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COVID 19 Update and the Court of Justice

The Ontario Court of Justice will be further expanding its operations on July 6, 2020, as it resumes hearing additional family law matters and criminal trials and preliminary inquiries.

The Ministry of the Attorney General, which is responsible for courts administration and courthouse facilities, has established an incremental plan to prepare courthouses and courtrooms to facilitate the return to full court operations across Ontario.  The Ministry has announced the first phase of the plan (Phase One) will be implemented Monday July 6, 2020, in a limited number of courthouses and courtrooms.  Court operations will continue to expand with additional courthouses and courtrooms added as the Ministry continues to implement its plan, with a targeted completion date of November 1, 2020.

For more information about how family law proceedings in the Ontario Court of Justice will be scheduled and conducted as of July 6, 2020, please see COVID-19: Scheduling of Family Matters in the Ontario Court of Justice

For more information about the resumption of criminal trials and preliminary inquiries, please see Notice to the Profession and the Public re: Resumption of Criminal Trials and Preliminary Hearings as of July 6, 2020

As part of the return to operations plan, the Ministry is implementing health and safety measures in each courthouse.

In Phase One and by July 6, 2020, the Court has been advised that site assessments of 93 OCJ courtrooms will be complete, and that all necessary health and safety precautions, based on public health expert advice, will be implemented for the protection of all court users, including judicial officers, lawyers, litigants, witnesses, staff and members of the public.  The Ministry will not re-open a Phase One site on July 6, 2020 if it concludes that the health and safety of courthouse participants cannot be adequately protected on this date.

More information about the precautionary health and safety measures at courthouses implemented by the Ministry will be publicly available before July 6, 2020.

Do not come to a courthouse if you have been advised by public health officials, your doctor or the Ontario Ministry of Health (MOH) website to self-isolate.  If you are unable to come to court because you have been told to self-isolate, please contact your lawyer. If you do not have a lawyer, please contact the courthouse:  courthouse email addresses and  courthouse addresses and phone numbers.

Please continue to check the Ontario Court of Justice website for updates.  The Court will provide additional information about the scheduling and conduct of all court proceedings, including the Court’s ongoing work to make more services available using remote technology.  Court operations will continue to expand as the Ministry facilitates the opening of additional courthouses and courtrooms in accordance with its recovery plan.  The Court will continue working actively with all justice partners to implement a fair and orderly return to operations. As we do so, the health and safety of all court users remains our paramount concern.

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