As previously communicated, the Superior Court of Justice suspended all regular operations as of Tuesday, March 17, 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis. As such, all existing court dates were adjourned, and the Court was no longer providing court dates, with the exception of urgent matters.
The court provided an update on May 13, 2020, with changes to the previous orders and directions
, which supersedes the previous direction of April 2, 2020. As of May 19, 2020, certain cases in addition to urgent ones may be heard by video-conference, by telephone or in writing. In addition, the virtual courts are open for some types of matters, which varies per region. In Ottawa, these include certain construction lien matters, in-writing consent, ex parte, unopposed motions and applications, in-writing motions/applications under Rule 7 of the Rules of Civil Procedure (parties under disability) and Pre-Trial and Case Conferences in particular cases. In addition, a party may request a hearing for some contested motion or application, provided that the matter is not complex and such a hearing moves the case forward significantly.
In a Notice dated April 20, 2020, it was announced that the Ontario Superior Court of Justice
will not recommence civil jury selection or jury Trials until at the earliest September, 2020. Other in-person hearings will not resume until July 6, 2020, unless further extended.
Any concerns you may have with respect to limitation dates can be put to rest for the time being as the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act suspended the limitation periods and procedural time periods, retroactively to March 16, 2020. There may be exceptions in cases such as construction liens, as such we encourage you to reach out to a professional at Sicotte Guilbault to determine your rights.
During these unprecedented times, it may not be “business as usual” in the actual sense, however the professionals as Sicotte Guilbault are working efficiently and as best as they can with all resources available to them to assist you in moving your matter forward and protecting your interests.
Stay tuned for further updates. In the meantime, we invite you to contact your legal professional to discuss and answer any questions specific to your case.