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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 04-02-2016, 05:23 AM
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Exclamation Access Family Court records

If I am interested in accessing a previous family court case in Ontario Superior Court Family Division, does anyone know how to go about this?

All I have is one of the parties names.

Would I just go to the normal family court filing window and ask for any records related to this person?

Thanks so much!
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Old 04-02-2016, 09:13 AM
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Search Canlii. It will take you to the Canadian law library where you can search for cases.
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Old 04-02-2016, 10:19 AM
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I don't think every decision is listed in canlii. In fact I think the majority aren't listed- only decisions which are deemed worth reporting because they cover new territory.

If you know which courthouse the file would be located at, I think you'll have some luck going and asking nicely about it at the desk at that courthouse. If the case hasn't been active for a while (maybe more than a couple of years) they'll need time to retrieve the file from storage. I believe things which are filed in the courthouse are meant to be available for public access.
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Old 04-02-2016, 10:30 AM
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It's true not every case is listed in canlii.

I believe generally court records are public information so going to the court house would be the proper way to go about it.
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Old 04-02-2016, 03:02 PM
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I'm wondering if I just walk up to the regular family court filing desk or where to go exactly
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Old 04-03-2016, 11:18 AM
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If you want all the details, check out:

Court Services Division Policies and Procedures on Public Access to Court Files, Documents and Exhibits - Ministry of the Attorney General

Essentially, you can just attend at the family law counter and request the file. Some courthouses may have a publicly accessible computer where you can look up a surname and see all cases with that surname. If not, the court clerk can help you with such a search.

You would need to attend at the court house at which the case was heard (i.e. you could not see a Toronto case file at the Ottawa court house).

There may be fees for pulling up a file from storage if it is an old case. There are also copying fees, but I've seen people use camera phones.

Most cases are not reported on canlii - generally only the cases of greater interest would be reported there.
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Old 04-03-2016, 12:10 PM
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Thank you so so much Jeff! That is exactly the answer I was looking for. You confirmed all things I distracted such as court location, where to go in the court house, etc. Thank you so much, such a relief in these stressful situations!
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