Ontario Court of Justice (Criminal) – Court Scheduling during Covid-19 CrisisAndrew Captan
The province of Ontario has introduced measures to curb the spread of Covid-19. In relation to the Criminal Court system, the measures that are now in place restrict people from attending court.
As of March 28, 2020, generally speaking, all non-urgent / out of custody matters in court until May 29, 2020 will be automatically adjourned without the attendance of counsel or the accused, via a bench warrant with discretion. In short, this means that an accused is ordered to not attend court, and to keep checking back for updates regarding their new court date.
Click this Government website link to view a list of dates that your case would automatically be remanded to.
All urgent / in custody matters will be conducted via remote technology (video and audio conferencing) instead of in person. Judicial pre-trials will still be conducted by counsel by telephone only.
The 10 week automatic adjournment rule will apply to all courthouses save and except for a select handful, including Parry Sound, Kauskasing, Cochrane, Elliot Lake, Blind River, amongst others.
If you have retained a Criminal Lawyer to assist with your matter, your lawyer may still be able to take steps towards completing your case during this hiatus. For example, a lawyer can still communicate with the Crown Attorney, conduct Crown pre-trial and Judicial pre-trial meetings, and even resolve matters remotely, such as securing withdrawals of charges.