April 21, 2021
Attention: Presidents of Central West Region’s Law Associations
Re: Chief Justice Morawetz’s Notice to Profession Dated April 20, 2021
Civil and Family Matters
Commencing Thursday April 22, 2021, all in-person and virtual scheduled civil and family hearings/matters, which have not yet commenced, will be adjourned unless a judge determines that they are urgent, in which case they will proceed by way of a virtual hearing. A judge will still attend the virtual hearings but only to adjourn matters or to hear any submissions that the matter is urgent and should proceed virtually. If counsel/parties do not attend, the matter will be adjourned.
In-person and virtual hearings currently under way will be subject to the presiding judge’s discretion whether to proceed.
No new in-person hearings will commence unless they are absolutely necessary, there is no other alternative, and they have the RSJ’s approval.
All civil and family matters scheduled on or after April 26, 2021 will be adjourned while this Notice to the Profession is in effect (including any extensions that may be established by the Chief Justice). Counsel/parties will be contacted by court staff to reschedule the matters when court operations resume to hear matters virtually and in-person.
Any requests for virtual hearings because the matter is urgent should be sent to the following email addresses for consideration by a judge. Counsel/parties will be advised if the matter will proceed virtually.
Brampton-Peel Region Courthouse
Milton-Halton Region Courthouse
Orangeville - Dufferin County Courthouse
Guelph- Wellington County Courthouse
Owen Sound- Grey County Courthouse
Walkerton- Bruce County Courthouse
Any Central West Civil Assignment Courts scheduled for the week of April 26, 2021 are hereby adjourned to May 25, 2021 at 9 a.m. at the same Zoom coordinates for the currently scheduled Assignment Courts.
Commencing April 22, 2021, all scheduled remote criminal appearances will continue to proceed with their virtual attendances as scheduled.
For all scheduled criminal hearings, if counsel can agree on an adjournment, they should advise the Trial Coordinator, at which point the matter will be spoken to and remanded at the virtual attendance. Otherwise, on the scheduled date, at the virtual hearing the presiding judge will determine whether the matter will be adjourned, if absolutely necessary with no alternative, proceed virtually or in-person.
No new in-person criminal hearings will commence unless they are absolutely necessary, there is no other alternative, and they have the RSJ’s approval.
In-person and virtual criminal hearings currently under way will be subject to the presiding judge’s discretion whether to proceed.
Please forward to all your members as soon as possible.
Your assistance is greatly appreciated.
Regional Senior Justice, Central West Region
April 20, 2021
Notice to Profession and Public Regarding Court Proceeings
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
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
Subject to the discretion of the trial judge, matters that
arein-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.
Geoffrey B. Morawetz
Ontario Superior Court of Justice
Notice to the Profession and Public
March 12, 2021 Update
Guelph Criminal/ Civil Jury Trials
Criminal/ Civil Jury Trials will not proceed before June 7th, 2021 and perhaps not even at this time. See this Memo:
OSCJ Memo regarding trials at Guelph
Guelph Zoom Conferencing
Ontario Court of Justice– Family
Effective November 16, 2020, the Guelph Family Court will now be hearing matters using ZOOM Conferencing Software. Scheduled proceedings will be heard using this software and unless otherwise directed by the court all appearances shall be AUDIO or VIDEO, not in person. This is in continuing efforts to curb the spread of COVID 19, while ensuring the safety of court users, justice system participants, and members of the public by limiting access to courthouses, when possible.
For more information, see Central West Region - Regional Court Schedule.