of your reading window (i.e. small overlapping rectangles)
- A new reading window will appear with a red header
- Select the document you want to read in your left-hand reading pane
- Click on the Active Pane Icon in the top of your index header
- Select another document from the index, this will now display in the right-hand reading pane
- Click the Active Pane Icon again to change the selection in your left-hand reading pane
- Click the cross in the top right corner of your right-hand reading pane to return to single pane view
Tip: To access a quick reference guide on dual panes, login to CaseLines and then click the following link:
16. Where can I get more help?
After you have logged into CaseLines, click on the “Support” button at the top of the screen. From there you can open the Solutions area to read Quick reference guides, FAQ and tip articles and watch videos explaining how to use CaseLines. If you require technical support, please email Support@CaseLines.com or phone 1-800-290-9378:
Tip: View a comprehensive CaseLines tutorial here: Welcome to CaseLines (18 minutes)
Tip: CaseLines Information Session – Toronto Family (1 hour)
Tip: CaseLines Information Session – Toronto Criminal (1 hour)
17. Who do I contact if the CaseLines platform is not working properly?
If you need support to resolve technical issues, please call 1-800-290-9378 and select either “CaseLines” or “Evidence Sharing” when you reach the directory, or email email@example.com. Technical support provided by Thomson Reuters is available from 8 AM to 5 PM (Monday – Friday) Eastern Time Zone.