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Ontario Courts Opening For Family Law Proceedings

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  • Ontario Courts Opening For Family Law Proceedings

    Good Day Everyone,

    Can anyone provide me some information or links to when the courts will open and resume taking cases again? I heard it may be sometime in November 2020 but priority will be given to the cases that had to be rescheduled. How long am I looking at to get my case heard? I have already been through a case conference, settlement conference. Is it true it can be next year? I know the courts are looking at emergency cases via Zoom or something right now and some case conferences but nothing other than that. I have no scheduled date yet. Thanks ladies and gentlemen

  • #2
    there is no word on that as of now.


    • #3
      There is a notice to the profession (look under the regional notices as well as the individual family courts are each doing different things).

      My understanding is that you can start applications, schedule Case conferences, *final* settlement conferences and short motions. But trials and Trial management conferences are out of the question. The courts have little patience for anything that should have been settled out of court, expect cost consequences if either side pulls funny stuff. The judges have also been warning that parents interfering with access are looking at a change in custody as they are demonstrating an inability to put the childrenís best interest first.

      All trials from March on have to be rescheduled, then reschedule all trial management conferences, plus the delay will cause more motions needing to be heard. There is also a lot of new cases starting up that will be taking even more of the courts time. Doug Ford has no appetite for funding the courts appropriately (still wincing from his drug dealing and his brothers drug-related kidnapping convictions I guess).

      If you can settle out of court, Do it. realistically, I think a case that hasnít yet had a TMC would be looking at 2022, especially if you are in the GTA.


      • #4
        The courts are closed until there is a vaccine. There was an article today about a criminal trial that took place over zoom. The recommendations from the upper court is that lawyers and judges conduct business electronically which apparently includes trials as indicated by the criminal trial that was held by zoom


        • #5
          Some courts are open, including some family courts. They are not fully open, and things are different from before (no supporters or family members thank goodness). They are retrofitting courtrooms and plan to have the majority of the courtrooms done by November. The Courts are encouraging zoom appearances, but in-person attendances ARE happening, although the Chief Justice has said if anyone (parties or counsel) wishes to convert in-person appearance to written or zoom submissions their wishes should be honoured as much as possible. No family trials are being scheduled as the Jordan decision means the courts have to prioritise Criminal over civil.

          Todayís announcement from the Chief Justice regarding in-person court appearances:


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