Please find attached the Ontario Court of Justices’ CaseLines for Domestic Matters at the Ontario Court of Justice notice and the updated Scheduling of Family Matters at the Ontario Court of Justice notice.
Notices have been posted here:
- COVID-19: Scheduling of Family Matters in the Ontario Court of Justice (November 12, 2021) | Ontario Court of Justice (ontariocourts.ca) , and
- CaseLines for Domestic Family Matters in the Ontario Court of Justice | Ontario Court of Justice (ontariocourts.ca)
Effective today, parties in civil, family, Divisional Court and Small Claims Court matters are no longer required to re-file paper copies of documents filed by email once regular court operations resume.
Documents filed by email must instead be maintained in accordance with the applicable SCJ notice.
The filing fees applicable to these documents can be paid immediately by phone or cheque, in accordance with direction by, or on behalf of, a Registrar or the clerk.
More information is available in the following parts of the below SCJ notices:
Consolidated provincial notice: section D(3) (Filings): https://www.ontariocourts.ca/scj/notices-and-orders-covid-19/consolidated-notice/#3_Filings_and_court_fee_payments
CaseLines notice: section 2 (Electronic Court Filings – Justice Services Online): https://www.ontariocourts.ca/scj/notices-and-orders-covid-19/supplementary-notice-september-2-2020/#2_Electronic_Court_Filings_Justice_Services_Online
Divisional Court notice: section D.5: https://www.ontariocourts.ca/scj/notices-and-orders-covid-19/div-ct-feb2021/
Small Claims Court notice: section 12.2: https://www.ontariocourts.ca/scj/notices-and-orders-covid-19/suspension-small-claims-ops/#122_Other_documents
Tips 5 and 6 in the CaseLines Hearings – Tips for Counsel and Self-Represented Litigants document, about uploading documents into CaseLines, have been clarified. The revised document is available here: CaseLines Hearings – Tips for Counsel and Self-represented Parties | Superior Court of Justice (ontariocourts.ca)
Below is a message from the Ministry of the Attorney General and the Court of Appeal for Ontario. Please share with your members.
New Criminal Appeal Rules to Be Released November 1, 2021
New Criminal Appeal Rules for all criminal matters at the Court of Appeal for Ontario will come into force on November 1, 2021. On that day, the current Criminal Appeal Rules, SI/93-169, 1993 Canada Gazette, Part II, will be revoked.
In general, the new Rules will apply to all criminal matters at the Court of Appeal for Ontario whether commenced before or after November 1, 2021.
The new Criminal Appeal Rules may be reviewed at www.ontariocourts.ca/coa/files/rules-forms/criminal-rules-en.pdf.
- Due to the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, the provisions of the new Criminal Appeal Rules that are inconsistent with the Consolidated Practice Direction Regarding Proceedings in the Court of Appeal During the COVID-19 Pandemic do not apply unless otherwise ordered by the court or a judge of the court. In particular, Rule 10 (“Manner of Hearing”) and its associated Form 6 (“Notice of Objection to Proposed Manner of Hearing”) do not apply unless otherwise ordered by the court or a judge of the court.
- The Practice Direction Concerning Criminal Appeals at the Court of Appeal for Ontario is currently under revision. It continues to apply, except to the extent that: (i) it is inconsistent with the new Criminal Appeal Rules; or (ii) it is varied by the Consolidated Practice Direction Regarding Proceedings in the Court of Appeal During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Publication de nouvelles Règles de procédure de la Cour d’appel en matière criminelle le 1er novembre 2021
De nouvelles Règles de procédure de la Cour d’appel en matière criminelle pour toutes les affaires criminelles devant la Cour d’appel de l’Ontario entreront en vigueur le 1er novembre 2021. Ce jour-là, la version existante des Règles de procédure de la Cour d’appel en matière criminelle, TR/93-169, 1993 Gazette du Canada, Partie II, sera révoquée.
D’une façon générale, les nouvelles règles s’appliqueront à toutes les affaires criminelles devant la Cour d’appel de l’Ontario, qu’elles aient été introduites avant ou après le 1er novembre 2021.
Les nouvelles Règles de procédure de la Cour d’appel en matière criminelle sont consultables à www.ontariocourts.ca/coa/files/rules-forms/criminal-rules-fr.pdf.
- En raison des circonstances liées à la pandémie de COVID-19, les dispositions des nouvelles Règles de procédure de la Cour d’appel en matière criminelle qui sont incompatibles avec la Directive de pratique consolidée concernant les instances à la Cour d’appel durant la pandémie de COVID-19 ne s’appliquent pas, sous réserve d’une ordonnance contraire du tribunal ou d’un juge du tribunal. En particulier, la règle 10 (« Mode d’audience ») et la formule 6 afférente (« Avis d’opposition au mode d’audience proposé ») ne s’appliquent pas, sous réserve d’une ordonnance contraire du tribunal ou d’un juge du tribunal.
- La Directive de pratique concernant les appels en matière criminelle devant la Cour d’appel de l’Ontario est en cours d’examen. Elle s’applique toujours, sauf dans la mesure où, selon le cas : (i) elle est incompatible avec les nouvelles Règles de procédure de la Cour d’appel en matière criminelle, (ii) elle est modifiée par la Directive de pratique consolidée concernant les instances à la Cour d’appel durant la pandémie de COVID-19.
Below are two updates from the SCJ:
- The Superior Court of Justice – Toronto Region COVID-19 notice to profession has been amended to provide that civil pre-trial conference briefs should only be uploaded into CaseLines (not submitted through the JSO portal or emailed to trial coordination staff). A revised Construction Act form has also been linked to the notice. https://www.ontariocourts.ca/scj/notices-and-orders-covid-19/notice-to/
- Amendments to the Rules of Civil Procedure and court forms come into force on January 1, 2022. The amended forms, now available on the Ontario Court Forms website, have a simplified format and helpful instructions. Old forms will not be accepted after January 1, 2022, unless the court orders otherwise. The rule and form amendments also include consequential amendments prompted by recent amendments to the Succession Law Reform Act regarding the spousal entitlement and the effect of marriage on a prior will. For more information, see: Reg. 194 under the Courts of Justice Act (Rules of Civil Procedure) (ontariocanada.com).
NOTICE TO LEGAL PROFESSION
On October 15, 2021, a regulation was filed to amend court rules and forms for estates proceedings in the Superior Court of Justice: O. Reg. 709/21, amending the Rules of Civil Procedure.
- streamlines the Rule 74 probate process;
- aligns the Rule 74 application forms with Succession Law Reform Act amendments to sections 15(a), 16, 17 and 43.1 that were made through the Accelerating Access to Justice Act, 2021, Schedule 9; and
- makes administrative amendments to 15 estate court forms.
These estate court rule and form amendments will come into force on January 1, 2022.
The RCP amendments are expected to reduce costs and simplify the Rule 74 process to apply for probate by:
- introducing one set of requirements for applications with a will and applications without a will (one new rule 74.04 replaces current rules 74.04 and 74.05);
- reducing the number of forms by 35 forms (content of 43 forms consolidated into 8 new forms);
- creating new forms with a simpler format, larger font and fillable text boxes;
- improving the guiding language in the forms; and
- numbering the forms alpha-numerically (e.g. Form 74A instead of Form 74.4), allowing for easier identification of the forms.
The streamlined process also allows for more expeditious processing of applications by court staff.
A summary of the regulation is available on Ontario’s Regulatory Registry at:
Further inquiry can be directed to the following addresses, quoting the reference # attached to your response/ in the subject line:
Address: Ministry of the Attorney General
720 Bay Street, 11th Floor
Dear Real Estate Representatives, Presidents and Library Staff,
In an effort to keep real estate lawyers updated with the ever-changing situation, we have further information to be shared with the real estate lawyers in your association.
New Ontario Business Registry
ServiceOntario has issued a notice about the new Ontario Business Registry which launches on October 19, 2021. “As the new registry will reduce our reliance on paper-based manual processes by moving to a digital platform, six service counters across the province will no longer endorse articles submitted under the Business Corporations Act effective October 14th, and the ServiceOntario counter at 375 University Avenue in Toronto will close on October 18th.”
The notice is available here.
Teranet Inc. recently announced the payment system SureFundTM, which we understand is based on FCT’s existing EasyFund platform.
The Law Society has not yet approved the use of third-party payment intermediaries for the delivery of trust funds, although we understand its review is ongoing. In the meantime, it is recommended that lawyers satisfy themselves with respect to the Rules of Professional Conduct and their fiduciary obligations relating to trust monies. The use of SureFundTM or any third-party payment intermediary is entirely voluntary.
We suggest lawyers consider the following before engaging with any third-party payment processor:
- What are a lawyer’s obligations regarding trust monies?
- What sort of consent is required from a client to provide client funds to an unrelated third-party?
- What sort of indemnity is being provided if funds do not arrive at their intended destination?
- Who is responsible for additional interest resulting from delays in delivery and how will such interest payment be handled?
- Can an undertaking to discharge a mortgage be provided if funds are being provided to an unrelated third-party?
Nominations for the 2022 Law Society Awards
Last year, our very own Eldon Horner received a Law Society Medal in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the legal community.
Is there someone in your association who deserves recognition? Nominations are encouraged for members from all communities, practice areas, firm sizes, and regions across the province. Submit your nomination by December 17, 2021. Details and nomination forms are available here.
FREE Practice Related CPD
The Law Society of Ontario has a series of practice related CPDs available on demand for free at CPD Assists. Titles include:
- Managing Your Practice and Avoiding Emotional Burnout (20 min professionalism credit)
- Working Virtually: Levelling the Playing Field with Big Firms (50 min professionalism credit)
- Tips for Maximizing Work/Life Balance (50 min professionalism credit)
- How to Run a Home-Based Practice (50 min professionalism credit)
- Simple Tech Solutions to Accelerate your Practice (50 min professionalism credit)
- It Could Happen to You: Disaster Planning for Your Practice (50 min professionalism credit)
- Protect Your Digital Law Practice (50 min professionalism credit)
- Your Real Estate Practice and the COVID-19 Pandemic: What You Need to Know Right Now (2 hour professionalism credit)
Reminder – DRA has been updated
The Document Registration Agreement and Multi-Party Document Registration Agreement have been updated and published on the Law Society of Ontario’s website. The updated DRA and Multi-Party DRA are available in word here.
The updates to the DRA include the following amendments:
- Any changes to the document must be clearly shown. The publication date has been noted in the header, along with confirmation that any changes not clearly shown are of no effect.
- Paragraph 3 and Schedule A have been amended to account for a VTB, if applicable. The last registered instrument (LRI) can be inserted in Schedule A if there is a VTB.
- Paragraph 10 has been amended to permit the exchange of closing documents by fax or email, unless prior to closing the recipient requests originally executed copies, in which case originally executed documents are to be delivered within 10 days of closing.
- Paragraph 11 has been added and requires a party who receives notice from the LRO that a document has been returned for correction to notify the other side and requires all parties to correct and re-register the document as soon as possible.
- Paragraph 12 is new and confirms that entry is being provided by way of a lockbox or door lock code, it can be provided with the other Requisite Deliveries and held in escrow, to be released in accordance with paragraph 6.
- Paragraph 13 has been added to confirm that funds can be delivered by wire and that each party is responsible for their own wire fees.
Similar changes have been made to the Multi-Party DRA, although the paragraph numbering is different.
We encourage you to review the updated DRA and Multi-Party DRA.
The following consultations relating to real estate issues are currently on-going:
- The Law Society’s Competence Task Force, chaired by Sidney Troister has issued a Call for Comment. The Competence Task Force was established to examine regulatory approaches aimed at ensuring and enhancing the post-licensure competence of lawyers and paralegals. The objective of the Task Force is to recommend an effective, proportionate, and balanced regulatory framework addressing career-long competence in a manner that protects the public interest and is responsive to the public’s legal needs. Comments are due by November 30, 2021.
FOLA will be preparing a submission and if you would like to provide FOLA with comments for consideration for inclusion in our Submission, please do so prior to October 20th by emailing Katie at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Proposed Order-in-Council and Regulatory Amendments Relating to the Condominium Management Services Act, 2015 and the Safety and Consumer Statutes Administration Act, 1996 – Comments are due on November 2, 2021.
- Regulatory proposal under the Building Code Act, 1992 – Comments are due by October 23, 2021.
If and when we receive further information of interest to the real estate bar, we will pass it along.
Stay up to date with FOLA’s real estate information at https://fola.ca/real-estate-law.
Merredith MacLennan and Eldon Horner
FOLA Real Estate Co-Chairs
Please note: The information provided herein is of a general nature only and is not intended to provide legal advice.
Please find attached, information about criminal adjournment dates for September 30, 2021. You can also access them here.
Please be sure to share with your members.
Have a great weekend!
Katie W. Robinette
Need answers to COVID-19 issues regarding the practice of law? CLICK HERE.
Please find attached the Statement from Chief Justices Strathy, Morawetz and Maisonneuve regarding the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30, 2021.
In short, it is letting us know that, in recognition of our Inaugural National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30th, the SCJ, OCJ, and CAO Courts will be closed except for certain matters that must be heard.
In the Ontario Court of Justice, Weekend and Statutory Holiday (bail) courts will operate. In the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, urgent matters such as those heard on statutory holidays will be heard. Further details of court operations on September 30 will be provided by each court.
The notice is also available here.
Please share with your members.
Katie W. Robinette
Need answers to COVID-19 issues regarding the practice of law? CLICK HERE.