COVID-19 / Coronavirus: The Ontario Superior Court of Justice Expects to Further Expand the Scope of Matters to be Heard Virtually

Kimberley Wilton, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Collaborative Family Law, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Custody and Access, Divorce, Family Law, Hague Conventions, Separation0 Comments

On May 5, 2020, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice issued a Notice to the Profession, Litigants, Accused Persons and the Media advising of the Continued Suspension of in-court matters to July 6, 2020. This Notice further advised the Superior Court will continue to hear matters virtually and expects to shortly further expand the scope of matters that will be heard virtually.

On March 15, 2020, the Chief Justice of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice released a Notice to the Profession advising that all scheduled family law hearings were adjourned until further notice. However, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice continued to hear urgent family law matters such as:

  • requests for urgent relief relating to the safety of a child or parent (e.g., a restraining order, other restrictions on contact between the parties or a party and a child, or exclusive possession of the home);
  • urgent issues that must be determined relating to the well-being of a child including essential medical decisions or issues relating to the wrongful removal or retention of a child;
  • dire issues regarding the parties’ financial circumstances (including for example the need for a non-depletion order);
  • in a child protection case, all urgent or statutorily mandated events including the initial hearing after a child has been brought to a place of safety, and any other urgent motions or hearings.

On April 2, 2020, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice released an updated Notice to the Profession, stating in addition to urgent and emergency family law matters, the court will also hold remote hearings for (a) requests for consent orders submitted by Form 14B Motions under the Family Law Rules; and (b) Case Conferences with a potential limit on the number of issues that can be addressed at the hearing.

Similarly, on May 4, 2020, the Ontario Court of Justice issued a Notice to advise they will not be returning to full operations on May 29, 2020, as stated in an earlier Notice.  This Notice also advised that no trials or preliminary inquiries will be conducted until July 6, 2020 at the earliest, unless a judge seized with a continuing matter orders otherwise.

The Ontario Court of Justice continues to hear urgent and emergency family law matters via telephone and/or video conferencing. Urgent family court matters include:

Our Family Law lawyer has expertise and experience in scheduling urgent family law matters, including urgent child custody and access matters, and  Hague applications, and moving family law litigation forward with collaborative family law and mediation and arbitration. We can assist you in resolving your legal issues in a timely and cost-effective manner.  Please contact us for an initial consultation through our Request Consultation Form, emailing our intake coordinator at info@gilbertsondavis.com or by telephone to (416) 979-2020.


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About the Author
Kimberley Wilton, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.

Kimberley Wilton, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.

Kimberley practices exclusively in family law, from contentious custody and access disputes, child and spousal support claims, to complex property division, adoption applications, and mobility issues. Kimberley is a skilled litigator and experienced in alternative dispute resolution. Bio | Contact

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