May 26, 2020 – 11:27 AM – AMENDMENT to Central South Expansion Notice – issued May 26, 2020

Sent on behalf of Regional Senior Justice Arrell –

Dear Central South Bar Associations,

Please see the attached AMENDMENT to the Central South Expansion Notice issued May 26, 2020.

Please distribute this Notice to your Associations.

Thank you,

HSA

Harrison S. Arrell

Regional Senior Justice

45 Main St.E., Suite 721

Hamilton, Ontario L8N 2B7

May 22, 2020 – 8:29 AM- RE-scheduling of Family Conferences from March and April 2020 – St. Catharines SCJ

Further to the Consolidated Expansion Notice dated May 13, 2020, the Superior Court in St. Catharines is making efforts to re-schedule some of the case conferences and settlement conferences that were originally set to proceed in court, in St. Catharines, during March and April of 2020.

At this time, the Court is offering to hold conferences remotely, by video or teleconference, prior to the return to regular court operations. Although it is not mandatory to re-schedule all missed conferences from the past few months, parties are encouraged to schedule remote conferences on matters that may need to proceed prior to the return of regular operations, as counsel deem appropriate, on a case by case basis.

As we are not yet able to offer dates for in-person conferences, please only contact the court if all parties to the proceeding consent to holding a conference remotely prior to the return of regular court operations. All requests are to be to the attention of the Trial Coordinator, to the following email address:

          st.catharines.superior.court@ontario.ca

Please note that the date of the conference will be set by the trial coordinator and will be non-negotiable.

All other conferences needing to be held in-court/ in-person can be scheduled at the speak-to courts currently set for the week of July 6, 2020 (please refer to the May 12th, 2020 Central South Expansion Notice of Regional Senior Justice Arrell, attached to this email, for dates.) Any previously scheduled matters where the Court does not receive a request for a remote conference will be automatically adjourned to the July speak-to courts.

In order to minimize the volume of emails coming to the Court, please send only one request for each matter to be re-scheduled, and kindly ensure that all parties and/or their counsel are copied on the email to the Court.  

In the subject line of your email, please include:

·       Style of cause

·       Court file number

·       Type of conference and original date (example: Smith v Smith – File no. 123/20 – Re-scheduling of Settlement Conference on March 30th, 2020)

The Court will respond to each request with a date and call-in coordinates as soon as possible.

Thank you.

Leigh Foster

Trial Coordinator

Superior Court of Justice

4th Floor, 59 Church Street, St. Catharines, ON  L2R 7N8

T: (905) 988-6200 ext. 446 | F: (905) 988-5531

May 20, 2020 – 2:16 PM – FOLA COVID-19 Weekly Update and our Post Plenary Report

Please find attached, this week’s COVID-19 Update and our Post Plenary Report.  Please do ensure that these are circulated to your members.

The COVID-19 Report can also be found here (under “More COVID-19 Updates for Lawyers) and our Post Plenary Report is also available here (as is a link to the full video). 

Katie W. Robinette

Executive Director

FOLA.ca

Need answers to COVID-19 issues regarding the practice of law?  CLICK HERE.

May 13, 2020 – 5:00 PM-UPDATE – Further expansion of SCJ Operations, effective MAY 19 2020

As mentioned in my Weekly Update sent earlier today, a moment ago, Chief Justice Morawetz issued a new Notice to Profession, Litigants, Accused Persons, Public and Media which consolidates previous Notices governing operations in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (SCJ) during the COVID-19 pandemic.  In addition, each Regional Senior Justice issued updated Regional Notices to the Profession.  The Regional Notices to the Profession direct which matters may be heard in each region and the process to follow, without the need to refer to previous Regional Notices. 

These Notices further expand the scope of matters that will be heard virtually in the SCJ through telephone and video conference hearings.  They are effective May 19, 2020.  The new Consolidated Notice to the Profession, dated May 13, 2020, and the Regional Notices to the Profession may be found at:

https://www.ontariocourts.ca/scj/notices-and-orders-covid-19/#PROVINCIAL_NOTICES and on our website here.

Attached is a memo that summarizes the new provincial Notice and a chart summarizing which matters will be heard in each of the Court’s regions.

Katie W. Robinette

Executive Director

FOLA.ca

Need answers to COVID-19 issues regarding the practice of law?  CLICK HERE.

May 13, 2020 – 12:41 PM- FOLA’s Weekly COVID-19 Update

Please find attached, a copy of this week’s COVID-19 Update.  It can also be found here.  Please share with your members.

Katie W. Robinette

Executive Director

FOLA.ca

Need answers to COVID-19 issues regarding the practice of law?  CLICK HERE.

May 13, 2020 -10:30 AM-Notice to the Profession RE: Expansion of Services in the Central South Region effective May 19th, 2020

Sent on behalf of Regional Senior Justice Arrell –

Dear Central South Bar Associations,

Please see the attached Notice to the Profession RE: Expansion of Services in the Central South Region effective May 19th, 2020.

This NOTICE supersedes and replaces the NOTICES of April 2, April 28 and April 30, 2020 issued in Central South. However, the protocol of April 7, 2020 regarding Family and Child Protection matters remains in place and should be followed regarding documentary and filing requirements for conferences and motions. The April 7th, 2020 protocol is imbedded in this notice.

Please be advised the Chief Justice’s Provincial Notice will be posted on the SCJ website this afternoon and should be read in conjunction with the attached Central South notice.

Please distribute this Notice to your Associations.

Thank you,

HSA

Harrison S. Arrell

Regional Senior Justice

45 Main St.E., Suite 721

Hamilton, Ontario L8N 2B7

May 13, 2020 – 9:02 AM – Best Practices for Remote Hearings – e-Hearings Task Force Report and Checklists

As you may know, Kristin Muszynski, on behalf of FOLA, has been working on the e-Task force with the  Advocates’ Society, the Ontario Bar Association, and the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association to review technologies that can help ensure Ontario’s justice system continue to function during and following the coronavirus pandemic.  One of the issues they looked at were e-Hearings. 

Today, they released some helpful documents on best practices to help provide guidance to anyone who is considering preparing for and participating in a remote hearing. Those documents are available on our website here and are also attached. 

Please share with your members.

Katie W. Robinette

Executive Director

FOLA.ca

Need answers to COVID-19 issues regarding the practice of law?  CLICK HERE.

Best Practices for Remote Hearings-13 May 2020

May 9, 2020 – 4:31 PM -COVID-19: New Procedures for Criminal Matters in the OCJ

The following message is from Chief Justice Maisonneuve:

As you may know, on Monday May 4, the Ontario Court of Justice released a public communication announcing that it will not be returning to full operations on May 29, 2020. The communication advised that no trials or preliminary inquiries will be conducted until July 6, 2020 at the earliest.

As we continue to work with the Superior Court, the Ministry, and other justice partners to address and tackle the challenges to the resumption of trials and preliminary inquiries, the Court understands and shares the pressing concern of a growing court backlog.

The Court is thus pleased to announce a limited expansion.  As of Monday May 11, the Court will expand its operations to accommodate resolutions of criminal charges involving persons who are out of custody, where the Regional Senior Judge is satisfied that the necessary courthouse resources are in place. In addition, as further described in the Notice, the Court is making judicial pre-trials mandatory for all criminal proceedings (including YCJA proceedings):

i)            that were scheduled for a trial or preliminary inquiry between March 16, 2020 and July 3, 2020 that was, or will be, adjourned due to the COVID-19 pandemic; and

ii)           that are scheduled for a trial or preliminary inquiry between July 6, 2020 and October 30, 2020

Later today, the Court will be posting the COVID-19 Notice to Counsel and the Public re: Criminal Matters in the Ontario Court of Justice, which is effective May 11, 2020. This notice both consolidates previous directives regarding OCJ criminal proceedings issued as a result of the COVID-pandemic and it includes important updates regarding our Court’s criminal operations.

Accompanying this Notice are two related protocols, one about the conduct of bail hearings, and the other about new procedures for consent variations to bail orders and police undertakings. You will find these protocols attached, together with the consent variation application forms.  In addition, I enclose a procedures guide regarding the new consent variation procedures that my office prepared for the judiciary, Court Services Division and Counsel for your reference.

The Notice, protocols and forms will be posted on both the OCJ and FOLA websites shortly.

Katie W. Robinette

Executive Director

FOLA.ca

Need answers to COVID-19 issues regarding the practice of law?  CLICK HERE.

May 7,2020: -3:09 AM- Family & Criminal Law and the OCJ + attached responses from the SCJ and LSO to members’ questions

As mentioned in my weekly report sent out yesterday, law organizations in our Sector Group (the OBA, Advocates’ Society, LAO, Criminal Law Association, and the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association) have started a sub-group to explore and propose recommendations to the OCJ on processes and procedures introduced during this pandemic that the bar would like to see continue post-Covid.  We are also open to hearing about processes and procedures to create efficiencies that have not been introduced but should be.  Where a process or procedure really should require a physical presence in the Court, please do note those too.

Ideally the goal is to minimize in-person court appearances so that they can more effectively and efficiently use their resources to hear matters that really should take place in person.

There are four areas where we are focusing our attention:

  1. Out of Court administration matters;
  2. Administrative appearances;
  3. Contested matters and no evidence; and
  4. Contested matters with evidence

Also – I’ve attached two separate documents -one has responses from the SCJ to member questions and the other has LSO responses.   These two documents will be merged into our master list shortly.

Katie W. Robinette

Executive Director

FOLA.ca

Need answers to COVID-19 issues regarding the practice of law?  CLICK HERE.

May 7, 2020 -8:27 AM- OCJ Notice re: Scheduling of Family Matters

The attached notice, issued by Chief Justice Maisonneuve, updates the Directive on the Scheduling of Family Matters in the Ontario Court of Justice that was issued on March 28, 2020, and is in addition to the general notice issued by the Ontario Court of Justice on May 4, 2020.

Katie

Katie W. Robinette

Executive Director

FOLA.ca

Need answers to COVID-19 issues regarding the practice of law?  CLICK HERE.