The Ontario Superior Court of Justice is now remotely hearing non-urgent civil motions and applications, case conferences, and pre-trial conferences in Ottawa.
This announcement updates the previous Notice from the Superior Court, which had suspended non-urgent hearings due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
Parties and counsel with a contested motion or application that was scheduled to be heard at the Ottawa Courthouse between March 16 and July 31, 2020 are invited to request a remote hearing (in writing or via videoconference or telephone), with the Court currently booking hearing dates for early June. [Please note that a request for a hearing may be denied if the judge determines that the hearing cannot take place remotely at this time]. Likewise, for case conferences and pre-trial conferences that were scheduled during the above-mentioned period, parties are invited to schedule a remote hearing.
Parties to an ex parte or consent motion as well as parties who have previously agreed to have their motion heard in writing can simply file the required materials electronically and obtain a hearing.
For motions and applications that were underway but adjourned in mid-March, parties may request the hearing to be completed remotely. Moreover, parties who are uncertain on how to proceed or require a hearing for a proceeding not outlined above can request a case conference to obtain directions from the Court.
Directions on how to request a hearing or case conference can be found here.
The Superior Court has also announced that it will resume hearing other motions and applications as of August 4, 2020. Parties (and counsel) with a motion, application, case conference or pre-trial conference that is listed to be heard as of that date should assume that it will proceed as scheduled.
Our reading of the Court Notice is that new non-urgent motions, applications, case conferences and pre-trial conferences can also now be scheduled (with the Court) to take place sometime after August 4, 2020. Parties will need to check with the Court as to whether or not such hearings will need to occur remotely.
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