Court Cases & Orders Educational Resources

Covid-19: Will the Court Hear Your Matter?

courthouse steps
Written by Russell Alexander ria@russellalexander.com / (905) 655-6335

Covid 19: Will the Court Hear Your Matter?

Desperate times call for desperate measures. The Canadian government and the courts have taken drastic measures to slow down the spread of Covid-19. One thing to be cognizant of is that the situation is fluid and constantly changing. At the point (March 23rd) the Ontario courts have stressed the following to the legal community.

The key is urgency. As we have seen around the world, governments have had to prioritize. The courts here in Ontario are taking similar tactics to legal matters and highlight that the urgent and immediate matters will be given priority. In the family law realm, this means that the clients and counsel should refrain from bringing the court issues such as routine child support (unless one party is at extreme financial strain).

What is considered an urgent? The Ontario Court of Justice states

The Court is reducing the number of courtrooms that will operate. Judicial officials will remain available to preside over:

–              regularly scheduled bail courts, remand and plea courts for in-custody proceedings;

–              plea court for urgent out-of-custody matters;

–              urgent family proceedings;

–              applications under the Health Protection and Promotion Act; and

–              urgent and/or essential intake court functions.

At this time, urgent matter can be heard via teleconference with judges and counsel. Due to the shift to paperless, the drafting of materials is extremely important to avoid further delay. Counsel should ensure that they provide the current relevant order, a draft of the order they are seeking, and to set out what the status quo of the matter is. Succinctness is a virtue at this time for the courts. Courthouses have limited filing hours and family court hearings restricted to emergency matters only.

For more details, please see:

https://www.ontariocourts.ca/ocj/covid-19/

Stay in Touch

Keep learning about the latest issues in Ontario family law! Subscribe to our latest articles delivered to your inbox, or listen to our Podcast Family Law Now.

Be sure to find out more about the "new normal", by visiting our Covid-19 and Divorce Information Centre.

About the author

Russell Alexander

Russell Alexander is the founder of Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers and is the firm’s senior partner. At Russell Alexander, our focus is exclusively family law, offering pre-separation legal advice and assisting clients with family related issues, including: custody and access, separation agreements, child and spousal support, division of family property, paternity disputes, and enforcement of court orders. We have locations in Toronto, Markham, Whitby (Brooklin), Lindsay, and Peterborough.

For more information, visit our website, or you can call us at: 905-655-6335.