COVID-19: What’s Happening in the Courts and Tribunals

Changes are occurring regularly, check the court’s website for the most recent updates.

Ontario Courts of Justice:

  • Some courts are resuming in-person proceedings that include strict health and safety protocols.
  • For dates that occurred during closures, your new appearance date is based on the date you were supposed to originally appear. The earliest date is Aug 4, 2020 – check the schedule for your new appearance date
  • A criminally accused person can contact the Crown Attorney’s Office by email or phone to obtain their Crown Screening form and/or disclosure.
  • The court has procedures in place to assist individuals in applying to vary their release conditions, without needing to personally appear in court.

Ontario Social Justice Tribunals – including the Landlord and Tenant Board, Child Family Services Review Board, Criminal Injuries Compensation Board.

Superior Court of Justice

  • Resumed some in-person hearings on July 6, 2020. 
  • Continues to hear matters virtually, and expects to further expand the scope of matters that will be heard virtually.
  • Criminal or civil jury selection or jury trials will resume on September, 2020, at the earliest.

Small Claims Court:

  • Continues to hear urgent motions and urgent garnishment hearings by telephone or videoconference.
  • On June 2, 2020, started scheduling settlement conferences in non-urgent matters, to be conducted remotely.

Federal Court:

  • There are provincial differences in how the court resumes, check the latest directions on the court’s website.
  • In Ontario, the suspension period has been extended to June 29, 2020; all hearings scheduled before the end of July are cancelled; online filing of service of documents has been made easier.

Ontario Court of Appeal:

  • All hearings suspended; urgent matters can be heard by way or written materials or remotely.
  • Check website for serving and filing deadlines and extensions of time.

Supreme Court of Canada:

  • All hearings scheduled for March, April and May were adjourned; filing deadlines imposed by the Rules had been suspended, while deadlines imposed by Statutes remain in force.
  • The Court remains open for case-related matters
  • Started hearing cases by video-conference on June 8, 2020.