On March 16, 2022, Chief Justice Morawetz released the Guidelines to Determine Mode of Proceedings in Civil, Family and Criminal matters.
It is important that counsel, and the public, review these Guidelines to determine the presumptive method of hearing. The Guidelines become effective April 19, 2022.
All matters heard on and after that date will be heard consistent with the Guidelines unless a deviation has been granted by a judge. Therefore, please note if your event is presently scheduled in a manner not consistent with the Guidelines as of April 19, 2022, the Guidelines will prevail.
Should counsel, or the public, desire to deviate from the presumptive manner of hearing, they should advise the appropriate trial co-ordinator well in advance of the event. Any proposed deviation, whether on consent or disputed, will require judicial approval.
It should be noted that deviation from the presumptive manner of hearing will be exceptional and only for sound, supporting reasons. This procedure will apply to all matters whether family, criminal or civil.
The Guidelines of the Chief Justice allow for a Regional Directive where preferred Regional variations are necessary. The variations and clarifications below pertain only to the Southwest Region, and only in Family Law. If the particular mode of proceeding is not mentioned below, the Chief Justice’s Guidelines prevail.
- Rota courts in Chatham, Sarnia, Stratford, Woodstock and Goderich will hold Family Law Conferences virtually to allow for greater efficiency managing mixed lists.
- In St. Thomas, family law conferences scheduled for a rota judge on Mondays will be held virtually.
- In London, family law Trial Management Conferences, including those in Child Protection Proceedings (CYFSA), will be held virtually unless coupled with a settlement conference and then will be held in person.
- In London and St. Thomas, all substantive/regular short motions in Child Protection Proceedings (CYFSA), will be held virtually.
- Regular/Short and Long Family Motions will be held virtually in all Southwest Region court locations, including St. Thomas & London UFC.
- Uncontested trials will be held virtually in all Southwest Region court locations, including St. Thomas & London UFC.
Effective June 1, 2022 in WINDSOR, family motion hearing materials are to be uploaded by counsel, and the public, into CaseLines.
Effective July 1, 2022 all hearing materials (with the exception of CYFSA materials) in all court locations are to be uploaded by counsel, and the public, into Caselines. Please remember the materials must first be filed with the Court through the ONe-key portal.
As directed by the Chief Justice, counsel should be gowned when appearing virtually if the event is one where gowning would be required if held in person.
Dated: April 11, 2022.
Bruce G. Thomas
Regional Senior Justice
Superior Court (Southwest Region)