Tag: toronto estates list
In a Notice to the Profession and the Public updated April 20, 2021, Chief Justice Morawetz of the Ontario Superior Court gave notice that until May 7, 2021, the Court will be deferring as many matters as possible. This restriction is in light of the recent critical situation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in light of the recent heightened province-wide Stay-at Home order effective April 17, 2021.
The Notice reads as follows:
In view of the strengthened stay-at-home order and the critical situation with the pandemic, over the next several weeks until May 7, to reduce the number of court staff, counsel or parties required to leave their homes to participate in court proceedings, the Court will defer as many matters as possible. This includes virtual hearings.
The Court will focus on hearing
- the most serious child protection matters
- urgent family matters
- critical criminal matters, and
- urgent commercial or economic matters where there are employment or economic impacts.
Subject to the discretion of the trial judge, matters that are in-progress can continue. The positions of the parties and staff should be strongly considered and alternate arrangements should be made for those who do not wish to attend in-person.
The Court is seeking the cooperation of counsel to defer as much as possible.
However, matters WILL be proceeding as scheduled on the Toronto Estates List. In a message sent out by Justice McEwen, he stated that unless you are advised to the contrary, you should assume that any matters currently scheduled on the Commercial List or Estates List are proceeding as scheduled. This is because all matters on the Lists are proceeding virtually, and most are proceeding without the need for court staff to be physically present in the Court. The message was distributed to members of the Estates List Users Committee for dissemination. If you would like to receive a copy, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great weekend.
Recent developments with COVID-19 mean a number of procedural changes have been put in place at the Toronto Estates List. The following operations are effective as of March 23, 2020:
1. All regular matters which have been scheduled and are not urgent, or time sensitive, are adjourned to after June 1, 2020 and are not currently being rescheduled, subject to any further direction from the Court (in accordance with the Notice to the Profession issued by Chief Justice Morawetz, March 15, 2020).
2. The judges of the Toronto Estates List will continue to hear and decide urgent and time-sensitive matters. The procedure for urgent matters on the Estates List is the same as the procedure for urgent matters on the Commercial List and will be in accordance with the procedure set out in the Changes to Commercial List Operations in light of the COVID-19 March 16, 2020 advisory, with necessary changes. For greater certainty, all urgent requests and materials on the Estates List should be sent to the Commercial List trial coordinator at Toronto.email@example.com
3. There is no change to the usual procedure for filing materials in matters that are to be considered by the Court in writing, including motions for consent orders and ex parte orders. Materials for matters to be heard in writing may still be filed at the Estates Office, subject to any further direction of the Court.
4. Applications for Certificates of Appointment (i.e. probate) are still be accepted and processed by the Estate Office.
5. Notices of Application (Forms 14E, 74.44, and 75.5) will continue to be issued by the Estates Office but instead of fixing a return date the Notice of Application shall indicate that the matter will be heard: “on a date to be fixed by the Registrar.”
6. Notices of Objections (Form 75.1) may be filed in the Estates Office as usual.
The PDF copy of the above notice can be found here.
Thanks for reading,
Practice Direction Retrospective: Scheduling Appointments, Hearing Matters and Adjournments (Part 1 of 2)
It has now been almost a year since the April 1, 2009 Practice Direction Concerning the Estates List of the Superior Court of Justice in Toronto so I thought I’d start the week with a with a two-part blog containing a few general observations and some practice tips for Toronto. Today’s topic is Scheduling Appointments.
The Scheduling Appointment was created to reduce adjournments and to make the court system more efficient and less costly. It preceded Ontario’s new Rules of Civil Procedure and had many of the same goals in mind, most notably proportionality, which is now an overarching consideration.
A Scheduling Appointment is ten minutes long and is a very versatile mechanism to allow you to get before the Court relatively quickly to obtain assistance. It can be used to “speak to a matter”, to set down a timetable or to obtain a consent order. They can be booked on two days’ notice and generally you can get on the list within a week or two.
Adjourning a Scheduling Appointment
- If a Scheduling Appointment was booked through OSCAR or the Estates office, you can adjourn it administratively by filing your confirmation form cancelling the Scheduling Appointment or adjourning it to another date. It is best to do this as far in advance as possible. Once you file the confirmation form, you cannot easily amend it to get it off the door list. You should check OSCAR the day before the scheduled date to make sure the cancellation has been noted and the matter is not on the list for the day you seek to adjourn. If you fail to appear on a Scheduling Appointment, the Court can set a timetable or a hearing date in your absence.
- You can adjourn the Scheduling Appointment to a specific date and note this on your confirmation form but this is not necessary. If you are in negotiations or are otherwise not ready to address the matter, you should note on your confirmation form that you will bring it back to a Scheduling Appointment when the parties are ready. This will avoid endless re-scheduling of Scheduling Appointments. Since they are quick and easy to get, no need to schedule them way in advance.
- If a Scheduling Appointment has been scheduled by the Court, counsel should appear to speak to an adjournment request. Although the Practice Direction doesn’t specifically say this, it has been the de facto procedure adopted.
Stay tuned for Part 2 in tomorrow’s blog about adjournments of Hearing Matters, and some general tips when appearing in Court on adjournments.
Have a great week!
Sharon Davis – Click here for more information on Sharon Davis.