The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has enacted measures during this coronavirus Pandemic that the public should be aware of.  Below is a link to all current Notices issued by the Superior Court of Justice. .  I have included a link to the relevant Notice listed below with associated links:

  1. The Superior Court of Justice is suspended all regular operations effective March 17, 2020 until further notice.  All criminal, family, and civil matters scheduled to be heard on or after March 17, 20120 are adjourned:
    • Urgent matters will continue to be heard during the emergency.  The list of matters that the Superior Court of Justice has identified as urgent are as follows (taken from the notice): 
  2. The following matters related to PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFETY and COVID-19:
    1. applications by the Chief Medical Officer of Health for orders in relation to COVID-19;
      • applications to restrain the contravention or continued contravention of an order made under the Health Protection and Promotion Act;
      • applications to enforce orders requiring the seizure of premises, medications or supplies under the Health Protection and Promotion Act;
      • appeals under subsection 35(16) of the Health Protection and Promotion Act;
      • urgent requests for injunctions related to COVID-19; and
      • urgent Divisional Court appeals and requests for judicial review related to COVID-19.
      • The following FAMILY AND CHILD PROTECTION matters:

Only urgent family law events as determined by the presiding justice, or events that are required to be heard by statute will be heard during this emergency period, including:

  • 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);
    1. 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;
    2. dire issues regarding the parties’ financial circumstances including for example the need for a non-depletion order;
    3. 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.
  • The following CIVIL and COMMERCIAL LIST (Toronto) matters:
    1. urgent and time-sensitive motions and applications in civil and commercial list matters, where immediate and significant financial repercussions may result if there is no judicial hearing.
    2. Outstanding warrants issued in relation to a Small Claims Court or Superior Court civil proceeding.
  • Any other matter that the Court deems necessary and appropriate to hear on an urgent basis. The Bar and the public are advised that these matters will be strictly limited.

The Court has discretion to decline to schedule for immediate hearing any particular matter described in the above list, if appropriate.

The Superior Court of Justice has also enacted a Regulation that has suspended:

1.      limitation periods for the duration of the emergency; and

2.      periods of time relating to steps in any proceeding in Ontario, subject to the discretion of the Court, tribunal, or other decision maker responsible for the proceeding, shall be suspended for the duration of the emergency.  as well as any period of time within which steps must be taken in any proceeding.

To summarize, while files are being dealt with by your respective legal counsel, only emergency matters are being scheduled and heard in court.  All time periods relating to your litigation and all limitation periods are suspended during this emergency. I am hopeful this helps any reader and please take care of yourself during this pandemic.