SUPERSEDED Supplementary Notice to the Profession and Litigants in Civil and Family Matters – Including Electronic Filings and Document Sharing (Caselines Pilot) (August 5, 2020)

IMPORTANT NOTICE

This notice has been superseded by Supplementary Notice to the Profession and Litigants in Civil and Family Matters Including Electronic Filings and Document Sharing (Caselines Pilot) (September 2, 2020)

1. Document Sharing – CaseLines Pilot Project

The Ministry of the Attorney General has procured Thomson Reuters CaseLines for the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. A two-week test phase will begin on August 10, 2020 for selected civil motions and pre-trial conferences in Toronto. The pilot will then expand incrementally to other practice areas and court locations. It is anticipated that CaseLines will be implemented province-wide in all Superior Court of Justice court locations and practice areas by December 31, 2020.

A CaseLines information session will be held by Zoom on Monday, August 10, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. Please click the following link to join this session and enter the passcode below:

Recorded video:  https://vimeo.com/448576991

About CaseLines

CaseLines is a user-friendly cloud-based document sharing and storage e-hearing platform for remote and in-person court proceedings. Some of the many benefits of CaseLines include:

  • user-friendly interface
  • materials of any size and file format can be uploaded
  • users can make private notes and highlights on documents
  • terms can be searched in all uploaded documents
  • parties can navigate documents and redirect opposing counsel and the court to view specific sections, and
  • users can view uploaded materials anytime, with or without VPN access.

Court documents must continue to be filed with the court in accordance with the applicable rules of procedure and Notices to the Profession. Parties will also be required to upload court documents to CaseLines in advance of their attendances so that documents can be viewed by parties and the judiciary before and during hearings.

New Responsibilities for Parties

Counsel and self-represented parties must:

  1. include their current email address on all filed court documents;
  2. make CaseLines a trusted sender by saving caselines.com in their contacts list, or regularly check their junk folder for emails from CaseLines;
  3. upon receipt of an email from CaseLines, click the registration link to register. You can also register in advance at https://ontariocourts.caselines.com/ by clicking on Register;
  4. in accordance with page limits set out in the rules of court, practice directions and Notices to the Profession, upload court documents into CaseLines in advance of hearings. Regional Notices will direct when documents must be uploaded to CaseLines in advance of a scheduled hearing; and
  5. use the following document naming convention when saving documents to be uploaded into CaseLines – the type of document, the type of party filing the document, and the date (Please note that the date format is particularly important – DD-MMM-YYYY):

For example, documents could be saved with the following names:

Notice of Motion-Moving Party 14-JUL-2020

Notice of Application-Applicant 21-NOV-2020

Statement of Defence-Defendant 02-JAN-2021

Compendium-Responding Party 03-MAR-2021

Factum-Intervenor 11-NOV-2020

Is CaseLines the same as the Ministry’s Justice Services Online Portal?

No. Beginning on August 5, 2020, new services will be made available on the Ministry’s Justice Services Online portal. Please see section 2 below for further details.

In summary, these new services will replace the current practice during the COVID-19 period of emailing civil and family court documents to generic Court Services Division email addresses (i.e. the Registrar’s Office). Following online payment of the prescribed fee, court documents uploaded into the new Civil Submissions Online and Family Submissions Online portal services will be reviewed by court staff to determine whether they can be accepted for filing and/or issuance. Filers will receive an email indicating whether their documents were accepted.

At this time, CaseLines is not integrated with the Justice Services Online portal. As a result, parties will be required to upload their court documents into CaseLines in advance of their hearings, after having first filed their documents. We continue to work toward the ultimate goal of having an end-to-end e-filing service that will allow for a single upload of documents into a document sharing platform.

2. Electronic Court Filings – Justice Services Online

Counsel and parties continue to be discouraged from physically attending courthouses to file documents in person.
Where possible, counsel and parties are encouraged to use the Ministry’s newly expanded Justice Services Online (JSO) platform, including the Civil Submissions Online and Family Submissions Online portals, or email, as directed below and in each Region’s Notice to the Profession, to minimize the number of people who need to attend courthouses to file their documents.

The Court will continue to accept filings by e-mail at the specific e-mail addresses indicated in each Region’s Notice to the Profession as follows:

  • For matters that are urgent, including requests for an urgent hearing;
  • Documents that must be filed for a court date that is no more than 5 business days away; and,
  • Documents that must be filed for a deadline that is no more than 5 business days away.

All other electronic filings should be made through the appropriate JSO portal.

The Court will accept filings by email at the specific email addresses indicated in a Region’s Notice to the Profession only for matters that are urgent or have been directed to file by email in this document or the applicable notice.

Where counsel and parties deliver materials by email, subject to direction from the Court, they undertake to file the same materials in paper format, and pay the requisite filing fee, at the court when regular court operations resume.  This includes preparation of the court’s Continuing Record for family cases.

Family e-Filing

The Family Submissions Online portal is authorized to accept the electronic filing of most documents in a family law or child protection case, along with any necessary filing fees, except for the documents that should be emailed directly to the court as noted above.  New applications and motions to change can also be filed through this portal, along with requests for fee waivers.

Once accepted by the court clerk, documents will be considered to have been issued or filed on the date indicated in the document.

In addition, several family court documents relating to a simple or joint divorce may continue to be filed electronically by using the Ministry’s Family Claims Online Portal, in accordance with the Family Law Rules.

Civil e-Filing

Civil court documents may be electronically filed and/or issued by using the existing Civil Claims Online Portal or the new Civil Submissions Online Portal, as appropriate, in accordance with the Rules of Civil Procedure. Documents will be eligible for filing and issuance through the Civil Submissions Online portal effective August 5, 2020.

Small Claims Court claims should continue to be filed through the Small Claims Online filing platform.

3. Non-Urgent Matters

The court continues to hear both urgent and non-urgent matters in accordance with each Region’s Notice to the Profession.  Please refer to the Court’s COVID notices for a list of the non-urgent matters that may be heard in each Region.

4. Consent and Capacity Board Appeals

Appeals from the Consent and Capacity Board are being heard by the Court. In Toronto, these motions will be scheduled in Civil Practice Court. In all other regions they will be treated as long motions. In regions where long motions are not being heard, only urgent CCB appeals may be heard at this time. Please refer to each Region’s Notice to the Profession for the process to bring these matters before the Court or contact the Regional Manager.

Geoffrey B. Morawetz,
Chief Justice.