Notice to Profession and Parties – Toronto Region

Effective April 19, 2022.

Introduction

This Toronto Notice to the Profession and Parties (“Notice”) supersedes all previous Toronto notices and includes specific Toronto Region direction.  It should be read in conjunction with the Provincial Consolidated Notice here: Notice to the Profession, Parties, Public and the Media.

The Guidelines to determine the mode of proceedings in Criminal, Family & Civil, effective April 19, 2022, set out the presumptive methods of attendance for events in the Superior Court of Justice. While the Guidelines set out the presumptive method of attendance, the final determination of how the event will proceed will remain subject to the discretion of the Court. Specific Toronto scheduling details and protocols are set out in this Notice:

A. Criminal Matters

A.1 Modes of Hearing

(i) Presumptive Modes of Hearing

STEP IN COURT IN-PERSON VIRTUAL IN-WRITING
Jury trial x
Non-jury trial x
Pre-trial motions x
Guilty Pleas x
Sentencing Hearing x
Assignment Court /TBST/First Appearance/Practice Court x
Summary Conviction Appeal x
Judicial Pre-trials x
Bail Hearings scheduled through the Trial Office in advance x
Bail/Detention Reviews scheduled through the Trial office in advance x
Bail Hearings and Bail Reviews set on 2 clear days’ notice x

(ii) Change to Presumptive Mode of Hearing

  1. All events scheduled, on or after April 19, 2022, will proceed in the presumptive mode of hearing set out above unless a judge, prior to the hearing, has directed otherwise.
  2. Any party seeking to change the presumptive mode of hearing for an event must raise this request with the court at the earliest attendance or no later than when scheduling the event.
  3. The request can be raised with the presiding judge at a Pre-Trial, Trial Confirmation Appearance or Practice Court/Assignment Court.
  4. Where necessary, a written request may be sent to the Trial Coordinator’s Office, who will schedule a telephone or virtual attendance before a judge.
  5. Failure to raise this at the first available opportunity will result in the event proceeding in the presumptive mode of hearing. The request will not be considered on the scheduled hearing date unless there are exceptional circumstances.

A.2 Bail Hearings, Bail Reviews and 90 day Detention Reviews

(i) General

  1. Effective April 19, 2022 bail reviews, bail hearings and 90 day detention reviews may be scheduled in person in accordance with the Criminal Proceedings Rules on 2 clear days notice.
  2. Where an applicant on a Bail hearing, bail review or 90-day detention review estimates the time for the hearing at more than 2 hours, the applicant must indicate a time estimate and schedule a judicial pre-trial prior to the hearing date. Counsel will be required to justify why more than 2 hours is required for all non-homicide bail hearings, bail reviews, and 90-day detention reviews.
  3. Virtual bail hearings, bail reviews and 90-day detention reviews must continue to book a time for the hearing through the trial coordinator in accordance with (ii)(b) below.

(ii) Remote Bail Hearings
(a) Consent releases

  1. Counsel will fill out the conditions of release and surety declaration (if applicable). These will be forwarded to the Admin Crown who will forward it to the registrar’s office at:
    Toronto.SCJ.CriminalCourtSupport@ontario.ca, and to the Criminal Intake Office at Toronto.SCJ.CriminalIntake@ontario.ca.
  2. The trial coordinator will assign a judge and a registrar.
  3. The registrar will complete the paperwork and provide it to the parties for their signature. A written confirmation from counsel that they have witnessed the sureties’ signatures will be accepted (whether it be over the phone, via Facetime, Skype, etc.).
  4. The release order will be sent to an available judge for approval and execution.
  5. The signed release order will be returned to the registrar who will provide it to the relevant institution and to the parties.

(b) Contested Hearings

  1. Counsel are to consult each other about the necessity of booking a time for a contested bail / 90-day review. Self-represented defendants should be directed to Ms. Maija Martin of the Criminal Lawyers Association (Maija@martincriminaldefence.ca). If a self-represented defendant is identified by Mr. Hank Goody (A.C.A.) during the 90-day set date court on Thursdays, he will advise the Crown from that borough who will then advise Ms. Martin.
  2. Defence counsel will email materials to the Admin Crown to effect service. Defence counsel will include their availability and the time estimate for the hearing when serving the Crown.
  3. Counsel will file all application materials with the trial coordinator’s office at CriminalTrialOffice-SCJ-Toronto@ontario.ca and with the Criminal Intake Office at TORONTO.SCJ.CriminalIntake@ontario.ca. Once a CaseLines file has been opened, counsel will receive an invitation to CaseLines and shall upload all material.
  4. In the case of 90-day reviews, the trial coordinator will email Ms. Maria Ranaudo (Maria.Ranaudo@Ontario.ca) to determine if a bail hearing has been conducted. If there was no bail hearing, the trial coordinator will provide a date for the review hearing. If there was a bail hearing, Ms. Ranaudo will order the transcript by email copying the trial coordinator. An available judge will authorize the transcript order.
  5. The trial coordinator will provide a date and time for the hearing once defence materials have been served on the Admin Crown and filed (or fifteen (15) days after the transcript has been ordered in the case of 90-day reviews). Counsel must file all materials by 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday if they wish to conduct the bail review the following Monday. They must serve and file by 10:00 am Thursday if they wish to conduct the bail / bail review / 90-day review the following Tuesday to Friday.
  6. To avoid any unnecessary adjournments of scheduled hearing dates, the applicant is not permitted to file additional materials after the 10:00 a.m. deadline on Thursday unless the responding party consents. If possible, the responding party should file their materials at least two clear days prior to the scheduled hearing.
  7. The bail / bail review / 90-day reviews can be heard each day at 10:00 a.m. (four (4) possible slots) and 2:00 p.m. (four possible slots).
  8. The trial coordinator will provide the interested parties with the videoconference or teleconference information.
  9. Counsel should complete the “conditions of release” form and circulate it to the other parties in advance of the hearing.
  10. Counsel should ensure they have a copy of the photo identification from the proposed sureties.
  11. The defendant need not be present for a bail review. A defendant is likely required to be present for a 90-day detention review (by audio or video) pursuant to s. 502.1(1) of the Criminal Code.
  12. If counsel wish for their client to be present, they must make arrangements with the appropriate Admin Crown who will contact the institution and make the request.
  13. If released, the registrar will complete the paperwork, scan it and forward it to the parties for signature. As stated above, during this time, we are willing to accept a written confirmation from counsel that they have ‘witnessed’ the sureties’ signatures (whether it be over the phone via Facetime, Skype, etc.).
  14. The release documents will then be scanned and sent to the judge for signature and returned to the registrar. The paperwork will then be forwarded to the institution.

(c) Consent Bail Variations

  1. Counsel should fill out and sign the 10b Form available on the SCJ website under Forms under the Criminal Proceeding Rules and forward it to the appropriate Crown.
  2. The Crown will review and sign the form.
  3. Sureties sign the form either in the presence of counsel or counsel should provide written confirmation that they have ‘witnessed’ the sureties’ signatures by video.
  4. The Crown will send the variation to an available judge for approval.
  5. The Registrars will be copied by emailing Toronto.SCJ.CriminalCourtSupport@ontario.ca, and the criminal intake office at Toronto.SCJ.Criminalintake@ontario.ca.
  6. Once approved, the paperwork will be completed and provided to counsel.

A.3 Filing & CaseLines:

(i) Filing:

  1. All filings for Criminal matters must be emailed to the following address:

Toronto.SCJ.Criminalintake@ontario.ca.

  1. And must comply with the court filing requirements in R. 4.01 of the Criminal Proceedings Rules and follow the direction in sections IX, X and XI in the Provincial Practice Direction/Amendment.

(ii) CaseLines:

  1. Detailed instructions outlining counsel’s responsibilities in uploading materials to CaseLines are set out in the Provincial Consolidated Notice here: Notice to the Profession, Parties, Public and the Media.
  2. The status of CaseLines expansion for Criminal matters in Toronto is as follows:

CaseLines is being used for summary conviction appeals, prerogative remedies/special motions, pre-trial motions, bail hearings, bail reviews and trials.

In summary, CaseLines shall be used for all criminal events except for the following events:

  • Judicial pre-trials;
  • Trial Readiness;
  • Assignment Court;
  • Bail Estreatments; and
  • TBST matters.
  1. Upon service and filing of documents, counsel must immediately upload the filed documents to CaseLines. If necessary, counsel should contact the Criminal Intake Office to obtain a Caselines invite for the event. Uploading to CaseLines the morning of or at the beginning of the hearing, must be avoided.
  2. CaseLines does not replace service and court filing. Crown and defence counsel must serve and file materials with the court by email in accordance with the applicable rules in the Criminal Proceedings Rules and Criminal Code and in accordance with the notices.
  3. Court Services Division must maintain the electronic file in the appropriate system that has been developed for maintaining the court record.
  4. Counsel must have a current email on file with the court. Counsel must ensure that their current email address is included on all court filings.
  5. Parties must make CaseLines a trusted sender by saving caselines.com in their contacts list, or regularly check their junk folder for emails from CaseLines.
  6. Upon receipt of an email from CaseLines, which will be sent prior to the hearing, click the registration link to register. Counsel can also register in advance at https://ontariocourts.caselines.com. It is recommended that counsel prepare by creating an account in CaseLines in advance.
  7. For more information about CaseLines including how to upload documents to CaseLines and tips for using it, see the links set out in the Provincial Consolidated Notice here: Notice to the Profession, Parties, Public and the Media.
  8. If the Court provides any direction at a judicial pretrial that a matter should not use CaseLines in an upcoming pretrial motion, plea or trial, or any special instructions regarding whether certain documents can/cannot be uploaded onto CaseLines, counsel is responsible for placing this information on the record.
  9. Use the following document naming convention when documents are submitted to the court in electronic format. Each document must indicate the following information:
    • Document type
    • 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)
  1. If uploading documents that will require the in-court registrar to stamp as exhibits, please upload these documents individually as only one electronic exhibit stamp can be added per document.
  2. If a document is marked as an exhibit during the hearing, Registrars will download the document and retain it in the usual manner exhibits are retained for the court file.
  3. CaseLines is not to be used for any matter where the accused is self-represented.
  4. Items that should not be uploaded onto CaseLines:
    • No materials related to child pornography;
    • No document referring to a confidential informant;
    • Unless specifically directed by the court to do otherwise, Crown and defence counsel will not upload the following documents into CaseLines:
      • a sealed document;
      • a document for which a sealing order is sought;
      • a privileged document, or a document where privilege is being asserted;
      • any other document where counsel have concerns, until judicial direction is given.

A.4 General

(i) Communication with the trial coordinators

  1. Most communications to arrange dates for trials, judicial pre-trials and applications will occur by email. In e-mail communications with the trial coordinators, Counsel should put, in the subject line, the name of the accused person and the nature of the request (e.g., Trial date, JPT, application date). The email address is CriminalTrialOffice-SCJ-Toronto@ontario.ca.

(ii) Interpreters

  1. If an interpreter is required for any scheduled remote appearance and an interpreter has not been requested on the record in court, the person requesting the interpreter (Crown Counsel/the Federal Crown or Counsel for the defendant) shall advise the Toronto Court Interpreter Scheduling Unit (TCIU). The email address to submit requests is TCIU@ontario.ca. The telephone number is 416-327-5666.
  2. Counsel requiring the interpreter shall advise of the language, time and date of the proceeding.

(iii) Reference to ‘Admin Crown’

  1. Wherever reference is made to the ‘Admin Crown’ this term is to be interpreted as the Admin Crown or their designate.

(iv) Judges Signing documents

  1. Pursuant to s.3.1(2) of the Criminal Code, the clerk of the court may sign orders or other writings on behalf of the presiding judge.

(vi) Case Management and Resolution Pretrials

  1. A pre-trial judge will be made available for the purposes of case management, resolution, or informal discussion of the case upon request to the trial coordinator.

A.5 Other matters that will continue to be heard remotely

(i) Judicial Pre-trials (JPTs)

  1. All JPTs will continue to be heard remotely, by audioconference or videoconference.

(a) Where the accused person is represented by counsel:

For Matters prosecuted by the Provincial Crown: 

  1. Within 2 business days following committal, after consultation with defence, the Crown, through the administrative Crown or their designate, will book a JPT using the shared Microsoft Outlook calendar.
  2. Crown counsel should prepare a Form 17 (for Toronto) at least 10 days before the JPT and send it to all defence counsel in Word Format.
  3. Defence counsel should complete the Form 17 (for Toronto) and return it to the Crown at least 5 days before the JPT in Word and PDF format.
  4. The Administrative Crown will post the synopsis and the Form 17 in Word and PDF and other relevant documents to the Shared Outlook File for the JPT.
  5. The judge conducting the JPT may annotate the Form 17 or prepare a Form 18.

For matters prosecuted by PPSC: 

  1. Within 2 business days following committal, the prosecutor or their designate, after consultation with the defence will book a JPT and advise the trial co-ordinators by telephone or email. Federal judicial pre-trials will be scheduled on Wednesdays.
  2. Crowns shall prepare a Form 17 at least 10 days before the JPT and send it to all defence counsel in Word Format.
  3. Defence counsel should complete the Form 17 and return it to the Crown at least five days before the JPT in Word and PDF format. The Crown will send the synopsis and Form 17 in Word and PDF by email to the trial coordinator.
  4. The judge conducting the JPT may annotate the Form 17 or prepare a Form 18.

(b) Where the accused person is self-represented:

  1. Where an accused person is self-represented, the judicial pre-trial will be scheduled at the first appearance of the accused in Superior Court. The JPT will be conducted on the record by audioconference or videoconference on the date agreed upon.

(ii)  Administrative Pre-trial Appearances in the Superior Court – Practice Court

(a) First Appearances

  1. The first appearance of an accused person in the Superior Court should be scheduled for the fourth week after committal.
  2. If the case is prosecuted by the Downtown Crown’s office, the matter should be scheduled for a Monday at 9 am.
  3. If the matter is prosecuted by the Scarborough Crown’s office or Guns and Gangs, it should be scheduled for a Tuesday at 9 am.
  4. If the matter is prosecuted by the PPSC or DOJ it should be scheduled for a Wednesday at 9 am.
  5. If the matter is prosecuted by North York or Etobicoke, it should be scheduled for a Friday at 9 am.
  6. If there is a statutory holiday on the day when a matter would normally be scheduled for a first appearance, it may be scheduled two weeks after the JPT or it may be scheduled on the Thursday of the week after the JPT.

(b) Subsequent Administrative Appearances

  1. All subsequent administrative appearances, after the first appearance will be conducted in the same way: remotely, on the day designated for the particular Crown’s office.
  2. If there is a reason that the appearance must be in person, the case will be adjourned to 2 pm in a courtroom that has been opened for trial matters.

(c) Remote Attendance

  1. All administrative attendances are presumptively remote.
  2. Accused persons shall attend court by audioconference, videoconference or by designation of counsel.
  3. Persons in custody at the Toronto South Detention Centre, who are not appearing through counsel by designation, will attend at 9 am. Persons in custody at the Toronto East Detention Center, who are not appearing through counsel by designation, will attend at 11 am.
  4. The attendance of persons detained in other institutions will be arranged as needed.
  5. In addition to remand dates, the endorsement on the warrant of remand will also indicate the manner in which the accused person will re-attend: “by audioconference” or “by videoconference” or “in person” (in person appearances should be used only if the accused is required to attend for an application, case management, guilty plea or trial).
  6. Counsel for the Crown and counsel for the accused shall attend Practice Court by audioconference or videoconference.

(d) Designations

  1. Counsel are encouraged to file designations for accused persons both in and out of custody. If, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, counsel are unable to meet in person with a client to have a designation signed, the designation can be signed by counsel on behalf of the client if the client has so directed.
  2. A designation may provide for unlimited appearances by counsel or it may indicate that the lawyer is authorized to appear for limited purposes or for a limited time.
  3. Designations may be filed electronically with the court.

(e) Setting Trial Dates

  1. Trial dates should be arranged by all counsel with the trial co-ordinators following the JPT and before the appearance in court.
  2. Where a trial date is to be set, counsel will complete a trial confirmation form that will be filed electronically with the court. The trial confirmation form will set out the first available dates for trial for the court and counsel as well as the trial date agreed upon. A trial confirmation form must be completed for all cases including long trials.
  3. A trial confirmation date should also be agreed upon.
  4. Counsel should continue to contact the trial co-ordinators through the generic email.

(f) Re-elections and Short Applications (For example, Remove counsel, release exhibits)

  1. An accused person may re-elect their mode of trial at the Practice Court appearance.
  2. Short applications or matters that are on consent can be scheduled for Practice Court. Longer applications should be scheduled through the trial co-ordinators.

(g) Case Management

  1. Where a case requires case management, the matter may be held down until the end of the set dates or adjourned to another court, to a JPT, or to the afternoon session (2 pm) of Practice Court.

(iii)  Guilty Pleas

  1. If an accused person who has an appearance in Practice Court to set a date wishes on that appearance to enter a guilty plea, the matter may be dealt with by the presiding judge or held down until all of the dates have been set or sent to another court or to the afternoon session (2 pm) of Practice Court.
  2. Guilty pleas will continue to be scheduled in other courts on any day. For scheduled guilty pleas, the following protocol continues to apply:
    • Counsel will contact the Admin Crown or their designate who will send an email to the Trial Coordinator’s Office using the generic email address:
      CriminalTrialOffice-SCJ-Toronto@ontario.ca
      and provide all the necessary documentation for the plea. The Admin Crown/designate will also file the documentation with the Criminal Intake Office at:
      TORONTO.SCJ.CRIMINALINTAKE@ontario.ca
    • The trial coordinator will schedule a date and time for the plea and advise all parties.
    • If the accused is in custody and the plea is to proceed remotely, the Admin Crown/ designate will advise the institution so that the inmate can be available to participate in the teleconference or videoconference.
  1. If the plea is to proceed remotely, the trial coordinator will provide the parties with the teleconference or videoconference information for the hearing.
  2. If the plea is to proceed in person, counsel will obtain a judge’s order.

A.6 Summary Conviction Appeals/Extraordinary Remedies

(i) Hearings

  1. Hearings will proceed remotely by way of video hearing, unless the appellant or the respondent is self-represented, in which case the matter will proceed by way of in-person hearing.
  2. Any appellant currently required, by the terms of their current bail, to surrender into custody prior to the appeal hearing is not required to do so. That condition is varied to one which only requires a surrender into custody if their appeal is dismissed and they are subject to a custodial sentence.
  3. All out of custody appellants required to attend the hearings in person are no longer required to do so, unless self-represented. Hearings for self-represented appellants/applicants/respondents shall be conducted in person, unless in custody, in which case they will be conducted remotely.
  4. Hearings with Counsel will be conducted by videoconference using Zoom. Counsel shall: (i) forward the Zoom link to their client; (ii) provide their client’s Zoom name (or telephone number if joining by telephone) to the Summary Conviction Appeal Trial Office no later than 3 days prior to the hearing; and (iii) inform the Court at the outset of the hearing that the client is observing the proceedings. The client shall turn off their camera and remain on mute during the hearing and shall not share the Zoom link with anyone. If the hearings are held by teleconference, arrangements will be made by the defence to permit their client to attend through a conference line, but Counsel shall not provide the secure number of the Court to their client.
  5. Hearing participants and observers are reminded that, unless permission is given by the court, it is an offence under s. 136 of the Courts of Justice Act, punishable by a fine of not more than $25,000 or imprisonment of up to six months, or both, to record any part of a hearing, including by way of screenshot, as well as to publish, broadcast, reproduce or disseminate any such recording.

(ii) Service and Filing

  1. Notices of appeal/application and supporting materials by a defendant that is not an inmate appeal/application shall be served on the Attorney General for Ontario electronically at:Toronto.Crown.SCA.SpecialMotions@ontario.ca, or
    the Attorney General for Canada at OntarioFedProsecutionServices@ppsc-sppc.gc.ca, or
    SignifierOntarioPoursuitesFedS@ppsc-sppc.gc.ca
    depending on who had/has carriage of the matter giving rise to the impugned order.
  1. The Crown shall provide email confirmation of acceptance of service or rejection of service as soon as practicable.
  2. The Notice and a copy of the email confirmation of acceptance of service shall be filed electronically with the court through the criminal intake office at: Toronto.SCJ.CriminalIntake@ontario.ca along with any documents/materials required under the Criminal Proceedings Rules for the Superior Court of Justice (Ontario).
  3. Where the appellant/applicant is the Attorney General, his or her agent, or was the informant or any party other than the defendant (the accused) in proceedings before the court/preliminary inquiry court, the notice of appeal/application shall be served by mail on each person in respect of whom the appeal/application is brought against unless there is counsel of record, in which case service will be effected by sending the notice electronically to counsel. The appellant/applicant shall send a courtesy copy of the notice mailed to the respondent electronically to counsel of record in the proceedings the appeal/application relates to, if there was counsel of record. Filing the notice with the court shall be done electronically by sending it to the criminal intake office.
  4. The parties shall electronically serve the opposing party and shall electronically file with the criminal intake office copies of all factums, appeal books/application records and any other material being relied upon. These materials shall be sent to the opposing party and to the court in the same email. This does not preclude a party or the court from rejecting the documents for non compliance with the rules.
  5. The appellant/applicant shall serve transcripts electronically by email to the opposing party and file transcripts electronically by email to the criminal intake office.
  6. The subject line of all emails should clearly identify the name of the case, court file number (if known), date of hearing (if known), nature of the proceedings (e.g. conviction appeal) and for PPSC matters the court location, and be prefaced by “SCA” if an appeal or “Special Motion” if an extraordinary remedy application.
  7. Cases and other source materials referenced in factums shall be hyperlinked and it will not be necessary to file a Book of Authorities unless requested by the judge.
  8. E-service and e-filing documents and materials replaces the requirement to serve and file a paper/hard copy.
  9. Where the appellant/applicant is self-represented and does not have access to electronic means for e-service and e-filing, documents and materials may be served and filed in paper/hard copy.

(iii) Facta Filing Timelines

  1. For summary conviction appeals, the Appellant shall serve and file their factum not later than sixty (60) days before the day first scheduled for the hearing and the Respondent shall serve and file their factum not later than twenty (20) days before the day first scheduled for the hearing.
  2. For extraordinary remedy applications, the Applicant shall serve and file their factum not later than thirty (30) days before the day first scheduled for the hearing and the Respondent shall serve and file their factum not later than ten (10) days before the day first scheduled for the hearing.

(iv) Bail Pending Appeal/Stays

  1. Applications for bail pending appeal and stays of driving prohibition, fine, forfeiture, restitution, victim fine surcharge, probation or conditional sentence orders are subject to the same procedure outlined in this protocol for bail reviews, with modifications as follows:
  2. Applications shall be served electronically on the Crown at:

Toronto.Crown.SCA.SpecialMotions@ontario.ca, or OntarioFedProsecutionServices@ppsc-sppc.gc.ca, or SignifierOntarioPoursuitesFedS@ppsc-sppc.gc.ca
depending on who had carriage of the trial. The subject line of the email should clearly identify the name of the case, nature of the proceedings (e.g. bail pending appeal) and for PPSC matters the court location, and be prefaced by “SCA”.

  1. The Crown shall provide email confirmation of acceptance of service or rejection of service as soon as practicable.
  2. The applicant shall contact the Crown to ascertain the Crown’s position, and canvass the Crown’s available dates if the application is being contested, prior to electronically filing their application with the Court through the criminal intake office at Toronto.SCJ.CriminalIntake@ontario.ca.
    Mutually agreeable dates between the parties for a contested hearing shall be set out in the email at the time of e-filing contested applications.
  3. The Criminal Intake Office will arrange for a contested hearing to be held remotely and notify the parties.
  4. A draft order shall accompany applications on consent, including a Form 10A (if applicable) signed by all parties, and e-filed with the criminal intake office by the applicant, unless self represented, in which case the crown shall electronically file the application and materials with the court.
  5. Draft orders should be e-filed in the Microsoft Word format (.docx) rather than a PDF version.
  6. The paperwork will be completed by the Criminal Intake Office and provided to the parties for their signature. The applicant shall return the signed paperwork to the criminal intake office by email, and the criminal intake office will distribute the court order(s) to all interested parties and to the institution, if applicable.
  7. If the Applicant indicates that they wish to be present, arrangements will be made for them to have access to the teleconference call. If in custody, the Crown will contact the institution to provide the applicant with telephone access. If out of custody, Defence Counsel will make the necessary arrangements but shall not provide the secure number of the Court to their client.

B. Family Matters

For procedures governing Family matters, counsel must consult the Provincial Consolidated Notice here: Notice to the Profession, Parties, Public and the Media.

B.1 Presumptive Mode of Proceeding

The following summary lists the presumptive modes of proceedings before a judge for family matters in Toronto as provided for in the Guidelines to Determine Mode of Proceeding in Family:

STEP IN COURT IN-PERSON VIRTUAL IN-WRITING
TBST Court X
Urgent Case Conference X
Case Conference before a judge X
Case Conference before a DRO X
Settlement Conference X
Trial Management Conference X
Trial Scheduling Conference (for the sole purpose of completing TSEF) X
Urgent Motion X
Short Motion X
Long Motion X
Motion for contempt X
Motion for Refraining Order (FRO) X
Trial X
Appeal X
Hague Applications X
Status Hearings X
14B Motions (on consent, unopposed and simple procedural motions) X

While the Presumptive Modes Guideline will be followed, whether to change the presumptive mode of a proceeding is ultimately at the discretion of the judiciary. The following is the process to request a change to the presumptive mode:

  1. Requests shall be made during conferences to the conference judge or in court to the judge scheduling the next attendance.
  2. For matters that are already scheduled, parties may file a request for a virtual hearing form, which can be found here. The request must be made at least 14 days before the event.

B.2 Electronic Filing and Issuance

  1. All materials that are filed with the court must comply with requirements set out in the Provincial Consolidated Notice here: Notice to the Profession, Parties, Public and the Media including restrictions on material that can be filed for certain events. Anything outside these restrictions will not be reviewed by the presiding judge.
  2. All documents that may be served by regular service may be served by email.
  3. All documents filed electronically shall be filed using the Justice Services Online Portal (i.e., the Family Case Documents Online portal) unless:
    • Your matter is urgent;
    • You are filing for a court event that is less than five business days away; or
    • You are filing a confirmation form.
  1. If you are electronically filing a document for a court event that is less than five business days away or is urgent, you must file by email to Toronto.SCJ.FAMILYINTAKE@ontario.ca. Confirmations forms must be emailed to the FamilyTrialOffice-SCJ-Toronto@ontario.ca.
  2. Unless urgent, all Applications and Motions to Change filed electronically for issuance shall be filed using Justice Services Online, along with other necessary documents as required under the Family Law Rules. You will receive an electronic copy of your court-issued Application or Motion to change by email, including a court file number and date of issuance.
  3. All documents served or filed electronically shall be named in a manner that identifies it clearly so that it is not necessary to open the document to understand what it is. Specifically, parties shall use the file naming instructions set out in section B.11 (para. 43) below.
  4. Parties will receive an invitation to CaseLines approximately two weeks in advance of any scheduled court event to upload the documents that have been properly filed with the court. These documents must be uploaded to CaseLines at least 2 days before the event date. This should also include previous endorsements or orders. Documents uploaded less than 2 days in advance of the court hearing may not be read by the judge hearing the matter.
  5. All exhibits in affidavits and cases in facta shall be hyperlinked or bookmarked for ease of reference. In the alternative, parties may file/upload an index of exhibits or cases, hyperlinked to the exhibits and/or cases.
  6. If a lawyer or a self-represented litigant is not able to use CaseLines because of lack of access to technology, they can obtain help at the filing office. Assistance with CaseLines is available through Justice Services Online (JSO) by contacting 1-800-980-4962 or by email at info.CaseLines@ontario.ca.
  7. Additional information and direction regarding the use of CaseLines, including training and other resources, is set out in the Provincial Consolidated Notice here: Notice to the Profession, Parties, Public and the Media.
  8. Unless specifically set out below, confirmation forms must be filed in advance of all scheduled matters, as set out in the Family Law Rules and Practice Directions, or the matter will not proceed as scheduled.
  9. Prior to the next step in any proceeding, the parties must ensure that an Endorsement Brief has been uploaded into the appropriate CaseLines bundle, including any endorsements or orders made prior to April 1, 2020. Any requests to court staff for copies of prior endorsements should be done by email so as to limit in-person attendances at courthouses.

B.3 Obtaining DRO Conference, Case Conference, Settlement Conference and Trial Management Conference Dates

  1. DRO Conference:
    1. Commencing March 8, 2021, when a motion to change is filed with the Court, a DRO conference will automatically be scheduled by court staff.
    2. DRO conferences will take place on Tuesdays or Thursdays for one-hour time slots at 9:30 am, 10:45 am or 12:00 pm.
    3. Two weeks prior to the DRO conference, parties will receive an email with the link to CaseLines. In addition to serving and filing the materials, all material for the event shall be uploaded by the parties to CaseLines.
    4. Parties shall file a confirmation form 17F three days prior to the event by 2:00 pm, by emailing Toronto.SCJ.FAMILYINTAKE@ontario.ca.
    5. Case conference briefs for DRO attendances are limited to six (6) pages in length, double spaced and at least 12-point font size. Anything greater than six (6) pages will not be read by the designated DRO. Schedules or tabs attached are not included in the six-page limit
  2. Conferences can be booked in three ways:
    1. If there are no dates available through Calendly, the Conference Coordinator may be able to provide additional dates. See (b) below.
    2. The Conference Coordinator will provide three dates. The date will only be booked upon the party confirming, by email, the chosen date. A Conference Notice will then have to be served on the other side and filed, along with an affidavit of service.
    3. On consent of all parties, finding a date using https://calendly.com/conference-booking Emailing the Conference Coordinator at: toronto.family.caseconferences@ontario.ca
    4. On consent of all parties, parties may schedule a case conference before a DRO by emailing Toronto.SCJ.FAMILYINTAKE@ontario.ca and asking for a date. See paragraph 11 above for further information.
  1. A party booking a conference on the Calendly link above shall add the opposing party (or their lawyer if represented) as a “guest” (option available on form) by including the email address of the opposing party or of the opposing party’s lawyer.
  2. Parties must follow the page limits set out in the Notice to the Profession, Parties, Public and the Media as it applies to conferences briefs.

B.4 Early Judicial Intervention and Procedural Direction

Commencing January 3, 2022, in accordance with the Province-Wide Notice to Profession regarding Family Law Cases (see Notice to the Profession, Parties, Public and the Media)Toronto will have a judge available on Monday mornings from 9 am – 11 am to address limited urgent or procedural matters, which appointments can be booked in accordance with the guidelines below.  If the Courts are closed on a Monday, the appointments will be scheduled for Tuesday. These attendances will be virtual attendances using Zoom.

  1. The appointments for To Be Spoken to Court (TBST) attendances should be booked:
    1. If an early attendance before a judge can help the litigants attempt to put temporary arrangements in place to avoid the need for an urgent motion or other urgent attendance (this is limited to files where no case conference has been held);
    2. To obtain procedural directions including determining what the next step should be, consistent with subrules 2(2) and 2(3) of the Family Law Rules, and whether any part of the case needs to be expedited;
    3. Where one or both litigants plan to bring an urgent motion or seek an urgent case conference date. This does not apply where an urgent motion cannot wait to be addressed at TBST Court; or
    4. In lieu of a 14B motion, parties may also attend TBST Court to request that their matter proceed to a combined case/settlement conference under r.17(7.1) or section 9 of the province-wide Notice to the Profession, Parties, Public and the Media.
  1. Parties may schedule a 20-minute appointment for these attendances on any Monday morning when the Court is open between 9 am – 11 am (or Tuesday if the Court is closed on Monday).
  2. For TBST Court, parties shall only file a TBST Court Brief, which can be found here or the documents required under r.17(7.1) including Form 17G where applicable. Anything longer than three (3) pages will not be read by the judge. All facts that will be relied upon must be included in the TBST Court Brief and no additional facts can be added during submissions.
  3. TBST attendances will be focused. Unless a party is moving without notice both parties must certify that they have fully discussed the issues with the other side in advance. If the issues have not been discussed in advance with the other side, the matter will be rescheduled.
  4. Parties can schedule appointments at TBST Court through Calendly, at this link: https://calendly.com/tbstcourt
  5. No confirmation form will be required for these appointments.
  6. The Judge presiding over the TBST attendance will be able to make any orders that can be made at a case/settlement conference.

B.5. Scheduling Motion Dates

To assist in shortening the current time outs, effective January 4, 2022, the Court will resume having open motion lists for regular motions (being less than one hour) on Tuesdays and Thursdays, meaning that these motions can be brought on any Tuesday or Thursday that the court is open without having to obtain a motion date from the Court.

  1. All motions will be scheduled for a 10 a.m. start on Zoom. The judge will vet the list at the opening of court to determine the order in which the motions will be heard. Participants will be kept in the waiting room while the judge vets the list by calling one matter at a time. All participants will then be brought into the virtual court when their matter will be heard. Where appropriate, parties are expected to continue settlement discussions until their motion is heard.  Mediation services through 361Mediate will remain available throughout the day.
  2. All motions require factums, served and filed at least two days before the motion.
  3. The court welcomes counsel and parties to provide draft orders with their motion materials in Word. Draft orders should include the legislative authority for the requested provisions in accordance with the new requirements under the Family Law Rules.
  4. A bill of costs shall be filed along with motion material, if costs are requested by a party on the motion.
  5. No Books of Authority containing the full text of authorities may be emailed or filed. Each party’s factum shall instead hyperlink authorities to a publicly available, free website such as CanLII. The factum must include paragraph references each time a case is cited in the factum.
  6. Excerpts of authorities that are not available on a free public website, such as excerpts from textbooks or unreported decisions, should be collected in a small brief of excerpts of unreported authorities and filed electronically in PDF format.

B.6 Scheduling Urgent Matters

  1. Urgent matters are no longer being submitted for triaging and the (pre-COVID) rules and tests for urgent matters will apply. Urgent matters (whether conferences or motions) should be scheduled for the TBST Court on Monday mornings. If the matter is of such an urgent nature that it must be heard prior to the next TBST Court, urgent dates can be obtained as follows:
    1. If an urgent conference is sought:
      1. A party must serve the material on the opposing party or parties, by email and email the conference material to: Toronto.family.caseconferences@ontario.ca
      2. The trial coordinator will seek direction from a presiding judge as to whether the conference is urgent, and whether it will be heard or set down for the TBST court.
      3. If the matter is deemed to be of sufficient urgency, the conference coordinator will provide the parties with the date, time and the contact information for the conference call or videoconference for the case conference.
      4. For urgent conferences only, the other party’s case conference brief shall be filed by emailing the brief and affidavit of service to Toronto.family.caseconferences@ontario.ca
      5. No confirmation form is required prior to an urgent conference once the parties have confirmed the date and time with the conference coordinator’s office.
    2. If an urgent motion is sought:
      1. A party must serve the motion material on the opposing party or parties by email (if not an without notice motion) and file the motion material, a draft order and a populated restraining order if appropriate (and affidavit of service if not a without notice motion) by emailing the motion material to FamilyTrialOffice-SCJ-Toronto@ontario.ca. The subject heading on the email shall read “Urgent Motion”.
      2. The trial coordinator shall seek direction from a presiding judge as to whether the motion is urgent, and whether it will be heard or set down for the TBST court. There is no change to the threshold for urgent motions that existed pre-COVID.
      3. If the matter is deemed to be of sufficient urgency, the trial coordinator will provide the parties with the date, time and the contact information for the conference call or videoconference for the motion.

B.7 Motions to Change

  1. Commencing March 8, 2021, Motions to Change, not on consent, shall proceed to a DRO conference. See paragraph B.3 above.

B.8 Self-Represented Litigants in Family Matters

    1. Self-represented litigants are expected to comply with the process set out in this Notice.
    2. Members of the public can call or email the Justice Services Online (JSO) Contact Centre for assistance if they have technical issues with e-filing through Justice Services Online or with CaseLines.
      JSO Contact Centre information:

  1. Litigants may wish to contact
    1. The Law Society of Ontario’s referral program at:  416-947-3310
      This service will provide ½ hour of free legal advice, including referrals to other services.
    2. The Family Justice Centre (run with support from Pro Bono Students Canada).These services are financial eligibility tested but with higher income level cut offs than Legal Aid Ontario. Information about this service is available at:  https://www.probonostudents.ca/family-justice-centre.
    3. Reduced fee services may be available through JusticeNet for litigants with modest incomes. Information about their services and requirements are available at justicenet.ca.
    4. Summary legal assistance is available through Legal Aid Ontario for family law and Children’s Aid Society matters. As of March 27, 2020, they are waiving the financial eligibility requirements. LAO can be reached at:Toll-free: 1-800-668-8258
      General: 416-979-1446
  1. There are private limited scope and more affordable legal services that are available to litigants regarding their family law services which are available in relation to specific court attendances at reduced rates (https://ascfamily.com/) and more generally through Ontario’s Family Law Limited Scope Services Project (www.familylawlss.ca).

B.9 Miscellaneous (interpreters, entering orders, etc.)

  1. The court is only responsible for providing interpreters in specific circumstances, otherwise parties are responsible for ensuring they have made their own arrangements for an interpreter to attend. If an interpreter is required for any matter, the trial coordinator must be notified when the matter is scheduled.
  2. If, due to the nature of an order, the order needs to be entered on an expedited basis, arrangements should be made with court staff by emailing: Toronto.SCJ.FAMILYINTAKE@ontario.ca
  3. For all general inquiries, please call the court office. Court staff cannot provide legal advice. All inquiries with respect to procedure will be referred to the court website.

B.10 Summary of Email Addresses

  1. Toronto.SCJ.FAMILYINTAKE@ontario.ca to be used for:
    • Arranging expedited entry of an order
    • Confirmation forms
    • Scheduling a DRO conference, on consent, a first case conference
    • electronically filing a document for a court event that is less than five business days away
  1. FamilyTrialOffice-SCJ-Toronto@ontario.ca to be used for:
    • Filing urgent motion material
    • to book a regular motion date
  1. Toronto.family.caseconferences@ontario.ca to be used for:
    • Scheduling an urgent case conference date and filing urgent case conference briefs
    • Obtaining a case conference date if a party will not provide consent for available dates or if no dates are available through Calendly
  1. Justice Services Online (the Family Case Documents Online portal) to be used for:
    • All other filings in family cases

B.11 File Naming Instructions for Electronic Documents

  1. Parties are directed to follow the standard document naming protocol set out in the Provincial Consolidated Notice here: Notice to the Profession, Parties, Public and the Media.

B.12 Physical Courts

  1. As previously planned, the Toronto SCJ Family Courts has moved from 393 University Avenue to its new permanent home in 361 University Avenue.

 

C. Civil Matters

C.1 Civil Matters before a Judge

The following civil matters are being heard before judges in Toronto:

  1. Trials: Both judge alone and jury trials may proceed subject to direction from the Chief Justice. Counsel and parties should contact the Trial Coordinator’s office for further particulars. Trials that were adjourned due to the pandemic from March 2020 onwards have been re-scheduled to the earliest date available.
  2. Pre-Trial Conferences as discussed in C.3 below.
  3. All motions and applications to a judge made without notice, on consent of all parties, and that are confirmed as unopposed, will be heard in writing. See paragraph C.1.9 below for motions and applications for approval of settlements for parties under disability under Rule 7. Motions and applications made without notice, on consent, or on a confirmed unopposed basis may be filed in searchable PDF format through the Civil Submissions Online portal.
  4. Case Conferences: A completed Case Conference Request form under Rule 50.13(1) may be sent to TorontoCaseConferenceAppointments@Ontario.ca. Note that Rule 50 (including Rule 50.13) does not apply to actions governed by the Construction Act: O. Reg. 302/18, s. 10(9).
  5. All opposed short motions and short applications to a judge are subject to review in writing before being scheduled. Parties wishing to bring a short motion or a short application to a judge may submit a Short Motion or Application Request Form as an attachment to an email to civiljudgesmotions@ontario.ca. The moving party must consult or attempt to consult with all affected responding parties before submitting the request form. The judge reviewing the Short Motion or Application Request Form may issue directions for the disposition of the motion or convene a case conference for that purpose. The Civil Motion Confirmation Form is to be emailed to JUS.G.MAG.CSD.CivilMotionsConfirmation@ontario.ca by 2:00 p.m. five (5) days prior to the hearing, excluding weekends and holidays. In the case of an abandoned motion where the responding party is seeking costs, the confirmation form must be sent by 10:00 a.m. four (4) days prior to the hearing. Motion materials must be uploaded into CaseLines at least three (3) days in advance of the hearing.
  6. All summary judgment motions, appeals from the Consent and Capacity Board, long motions, long applications, and urgent matters must be scheduled through Civil Practice Court. Civil Practice Court sits every Tuesday and Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. by Zoom. Sitting days may be increased as volume requires. To obtain an appointment for Civil Practice Court, parties are required to email a requisition form to Civilpracticecourt@ontario.ca.
  7. Long motions and long applications must be confirmed one month before the hearing date in accordance with para. 24 of the Consolidated Practice Direction for Civil Actions, Applications, Motions and Procedural Matters in the Toronto Region and one week before the hearing date in the manner provided by the Rules. Note that, although Rules 37.10.1 (1) and 38.09.1 (1) contemplate motion confirmation as late as five days before the hearing, in Toronto, one week is required to be sure that the matter can be assigned and ready for hearing. For further information about scheduling long motions and applications, counsel and parties are directed to the Consolidated Practice Direction for Civil Actions, Applications, Motions and Procedural Matters in the Toronto Region.
  8. Urgent Hearing Requests: If an urgent request to schedule a matter cannot wait until the next Civil Practice Court, requests for an attendance before a judge may continue to be sent to Civilurgentmatters-SCJ-Toronto@ontario.ca.
  9. Rule 7 Applications, Rule 7 Motions, and Other Applications and Motions in Writing that are Proceeding on Consent of all Parties may be brought as follows:
    1. Electronic copies of Rule 7 applications, Rule 7 motions, and other applications and motions in writing that are proceeding on consent of all parties may be filed in searchable PDF format through the Civil Submissions Online portal and uploaded to CaseLines in accordance with Rule 4.05.3.
    2. Counsel must ensure that all material necessary for Court approval as set out in Rule 7.08(1)(4) is included in the motion record.
    3. An approved form of draft judgment shall be filed in Word format in a separate document.

C.2 Civil Matters before an Associate Judge

The following civil matters are being heard before associate judges in Toronto:

  1. Pre-Trial Conferences as discussed in C.3 below.
  2. Motions in writing to an associate judge will be made for motions brought without notice, on consent of all parties, and that are confirmed as unopposed prior to being brought. Such motions may be filed in searchable PDF format through the Civil Submissions Online portal.
  3. Short motions:
    1. Opposed short motions to an associate judge (2 hours or less) may be booked by submitting a Short Motion or Application Request Form as an attachment to an email to JUS.G.MAG.CSD.Civilmotionsscheduling@ontario.ca
    2. The moving party must consult or attempt to consult with all affected responding parties before submitting the request form. One proposed method of hearing (i.e., in writing, in person, or remote) must be selected.
    3. The Civil Motion Confirmation Form is to be emailed to JUS.G.MAG.CSD.CivilMotionsConfirmation@ontario.ca by 2:00 p.m. five (5) days prior to the hearing, excluding weekends and holidays. In the case of an abandoned motion where the responding party is seeking costs, the confirmation form must be sent by 10:00 a.m. four (4) days prior to the hearing. Motion materials must be uploaded into CaseLines at least three (3) days in advance of the hearing.
    4. For solicitor removal motions to an associate judge:
      1. Motions for removal of a party’s own solicitor shall be scheduled as opposed short motions, to proceed by videoconference. When the lawyer requests a date for a removal motion, the Civil Scheduling Unit will provide a date and the Zoom coordinates for accessing the virtual courtroom both by videoconference and by telephone. The moving lawyer shall include the Zoom coordinates provided by the court in the notice of motion served on the client and opposing parties.
      2. Unredacted motion records as provided in Rule 15.04(1.3) of the Rules of Civil Procedure should not be filed with other motion materials or uploaded to CaseLines. Unredacted motion records should be provided to the presiding associate judge for review at the beginning of the hearing of the motion as an attachment to an email sent to the registrar or in such other manner as the presiding associate judge may direct.
    5. In short motions before an associate judge, all affidavits of service must be uploaded into CaseLines. This is particularly important in motions where service is contested or proof of service is necessary for determining the motion (e.g., motions where responding materials were not filed, solicitor removal motions, motions to add a party (defendant), etc.).
  4. Long Motions:
    1. Long motions may be scheduled by sending a requisition to schedule a long motion before an associate judge to associatejudges.longmotions@ontario.ca. Procedures for filing materials and hearing the long motion will be determined by the assigned associate judge at a case conference. If the action is case managed, a requisition is not necessary and a request for a long motion may be sent directly to the Assistant Trial Coordinator for the associate judge who is managing the action.
    2. In long motions before an associate judge, all affidavits of service must be uploaded into CaseLines.
  5. Case Conferences: A completed Case Conference Request form requesting a case conferences before an associate judge under Rule 50.13(1) may be sent to TorontoCaseConferenceAppointments@Ontario.ca. Note that Rule 50 (including Rule 50.13) does not apply to actions governed by the Construction Act:  O. Reg. 302/18, s. 10(9).
  6. Construction Lien Motions & References before an associate judge: See Section H below.
  7. Reference Proceedings: Civil reference hearings before an associate judge are currently proceeding in Toronto as scheduled, subject to the instructions of the assigned reference associate judge. Counsel and parties should contact the reference associate judge’s Assistant Trial Coordinator to arrange a case conference in advance of any pending scheduled reference hearing.
  8. Urgent Hearing Requests: If an urgent request to schedule a matter cannot wait until the next Civil Practice Court, requests for an attendance before an associate judge may continue to be sent to Civilurgentmatters-SCJ-Toronto@ontario.ca.

C.3 Pre-Trial Conferences before Judges and Associate Judges

  1. Pre-trial conferences will presumptively be heard remotely, subject to Rule 1.08 and the discretion of the pretrial judge. Counsel and parties will be advised of the location of the pre-trial conference the week before it is scheduled to be heard.
  2. At this time, the court will hear pre-trial conferences for cases where trial dates have been fixed. It is expected that parties and counsel will attend pre-trial conferences with full intention and authority to settle the case. To make the pre-trial effective, there should be no impediment to resolution of the case such as an outstanding expert report, outstanding critical productions, or other evidence that is necessary for a fulsome discussion of the case.
  3. Pursuant to the amendments to Rule 50.03, each party must complete a Certificate of Readiness (Form 50A) at least 30 days prior to the pretrial setting out the status of expert reports.
  4. While the initial focus of the pre-trial conference will be on resolution of the case, the pre-trial judge or associate judge will also undertake trial management. Trial management is especially important with the possibility of virtual or hybrid virtual/in-person trials. Prior to the pre-trial conference, counsel will be provided with blank drafts of the form of pre-trial report under Rule 50.08 to be completed by the pre-trial judge or associate judge. Trial counsel are required to speak to each other and to fill in the Rule 50.08 report consensually as much as possible in advance of the pre-trial conference and return it to the trial coordinator in Word format before the pretrial date. Failure to complete the report may result in the pretrial being rescheduled. The court expects counsel to cooperate in the trial management process prior to and at the pre-trial conference.
  5. In addition to the pre-trial conferences scheduled by the court above, counsel or a party may request the scheduling of a pre-trial conference for pre-trial that meets the criteria in paragraph C.3.2 above by sending a Toronto Civil Pre-Trial Conference Request form signed by all counsel and unrepresented parties to the court electronically, in searchable PDF format, attached to an email addressed to: Toronto.civil.pretrials@ontario.ca. If the request for a pre-trial is not on consent, counsel should request a case conference under Rule 50.13(1) to deal with this issue. A completed Case Conference Request form  may be sent to TorontoCaseConferenceAppointments@Ontario.ca.
  6. When an action is scheduled for a pre-trial conference, the parties shall serve and file briefs that contain a concise summary of the position of the party and the evidence that will be relied on at trial at least five (5) days before the scheduled date. The parties will also deliver their draft Rule 50.08 reports and, for actions governed by Rule 76, all other documents required by subrule 76.10(4).
  7. Counsel may summarize evidence such as the opinions of treatment providers or experts. Where counsel is of the view that the expert report should be read by the pre-trial judge or associate judge, it should be included by hyperlinks to an external, secure database viewer in the pretrial brief.
  8. Voluminous records such as pleadings, treatment notes, accident benefit files, hospital records, tax returns, and employment files are not to be filed with the court by hyperlink, a dropbox, or otherwise. Summaries or charts of such records ought to be included in the body of the pretrial memorandum.
  9. All of the foregoing steps are guidelines only and are subject to variation at the discretion of the court in appropriate cases. In addition, the court may also contact counsel to schedule other pre-trial conferences at its discretion.
  10. Briefs, draft reports, and any other documents pursuant to paragraph C.3.5 above shall be uploaded into CaseLines (into the pre-trial event folder). These documents should not be filed through the Civil Submissions Online Portal or by email to the trial coordinator’s office.

C.4 Material Filing Directions for Motions and Applications before Judges and Associate Judges

  1. All motion and application materials are to be filed through the Civil Submissions Online portal.
  2. In addition to filing the documents through the Civil Submissions Online portal, all documents for use on a motion or application shall also be uploaded to CaseLines in accordance with Rule 4.05.3, unless the court advises that the matter has not been added to CaseLines.
  3. Counsel and self-represented parties are expected to refer the court to documents using the page numbering on CaseLines. They are also expected to utilize hyperlinks and bookmarks for tabs in large documents. Anyone needing assistance with CaseLines can refer to the Provincial Consolidated Notice here: Notice to the Profession, Parties, Public and the Media.
  4. Affidavits of service should not be uploaded to CaseLines for motions to a judge unless there is a dispute regarding service or they are otherwise required for use during the hearing. For motions to an associate judge, affidavits of service shall be uploaded to Caselines as set out in paragraph C.2.3 (e) above.
  5. In accordance with Rule 4.05.3(3)(1) all materials for a hearing to be uploaded to CaseLines must first have been filed through the Civil Submissions Online portal. Parties may seek leave at a hearing to refer to documents on CaseLines that they have submitted for filing through the Civil Submissions Online portal, but which have not as yet been accepted by the Registrar.
  6. Rule 57.01(6) requires that every party who intends to seek costs of a proceeding must serve and bring to the hearing, a costs outline (Form 57B) not exceeding three pages in length. Parties seeking costs of a motion shall serve their costs outlines on all other parties, file them through the Civil Submissions Online portal, and upload them to CaseLines before the hearing.
  7. Following upload to CaseLines, parties should also upload revised indexes for all records and briefs adding the correlating CaseLines page numbers for each document.
  8. All documents filed through the Civil Submissions Online portal or via email should be submitted in searchable PDF format. Factums and draft orders should also be submitted in Word format.
  9. For all motions and applications, the moving and responding parties must upload to CaseLines a participant sheet showing the names and contact information, including email addresses, for all anticipated participants.
  10. For all long motions and applications, each of the parties shall also file and upload to CaseLines a “Compendium” containing only the brief portions of the cases and the brief portions of the evidence to which each party intends to refer during the hearing. The following should be included in the Compendium:
    1. Where portions of cases are included in the Compendium, the name of the case, citation, and the headnote from each case should be included as well; and
    2. Where portions of the evidence are included in the Compendium, the first page of the document and identification of where it may be found in the record should also be provided.

C.5 Presumptive Mode of Proceedings

  1. The following summary lists the presumptive modes of proceedings before a judge or associate judge for civil matters in Toronto as provided in the Guidelines To Determine Mode of Proceeding in Civil:
STEP IN COURT IN-PERSON VIRTUAL IN-WRITING
Jury trial X
Non-jury trial X
Pretrial Conference X
Case conferences (except to change the presumptive format as in C(i)(4) below) X
Trial Scheduling/TBST/Civil Practice Court X
Opposed Motions and applications X
Consent, Confirmed Unopposed, and Without Notice Motions and applications X
Costs X

 

  1. The following summary lists the presumptive modes of proceeding for examinations for discovery and mediations in Toronto as provided as provided in the Guidelines To Determine Mode of Proceeding in Civil:
STEP OUT OF COURT IN-PERSON VIRTUAL IN-WRITING
Examination for Discovery X
Mediation X

 

  1. The method for requesting a change to the presumptive mode of proceeding is set out below for proceedings before a judge or associate judge (trial, pretrial conference, case conference, Trial Scheduling Court, Civil Practice Court, opposed motions, consent/confirmed unopposed/without notice motions, and costs):
    1. The format for proceedings in the Toronto Region are to be set by agreement of the parties and should be informed by the presumption set out in the Guidelines To Determine Mode of Proceeding in Civil, subject to the discretion of the court. Rule 1.08 of the Rules of Civil Procedure provides the process for parties to request a format for a proceeding in court including how to deal with objections to requests made by other parties.
    2. Under Rule 1.08 (1) a party proposing to bring a hearing or a step before the court may specify the method by which the party proposes that the parties attend at the hearing or step in the forms or other documents to be filed in advance of the hearing or step. Rule 1.08 (1) sets out the process for all types of in-court hearings before a judge and/or associate judge set out in Part C.1 and C.2 above. Parties are reminded that the Notice of Motion form, Form 37A, lists the choices of format available.
    3. Under Rule 1.08 (4) a party who wishes to oppose a proposed method of attendance shall deliver a Notice of Objection form, Form 1A before the earlier of:
      1. 10 days after the document specifying the proposed method of attendance was served on the party; and
      2. seven days before the hearing or step.
    4. Under Rule 1.08 (5) if a notice of objection is delivered, the court shall order a case conference under rule 50.13 to deal with the objection. Under Rule 1.08 (3) the case conference shall be by telephone unless the court specifies a different method.
  2. The method for requesting a change to the presumptive mode of proceeding is set out below for proceedings out of court (examinations under Rule 34, and mediations under Rules 24.1, 75.1, or 75.2):
    1. Under Rule 1.08 (8) the format for mediation under Rules 24.1, 75.1, or 75.2 and for examinations under Rule 34, including examinations for discovery and cross-examinations on affidavits, may be set by agreement of the parties. If the parties do not agree then under Rule 1.08 (8)(2):
      1. a party may request a case conference under rule 50.13 to establish the format for out of court examinations or mediation under Rule 24.1; and
      2. a party may bring a motion for directions under Rules 75.1.05 or 75.2.03 to establish the format for mediation under Rules 75.1 or 75.2 respectively.

D. Divisional Court Matters

Procedures for Divisional Court matters are set out in the Notice to Profession – Divisional Court.

E. Commercial and Estate List Matters

  1. The Commercial List has been established for the hearing of certain actions, applications and motions in the Toronto Region involving issues of commercial law. For further details see the Consolidated Practice Direction Concerning the Commercial List.
  2. The Estates List has been established for the hearing of certain proceedings in the Toronto Region involving issues of estate, trust, and capacity law. For further details see the Consolidated Practice Direction Concerning the Estates List in the Toronto Region.
  3. Effective April 19, 2022, subject to the discretion of the judge hearing the matter, the Commercial and Estates Lists will transition to the following modes of hearing:
    1. Matters scheduled for one hour or less will continue to be heard virtually via zoom. Counsel need not gown for matters normally heard in Chambers (e.g., consent motions).
    2. Motions, applications and trials scheduled for 90 minutes or more, since they normally involve substantive issues, will be heard in-person. Counsel are to gown.
    3. Case conferences, pretrial conferences and judicial mediations scheduled for 90 minutes or more will be conducted in-person. No gowning is required.
  4. The procedures set out in the Commercial List and Estates List Filing Direction continue.

F. Matters Heard by Associate Judges sitting as Registrars in Bankruptcy

F.1 General Procedures

  1. Associate Judges sitting as Registrars in Bankruptcy will hear all bankruptcy matters virtually, in writing, by teleconference or video conference. In exceptional cases, Associate Judges sitting as Registrars in Bankruptcy may exercise their discretion to determine whether a matter should be heard in-person, on a case by case basis.
  2. The party shall email the Bankruptcy Court office at toronto.bankruptcy@ontario.ca with details about a matter they wish to have heard in writing, by teleconference or by videoconference. The email shall contain in the subject line the bankruptcy/estate file number and name of the bankrupt. The party will attach a completed Hearing request form. The party shall advise of the preferred manner, dates and times for the hearing of the matter as well as a time estimate for hearing. If the estimated time for the hearing exceeds one hour, the party will also attach a completed Special Appointment Request Form. The Bankruptcy Court office will schedule the matter subject to the availability of the court and, if the matter is proceeding by teleconference or videoconference, the Bankruptcy Court office will provide connection details.

F.2 Conduct of Matters In writing, by Teleconference or by Videoconference

  1. The types of matters as enumerated in paragraph F.7 herein shall be heard in writing.
  2. Bankrupts’ applications for discharge following compliance with prior discharge orders and bankrupts’ applications for discharge that are on consent or unopposed, including matters where opposition is withdrawn, shall be heard in writing and shall be scheduled to be heard in writing by the Bankruptcy Court office, excepting matters where there are alleged conduct issues or section 173 (c), (d), (e), more than two (j), (k) and (l) BIA facts, in which case such matters shall be heard by videoconference.
  3. Trustees’ applications for discharge shall be heard in writing.
  4. Taxations of Statements of Receipts and Disbursement (where a clear Letter of Comment has been received and is anticipated to be unopposed) and Taxation of legal bills will be heard in writing. If a party wishes a taxation to be heard in writing, the party shall email the materials and a request form to the Bankruptcy Court office at toronto.bankruptcy@ontario.ca and request that the taxation be scheduled for the next available date. The following documents should be included in filings and uploaded to the CaseLines platform at least 5 days in advance of the hearing:
    1. Statement of Receipts and Disbursements (SRD) – each taxation submission should have (1) the record containing required documents for review, and (2) a separate PDF copy of the SRD, including Dividend Sheet, for signature;
    2. Comment letter;
    3. Trustee affidavit of fees, with dockets and any other relevant documentation (if there are extenuating circumstances or complexities concerning the administration of the estate, these matters should be addressed in the affidavit filed in support of the taxation);
    4. Inspector resolution approving the SRD (if not apparent from the SRD);
    5. Copies of taxed legal bills of costs;
    6. Statement of Affairs – one (1) copy only; and
    7. Estate general ledger or detailed trial balance.
      The following documents shall not be included in these filings at this time:

      1. Duplicate copies of documents;
      2. Scans of forms that are blank, incomplete, or not filled in, or blank pages after tabs;
      3. Copies of documents, notices or reports in connection with the discharge of the bankrupt; and
      4. Affidavits of service proving service of the initiating bankruptcy documents.
  5. All other motions may be heard by teleconference and videoconference at the request of the parties.
  6. All other bankrupts’ applications for discharge shall be heard by videoconference. Associate Judges sitting as Registrars in Bankruptcy may exercise their discretion to order bankrupts’ applications for discharge to be heard in person.
  7. The Bankruptcy Court has available teleconference and videoconference lines, some with recording capabilities. If required, Associate Judges sitting as Registrars in Bankruptcy may ask counsel to provide videoconference facilities.
  8. Associate Judges sitting as Registrars in Bankruptcy expect counsel to follow the three Cs of the Commercial List: cooperation, communication and use of common sense, particularly in terms of scheduling.

F.3 Materials for Hearing

  1. For each individual matter, parties shall email all relevant materials and documents necessary for the hearing to the Bankruptcy Court office at toronto.bankruptcy@ontario.ca and the email shall contain in the subject line the bankruptcy/estate file number and surname of the bankrupt. As applicable, the parties shall also upload the relevant materials and documents to the CaseLines platform at least 5 days prior to the hearing date. Caselaw and other source materials referenced in a factum should be hyperlinked. Where hyperlinks are provided, the parties need not file a Book of Authorities. Associate Judges sitting as Registrars in Bankruptcy will ask for further materials if necessary.
  2. All materials and documents necessary for the hearing shall be saved and emailed using the standard document naming protocol set out in the Provincial Consolidated Notice here: Notice to the Profession, Parties, Public and the Media.

F.4 Affidavits

Parties are directed to O. Reg. 431/20, Administering Oath or Declaration Remotely, under the Commissioner for Taking Affidavits Act and the Law Society’s Virtual Commissioning resource. The Bankruptcy Court will accept unsworn affidavits prior to the hearing on the condition that a sworn affidavit is provided prior to the hearing or the affiant is available at the teleconference to swear the contents of the affidavit.

F.5 Orders

Finalized draft orders requiring signing shall be emailed directly to the Bankruptcy Court office at toronto.bankruptcy@ontario.ca. The signed order will be electronically delivered to the party.

F.6 Issuing Bankruptcy Applications

  1. The usual process will continue to be followed for issuing bankruptcy applications. The party shall email the Bankruptcy Court office with the application and request issuance. The Bankruptcy Court office shall provide an electronically issued application upon receipt of payment of the $150.00 issuance fee. A date for the hearing of the bankruptcy application to proceed in writing may be obtained on request by email to the Bankruptcy Court office at toronto.bankruptcy@ontario.ca.
  2. Proof of service, which must be effected in accordance with the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, must be filed by email at toronto.bankruptcy@ontario.ca and uploaded to the CaseLines platform at least 5 days in advance of the hearing date.
  3. If the application is on consent or unopposed, Associate Judges sitting as Registrars in Bankruptcy will deal with the matter in writing. If the application is opposed, Associate Judges sitting as Registrars in Bankruptcy will adjourn the matter to a Commercial List judge for scheduling.

F.7 Matters to be Heard In Writing

  1. The following matters shall be heard by the Associate Judges sitting as Registrars in Bankruptcy in writing:
    1. Motions to extend proposal periods where a Notice of Intention has been filed;
    2. Motions to approve Division I proposals, if unopposed;
    3. Motions for substituted service;
    4. Motions for leave to file an assignment in bankruptcy, brought by the trustee or administrator of a deceased;
    5. Motions pursuant to s. 38 of the BIA;
    6. Motions to re-appoint the trustee;
    7. Motions to amend the style of cause/name of the bankrupt/debtor;
    8. Motions to approve the sale of assets to related parties, pursuant to s. 30(4) of the BIA;
    9. Motions to revive consumer proposals;
    10. Motions seeking leave to file a completion or second consumer proposal; and
    11. Any other matter which Associate Judges sitting as Registrars in Bankruptcy in their discretion determine is appropriate.
  2. . If a party seeks to apply for a bankrupt’s discharge following compliance with prior court discharge orders or where the application is on consent or unopposed, excepting matters where there are alleged conduct issues or section 178 BIA facts, the party shall email a completed Hearing request form to the Bankruptcy Court office at toronto.bankruptcy@ontario.ca. If the estimated time for the hearing exceeds one hour, the party will also attach a completed Special Appointment Request Form. Once a hearing date has been set, the party shall email the materials to the Bankruptcy Court office and, as applicable, upload a copy of the materials to the CaseLines platform at least 5 days prior to the hearing date.
  3. Motions in writing shall be heard on specified dates as established by Associate Judges sitting as Registrars in Bankruptcy, or as soon after that date as the matter can be heard.
  4. Once a date for the hearing of an in writing motion has been assigned, the party shall serve the motion in accordance with the notice requirements in the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and the Rules of Civil Procedure. The moving party shall email the materials to the Bankruptcy Court office at toronto.bankruptcy@ontario.ca together with proof of service and, as applicable, shall upload copies to the CaseLines platform at least 5 days prior to the hearing date.
  5. Orders that are granted will be electronically delivered to the party upon disposition. The order is effective from its date.

F.8 Matters Previously Filed

If a party has previously submitted or filed matters of the nature that will be heard as outlined in this Notice and the party has not received a disposition, the party must resubmit these matters by email, in accordance with the procedure outlined in this Notice. Where possible, the party is requested to identify that such matter was previously filed and the filing fee paid, as appropriate.

G. Class Action Matters

G.1 Initiating a Class Action

A proposed Class Action that has been issued and filed with the Toronto Region civil court, may be requested to be assigned to Class Action Case Management Judge, by sending an email to: Toronto.ClassAction@Ontario.ca. Once assigned, parties will receive a notification email from the case management judge’s judicial assistant.

G.2 Hearing of Motions

  1. Subject to approval at a case management conference, precertification, certification, and post certification motions may be heard in-writing, by audio or video conference or in-person.
  2. All motion materials must be filed in searchable PDF format through the Civil Submissions Online portal.
  3. The Civil Submissions Online confirmation email, along with the draft order as a Word document, shall be sent to the case management judge’s judicial assistant.

G.3 Case Management Conferences

  1. The party requesting a case conference shall do so in writing by email to the case management judge’s judicial assistant. The email message should set out the available dates for the case conference and all the parties that will be attending.
  2. The court will confirm the arrangements for the case management conference by return email.

G.4 CaseLines

  1. In addition to filing the documents through the Civil Submissions Online portal, all documents for use on a motion, whether the motion will be heard in writing or orally, shall also be uploaded to CaseLines in accordance with Rule 4.05.3.
  2. In accordance with Rule 4.05.3(3)(1), all materials uploaded to CaseLines must first have been filed through the Civil Submissions Online portal. Parties may seek leave at a hearing to refer to documents on CaseLines that they have submitted for filing through the Civil Submissions Online portal, but which have not as yet been accepted for filing by the Registrar.

G.5 Out-of-Town cases being case managed in Toronto Region

  1. All out-of-town matters seeking to be case managed in the Toronto Region must obtain approval from the Team Lead, Class Actions, Toronto Region. A party may email this request to: Toronto.ClassAction@Ontario.ca
  2. Prior to attending any hearings held in the Toronto Region with the assigned case management judge, the parties shall submit their materials for the upcoming hearing through the Civil Submissions Online portal as a “NEW PROCEEDING”, to be assigned an out-of-town civil court file number.
  3. Parties shall use the assigned Toronto Region out-of-town civil court file number for all scheduling and filing requests for the above-noted hearings in this section.

G.6 Instructions for Filing Class Action Proceedings

Please see the following link for further instructions for all filings mentioned in Section G.

H. Procedures for Actions Governed by the Construction Act

Notice of Amendments:

Effective June 16, 2022:

  • Section H – Procedures for Actions Governed by the Construction Act is amended to clarify the processes for filing ex parte, unopposed, or consent motions before associate judges, specifically motions in non-Toronto actions brought in Toronto Region with leave (paragraph H.3.4) and urgent motions (paragraph H.3.5), and to clarify when Word format documents are required (paragraphs H.4.1.d and H.7.3).  Paragraph numbering in Section H.4 has also been corrected.
  • The Construction Lien Motion Request Form linked in Sections H.5 and H.6 has been amended.

The following procedures apply to actions governed by the Construction Act and motions brought pursuant to the provisions of the Construction Act, organized into the following subsections:

  • H.1: Construction lien matters properly before a judge
  • H.2: Construction lien matters properly before an associate judge
  • H.3: Matters properly brought in construction lien ex parte court
  • H.4: Procedure for motions brought in writing to vacate liens by payment into court
  • H.5: Urgent and non-urgent motions before an associate judge
  • H.6: Hearings and procedures in actions that have been referred to an associate judge
  • H.7: Material filing for construction lien matters before associate judges

H.1 Construction Lien Matters Properly Before a Judge

The following construction lien matters are properly brought before judges in Toronto, for which the procedures outlined in Section C apply:

  1. Trials in actions governed by the Construction Act that have not been referred to an associate judge.
  2. Motions for a judgment of reference or order directing a reference, which must be made to a judge: s. 58(1) of the Construction Act.
  3. Other urgent and non-urgent motions made to a judge for which an associate judge does not have jurisdiction under the Construction Act. Motions within the jurisdiction of an associate judge are expected to be brought before an associate judge. When requesting a motion before a judge or filing a motion in writing to a judge, counsel/parties are expected to explain why the motion must be made to a judge.

H.2 Construction Lien Matters Properly Before an Associate Judge

The following construction lien matters are properly brought before a construction lien associate judge in Toronto:

  1. Matters that may be brought in construction lien ex parte court (as outlined in section H.3).
  2. Motions to vacate liens by payment into court (refer to the remote vacating procedure outlined in section H.4).
  3. All motions for which jurisdiction under the Construction Act has not been conferred only to a judge and for which no reference has been ordered (as outlined in section H.5).
  4. All motions and other hearings in construction lien actions in which a reference to an associate judge has been ordered (as outlined in section H.6).

H.3 Matters Properly Brought in Construction Lien Ex Parte Court

  1. The following matters properly brought before an associate judge in construction lien ex parte court continue to be heard:
    1. Motions that may be brought without notice as provided in the Construction Act;
    2. Motions on consent of all affected parties and persons, including other lien claimants affected by the order sought; and
    3. Motions brought on an unopposed basis, where all affected parties and persons (including other affected lien claimants) have confirmed that they do not oppose the relief sought prior to the motion being brought.
  2. Subject to resumption of in-person construction lien ex parte court, all ex parte, consent and unopposed construction lien motions will presumptively be heard in writing, unless the associate judge hearing the motion directs otherwise. Following the return to any in-person construction lien ex-parte court, parties are still encouraged to continue bringing non-urgent ex parte, consent and unopposed matters in writing.
  3. Parties bringing motions in writing to vacate liens by payment into court shall have regard to the procedure and requirements in Section H.4.
  4. Motion materials for all motions brought pursuant to subparagraph 1 above shall be filed in searchable PDF format as follows:
    1. For motions in Toronto actions or motions where there is no existing action, motion materials are to be filed through the Civil Submissions Online portal.
    2. For motions in non-Toronto actions where leave is sought for the motion to be heard in Toronto, motion materials are to be filed only by email to Toronto.AssociateJudges.ConstructionLienMatters@ontario.ca. The subject and body of the email must identify that the motion is brought in a non-Toronto action.  The motion materials and any endorsement must be filed at the courthouse where the action was commenced after disposition of the motion by a Toronto associate judge.
    3. If there is an existing court file in respect of the lien (such as an action to enforce the lien), then the motion must be brought in that action, regardless of whether or not a Toronto file number has previously been assigned for any prior motion. If there is no existing action, then the court file number should be left blank and the court will assign a Toronto file number.
    4. Only motions in non-Toronto actions brought under paragraph H.3.4.b above or urgent or time-sensitive motions brought under paragraph H.3.5 are to be submitted by email. All other motions are to be submitted through the Civil Submissions Online portal.
  5. For urgent or time-sensitive motions brought pursuant to subparagraph 1 above, the following additional processes apply:
    1. For motions in Toronto actions or motions where there is no existing action, once submitted to through the Civil Submissions Online portal, a copy of all motion materials should be sent as attachments to an email marked “Urgent” and sent to Toronto.AssociateJudges.ConstructionLienMatters@ontario.ca, together with the confirmation of submittal through the Civil Submissions Online portal. Urgent motions submitted without confirmation of submittal may be rejected.
    2. For motions in non-Toronto actions, where leave is being sought for the motion to be heard in Toronto, the email submission should also be marked “Urgent”.
    3. All urgent or time-sensitive motions must be submitted with an explanation of the nature of the urgency or time-sensitivity, including any pending date(s), failing which the email submission may be rejected.
  6. If the associate judge hearing a motion brought in writing determines that an oral hearing is required, then the motion may be adjourned to an oral hearing or the construction lien office may contact the moving party to arrange a hearing date/time.
  7. The following are additional requirements for specific motions:
    1. Lien expiry/discharge orders: For liens that continue to attach or previously attached to premises and have been vacated, a current parcel abstract for the premises with deleted instruments must be submitted.
    2. Return of security: Motions to pay out security previously posted to vacate a lien must include the position of all lien claimants who have an interest in the security pursuant to s. 44(9) of the Construction Act or evidence that the liens of such other lien claimants have been satisfied, released, discharged, or vacated with sufficient separate security.
    3. Orders for trial: Motions for an order to have a day, time and place fixed for the trial of the action (following a judgment of reference or order directing a reference) must include availability of all counsel / parties for a first trial management conference, absent which the court may fix the first available date.
    4. References: Motions for a judgment of reference or order directing a reference cannot be brought before an associate judge. These motions must be made to a judge: s. 58(1) of the Construction Act.
  8. For orders granted in a Toronto court file number that require entering on an urgent basis, they may be brought in person to the Civil Intake office or, once filed through the Civil Submissions Online portal, may be submitted as an attachment to an email sent to Toronto.AssociateJudges.ConstructionLienMatters@ontario.ca with “Urgent” in the subject line, together with confirmation of submittal through the Civil Submissions Online portal. Orders granted in non-Toronto actions, where leave to have the motion heard in Toronto has been granted, must be entered at the courthouse where the action was commenced.

H.4 Procedure for motions brought in writing to vacate liens by payment into court

  1. For motions brought in writing in accordance with s. 44 of the Construction Act for an order vacating a lien upon the posting of security, in addition to evidence supporting the relief sought, all motion materials must also include the following:
    1. A copy of the security to be posted. High quality colour scan of the original security is preferred;
      1. For lien bond or letters of credit security, all schedules must be included with visible signatures, identification of authorized signing officers, and any corporate seals;
      2. For lien bond security, there must be a visible corporate seal for the surety and, if the principal is a corporation, a visible corporate seal of the corporate principal is preferred, but if there is no seal, the person signing for the principal must print under the signature their name, their title, and the statement, “I have authority to bind the corporation.”;
    2. A completed fiat in the usual form (sample fiat) and
    3. A draft order taking into account currently necessary directions to the Accountant of the Superior Court of Justice (the “Accountant”) for vacating motions heard in writing, current pre-conditions to the vacating order taking effect (e., the posting of security), and service of the Accountant’s receipt (sample order)
    4. Copies of the security and fiat should be filed as separate documents, whether or not included in the motion record. Where the motion is submitted by email, all draft orders should be submitted in both PDF and Word formats.
  2. If there is an existing court file in respect of the lien (such as an action to enforce the lien), then the motion will be brought in that action. If not, then the court file number should be left blank and the court will assign a Toronto file number.
  3. Once the associate judge hearing the motion has reviewed the materials and approved the security, the associate judge will sign the fiat and, in the case of a lien bond or letter of credit, the security will be endorsed. Certified cheques and bank drafts are not endorsed. The associate judge’s endorsement, signed fiat, signed order, and, if applicable, endorsed lien bond or letter of credit will be emailed to the moving party.
  4. Unless the Accountant otherwise advises, parties should be entering orders before attending the Accountant’s office, as follows:
    1. For an order granted in a Toronto court file number, the order may be submitted for entering through the Civil Submissions Online or in person to the Civil Intake office. For orders requiring entering on an urgent basis, they may be brought in person to the Civil Intake office or, once filed through the Civil Submissions Online portal, may be submitted as an attachment to an email sent to Toronto.AssociateJudges.ConstructionLienMatters@ontario.ca with “Urgent” in the subject line, together with confirmation of filing through the Civil Submissions Online portal.
    2. For an order granted in non-Toronto actions, where leave to have the motion heard in Toronto has been granted, the order must be issued and entered at the courthouse where the action was commenced.
  5. The issued and entered order, signed fiat, original security, and, if applicable, a copy of the endorsed lien bond or letter of credit are then taken or sent to the Accountant, who will post the original security (and, if applicable, the approved copy of the security), and will issue a receipt.
  6. Once the security has been posted, the vacating order must be served with Accountant’s receipt, and may be registered on title where the lien attaches to premises.
  7. For greater certainty, following any resumption of in-person construction lien ex-parte court, vacating motions brought in-person may be brought in accordance with the court’s prior in-person procedure, including use of the prior standard form of draft order.

H.5 Urgent and non-urgent motions before an associate judge

  1. This section only applies to motions in construction lien actions that have not been referred to a construction lien associate judge. For all motions in matters where a judgment of reference or order directing a reference has been made, refer to section H.6. A reference associate judge is seized of all motions within the reference.
  2. Procedure for Scheduling a motion:
    1. All construction lien motions in actions that have not been referred to a construction lien associate judge for determination and are not captured by Section H.1 may be brought by completing a Construction Lien Motion Request Form and submitting it as an attachment to an email sent to AssociateJudges.ConstructionLienMatters@ontario.ca.
    2. The moving party must consult or attempt to consult with all affected responding parties before submitting the request form. Requested dates for any oral hearing that are mutually available for all affected parties must be clearly indicated. Available motion dates may be requested by sending an email to AssociateJudges.ConstructionLienMatters@ontario.ca.
    3. Short motions: Short motions will be scheduled by the court, but a telephone case conference with the construction lien associate judge hearing the motion may be required to set a timetable.
    4. Long motions: All long motions require a telephone case conference with a construction lien associate judge in order to determine the length of time required, set a timetable for any remaining steps before the hearing of the motion, and fix a return date for the motion.
  3. Urgent motions: Urgent motions in construction lien actions that have not been referred to a construction lien associate judge for determination and are not captured by Section H.1 are brought by following the same process outlined above, indicating urgency in the Construction Lien Motion Request Form and adding “Urgent” to the subject line when submitting by email.

H.6 Hearings and Procedures in actions that have been referred to an associate judge

  1. Motions in actions subject to a reference: All urgent and non-urgent motions in construction lien actions that have been referred to a construction lien associate judge for determination shall be brought and filed in accordance with the following:
    1. If a judgment or order of reference has been obtained and no reference associate judge has been assigned yet, a motion for an order to have a day, time and place fixed for the trial of the action should be brought under Section H.1. The associate judge assigned to hear the first trial management conference in the order for trial will become the reference associate judge.
    2. Motions made without notice, on consent, or on a confirmed unopposed basis may be filed in searchable PDF format as attachments to an email sent directly to the attention of the reference associate judge’s Assistant Trial Coordinator. The seized reference associate judge must be indicated in both the submittal email and the motion materials, preferably in the notice of motion.
    3. Parties wishing to bring a short motion should complete a Construction Lien Motion Request Form and submit it as an attachment to an email sent directly to the reference associate judge’s Assistant Trial Coordinator. Generally, short motions will be scheduled by the court, but the reference associate judge may issue directions for the disposition of the motion or convene a case conference for that purpose.
    4. Parties wishing to bring a long motion should complete a Construction Lien Motion Request Form and submit it as an attachment to an email directly to the reference associate judge’s Assistant Trial Coordinator.  The reference associate judge will issue directions for the disposition of the motion or convene a case conference for that purpose.
  2. Trial management conferences: Requests for trial management conferences may be made directly to the reference associate judge’s Assistant Trial Coordinator.
  3. Settlement conferences: Settlement conferences before a construction lien associate judge may be requested in actions that have been referred to a construction lien associate judge, subject to the court’s availability. Settlement conferences will presumptively be conducted remotely by videoconference, unless the court otherwise directs. Parties attending are expected to participate with the full intention and authority to settle the case. Provided all parties consent to proceeding with a settlement conference, a request to schedule a settlement conference may be made by emailing a request to the reference associate judge’s Assistant Trial Coordinator with requested available timeframes. Requesting specific dates is discouraged. Directions for the settlement conference will be issued once approved by the reference associate judge and scheduled by the court.
  4. Construction lien reference trials: Trials in construction lien actions referred to an associate judge are scheduled by the reference associate judge. Prior to the hearing for directions on conduct of the trial, counsel and parties must discuss if they prefer an in-person or remote trial by videoconference, and if they have any issues, concerns, or objections to a remote trial.

H.7 Material filing for construction lien matters before associate judges

  1. Materials for Motions: In addition to any other document organization requirements that the court may impose, all motion materials are to be filed through the Civil Submissions Online Civil Intake should be contacted in the event of issues with filing through the Civil Submissions Online portal.  If the portal cannot be used, then materials may be submitted for filing by email sent to Toronto.AssociateJudges.ConstructionLienMatters@ontario.ca, with an explanation for why the materials have not or cannot be filed through the Civil Submissions Online portal.
  2. Materials for Other Hearings: Materials for non-motion hearings, including all trial management conferences, should be submitted in accordance with any directions provided by the associate judge hearing the matter or else by email sent directly to the associate judge’s Assistant Trial Coordinator. Counsel/parties are expected to comply with any further directions on material filing that may be provided by an Assistant Trial Coordinator.
  3. Filing Format: All documents should be submitted in searchable PDF format. Unless a motion is filed only through the Civil Submissions Online portal and CaseLines is not assigned to the motion, all affidavits, facta and draft orders should also be submitted or uploaded to CaseLines in Word format.
  4. Email Filing: For all permitted email filings, the email must indicate the court file number, short title of proceedings, party filing the materials, the hearing-type (e.g., opposed motion), and the assigned or seized associate judge (if known).
  5. Participant Sheets: For all hearings, counsel/parties must file a participant sheet outlining the names and contact information, including email addresses, for all anticipated participants.
  6. CaseLines: All documents that will be used at a hearing, whether the hearing is being heard orally or in writing, shall also be uploaded to CaseLines in accordance with Rule 4.05.3, unless the court advises that the matter has not been added to CaseLines. For greater certainty, uploading to CaseLines is not filing with the court. In accordance with Rule 4.05.3(3)(1) all materials for a hearing to be uploaded to CaseLines must first have been filed with the court. Leave is required to refer to any document uploaded to CaseLines that has not been confirmed as filed with the court, including documents submitted for filing through the Civil Submissions Online portal that have not yet been accepted by the Registrar. Following upload to CaseLines, parties should be preparing and uploading revised indexes for all records and briefs adding the correlating CaseLines page numbers for each document.

 

Justice Stephen E. Firestone

Regional Senior Judge

Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Toronto Region