Practice Advisory concerning videoconference attendances in the Belleville Family Court

Effective May 13th, 2019 the Superior Court of Justice Judiciary will preside over all Family Law and Child Protection cases in the County of Hastings from the newly established Unified Family Court in Belleville. That includes all cases previously heard in Bancroft by the Ontario Court of Justice.

Certain events can still be dealt with from the same satellite court location in Bancroft, but it will be by video conference.

Parties can request to attend by video conference from Bancroft, on the third Thursday of the month, without leave for the following events:

  1. family law case conferences, temporary motions and trial scheduling conferences (where required);
  2. first appearances in a child protection case (if the event can be scheduled into the Bancroft video conferencing schedule within the timelines under the legislation), as well as any motions for interim relief; and
  3. events in an enforcement proceeding that involves the Family Responsibility Office (except for in person hearings).

Parties who wish to participate by video conference in any of these events should request that accommodation upon filing their application at the Belleville Courthouse.

For all other events, parties who wish to attend a family or child protection event by video conference will require leave of the Court. This includes temporary care and custody hearings, summary judgment motions, settlement conferences, trial management conferences and trials. Leave to participate by video conference should be sought by submitting a 14b Motion no less than 14 days in advance of the event. That documentation needs to specify the reasons for the request.

Wherever a video conference attendance has been arranged, counsel will be expected to attend court in Bancroft with their client.

If events cannot be scheduled into the Bancroft video conferencing schedule in a timely way, the parties will be offered the next available date for an in-person attendance in Belleville.