Author Archives: derek


Changes to LAO Duty Counsel Program

FOLA received notice yesterday from Legal Aid Ontario about changes that are coming in the duty counsel program, effective July 7th.

The lists of what duty counsel will do/won’t do are attached.

The central changes are as follows, though the detail is really in the service guides:

  • Criminal duty counsel: duty counsel will continue to serve in-custody accused without financially testing as always, but will serve only financially and legally eligible clients for out-of-custody accused.  Duty counsel won’t be providing dedicated courtroom services (ie staffing courtrooms all day) except for bail court.  However, duty counsel will continue to go into court (not trial courts, of course) to serve legally and financially eligible clients.
  • Family duty counsel: duty counsel will assist clients with some aspects of Motions to Change, and will provide in-court service to financially and legally eligible clients in the Ontario Court of Justice and the Unified Family Court.
  • Agency work: duty counsel will provide routine agency work for lawyers on certificate matters.

As a practising lawyer, with over 25 years experience, and with my practice restricted, by choice, to criminal law for well over half my career, please, accept this personal note of encouragement.  I can say that in reviewing the DC restrictions rather than enhancement of DC services we, the practising Certificate counsel Bar, should see a wee glimmer of positivity as this is good for us and not as harmful as anticipated.   In the meanwhile, I as FOLA LAO chair, and Katie Robinette, FOLA’s Executive Director, plan to continue to actively participate with the Alliance for the Sustainability of Legal Aid (ASLA).   The next meeting is Tuesday next.  We and other stakeholders are seeking a course of action to address your concerns.

Terry Brandon

FOLA Legal Aid Chair

Service Guide 2019 – CRIMINAL

 Service Guide 2019 – FAMILY

Provincial Practice Advisory – 90 day Detention Reviews s. 525 Criminal Code

Provincial Practice Advisory – 90 day Detention Reviews s. 525 Criminal Code

Effective: June 3, 2019

Purpose: To notify Crown counsel, members of the criminal bar, court staff, trial coordinators and corrections of their obligations to the Court pursuant to s. 525 of the Criminal Code and R. v. Myers, 2019 SCC 18.  

Responsibilities

  1. It is the responsibility of the correctional facility to notify the SCJ when an inmate is eligible for a 90[1] day review pursuant to s. 525 as interpreted in Myers.[2]
  2. When the 90 day eligibility period is reached, the correctional facility must notify and bring a s. 525 application to the SCJ. The correctional facility will notify the SCJ trial coordinator and SCJ court administration.[3]
  3. Corrections is to notify the SCJ sufficiently in advance of the 90 day eligibility period to enable the Court and trial coordinator to arrange for notification of counsel and to determine next steps in the matter. The point in time for notification in each region will be determined by arrangement with the SCJ judiciary in each region.[4]
  4. Correctional facilities are to notify the SCJ in the location where the case is going to be tried.
  5. Unless directed otherwise by the Court or local practice advisory, SCJ court administration is responsible for:
    1. Inputting the appropriate information into FRANK
    2. Opening a s. 525 file – this should generally include
      • the material submitted to the Court from correctional facility (e.g. OTIS information/s. 525 application)
      • an endorsement page for SCJ presiding judge
    3. Ordering a copy of the information from the OCJ to be available to the SCJ when required as directed by the Judge or by local practice.
    4. CSD (OCJ) must make efforts to expedite making a copy of the information available to SCJ at the requisite time when it is required.

The trial coordinator is responsible for:

  1. Notifying counsel of record in writing of the date of the appearance[5]. Notification may allow for counsel to notify the Court in writing if the accused waives the hearing.
  2. Listing the s. 525 detention review hearing as directed by a judge of the Court, if a hearing is required.
  3. If counsel’s name is not provided by the correctional facility via the warrant of remand or other means, the SCJ must make efforts to identify whether there is a counsel. This may require the trial coordinator to make inquiries of the Crown Attorney’s office or to check the information.
  1. The Crown is expected to assist in identifying counsel.
  2. First appearances on s. 525 reviews may be held by video or in person as is determined by local practice.
  3. If the accused person or counsel acting on the accused person’s behalf does not waive the hearing, it should be scheduled without delay as is reasonable in the all the circumstances.

Record for the hearing

  1. At the first appearance, if a s. 525 hearing is to be scheduled, the SCJ presiding judge may make inquiries into the nature of the hearing and may give direction to the Crown and defence counsel as to their responsibilities for providing a record for the hearing.

Such direction may include:

  • Setting time requirements for the s. 525 hearing
  • Setting timelines for the filing of materials and specifying the materials required
  • Identifying the party responsible for the filing of materials, such as (if applicable):
    • Surety affidavits
    • Transcripts
    • Relevant synopses (current and outstanding charges) and
    • Criminal record of the accused person

Bail transcripts

  1. Where the accused person is represented by counsel, the judge who schedules the 90 day review for hearing should make inquiries about the necessity of having the transcript of any bail hearing and/or previous review hearing, or any part of it available for the 90 day review hearing.

Those inquiries may include:

  • The basis of the 90 day review
  • Any delay that has occurred in moving the case forward and who is responsible for the delay
  • The allegations
  • The existence of a criminal record and/or outstanding charges
  • Whether the bail hearing/previous review proceeded on the basis of Crown or reverse onus
  • Whether evidence was called at the bail hearing/previous review
  • Whether the 90 day review will involve the presentation of a new plan for release, new information, or new sureties
  • Whether the reasons for the detention order will suffice, or whether a full transcript of the bail hearing/review is necessary, and/or
  • Whether the defence will argue that the accused person is at the point of time served.

Should the judge determine that all or part of the transcript is required, the judge may provide direction as to who will be responsible for ordering the transcript and who will cover the cost of the transcript. Where it is in the interests of justice to do so, the transcript cost may be covered by the Court. In those circumstances, the judge will either make arrangements to order the transcript or will direct the Crown to order the transcript with payment to be made by the Court.

Self-represented accused persons

  1. If the accused person is self-represented, and the judge determines that the bail transcript is necessary, the judge may order (or direct the Crown to order) the transcript with payment to be made by the Court.

Heather J. Smith
Chief Justice
Superior Court of Justice (Ontario)|
May 31, 2019

 

[1] The same procedure applies to 30 day reviews for summary conviction matters.
[2] 90 days since initially brought before a justice in OCJ (s. 503) or detained under s. 524, or since bail review s. 520/521.
[3] Corrections will always advise SCJ trial coordinator and will also advise SCJ court office if requested by SCJ. Additional offices (eg OCJ court office) may be notified by local practice advisory.
[4] The most optimum timing can be determined at the Regional level and by direction of RSJ or designated SCJ judiciary. (eg day 60-65 or day 75)
[5] In some centres, the Crown may be involved in this role.

Civil Claims Online Survey

Do you file civil case documents? Tell us how Civil Claims Online can work better for you.

Since November 2017, Ontarians have been able to file select civil case documents online, 24/7 using the Ministry of the Attorney General’s Civil Claims Online service.

We want to hear from you

As current and potential users, your input is crucial for making this service a success. We created a survey to get a better understanding of how you currently use the service, what you like about it and where we can improve.

Please respond to the survey by March 22, 2019. We truly appreciate your feedback!

Did you know?

With this service, you can file online 24/7. Filing online reduces trips to the courthouse, eliminates the need to pay for postage or courier services and reduces processing delays. Visit Ontario.ca/page/file-civil-claim-online to learn more.

Standardized Real Estate Documents

Please see below the the Standardized Real Estate documents as approved by all the law associations at the Federation of Ontario Law Association.

LawyersDelayedClosingEscrowAgreementJanuary2017

LawyersDirection-re-FundsJanuary2017

LawyersUndertakingJanuary2017

PurchasersUndertakingandDirectionreTitleJanuary2017

Real Estate – Standard Closing Documents Resolution May 2017

VendorsClosingCertificateApril2017

Our Reference #: AC-2018-273 – Expansion of the civil claims online filing service on May 28, 2018

Our Reference #: AC-2018-273

May 28, 2018

Dear Member of the Legal Community,

Expansion of the civil claims online filing service on May 28, 2018

I am writing to inform you that the civil claims online filing service has been expanded to enable the online filing of additional documents in a civil proceeding in the Superior Court of Justice. This expansion follows the successful province-wide launch of the service in November 2017.

As of May 28, 2018, it will be possible to file the following documents online through the civil claims online portal (http://ontario.ca/civilclaims):

  • Statement of Defence (Form 18A)
  • Notice of Intent to Defend (Form 18B)
  • Statement of Claim filed following the issuance of a Notice of Action (Form 14D)
  • Proof of Service of documents that are filed online
  • Orders and Consents that are required in support of the filing of a document online

The online filing of these documents with the Superior Court of Justice has been authorized by subrule 4.05.1(2) of the Rules of Civil Procedure. The rules also clarify that it will not be necessary to provide the court with a paper copy of a document that was filed online unless the matter is proceeding to a hearing or conference and the party intends to rely on the document at the hearing (rule 4.05.1(6), in force May 28, 2018).

The civil claims online filing service will continue to:

  • allow the online filing of initiating documents:
    • Statement of Claim (Form 14A, 14B)
    • Notice of Action (Form 14C)
    • Affidavit of Litigation Guardian of a Plaintiff under a Disability
    • Request for Bilingual Proceedings
    • Consent to File Documents in French
  • email  court-issued Statements of Claim or Notices of Action;
  • allow online payment of court fees by credit card or Interac;
  • allow a user to track online filing fee payments, submissions and draft submissions; and
  • save work in progress and return to drafts in order to submit the request for filing at a later time.

If you are interested in arranging an online information session for your members about the expanded civil claims online filing service, please send an email to civilclaimsonline@ontario.ca.

Please share any comments about the service with Vaia Pappas, Director of the Operational Support Branch at vaia.pappas@ontario.ca.

Sincerely,

Sheila Bristo

Assistant Deputy Attorney General

Court Services Division

AC-2018-273 letter to legal community

 

 

New Books in the Library

Refugee Law, 2nd Edition
Baglay, Sasha, 2017

Detention and Arrest, 2nd Edition
Coughlan, Steve, 2017

Practitioner’s Guide to Commercial Arbitration
Huberman, Marvin J., 2017

Mental Disorder and the Law, 2nd Edition
Bloom, Hy, 2017

Land-Use Planning
Epstein, Howard, 2017