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December 2020

Summary of changes to Reg. 194 under the Courts of Justice Act

Rules of Civil Procedure

Eric Boate
Eric W.D. Boate,
Partner

Ryan Smith
Ryan Smith
Associate

Jennifer IltonJennifer Ilton,
Law Student

 

by Eric W.D. Boate, Ryan Smith and Jennifer Ilton

On January 1, 2021, the amendments to the Rules of Civil Procedure pursuant to O. Reg. 689/20 will take effect. The following is a summary of the key amendments.

Appearances
Under rule 1.08, the parties may agree that a hearing (but not a case conference), mandatory mediation, oral examination for discovery, or oral examination of a witness at trial may proceed by teleconference, video conference or in person. If a party objects to the proposed method of attendance, the parties shall attend a case conference to deal with the objection and the court shall make an order directing the method of attendance.

Electronic Signatures authorized
Under rule 4.01.1, judicial officials and court registrars are now authorized to use electronic signatures.

Electronic Issuance authorized
Under rule 6.1, any court document that requires issuance may be issued electronically, and the registrar may also issue a document electronically.

E-mail addresses substituted for fax-numbers
Both lawyers and self-represented parties must now provide an email address on court documents, and fax numbers are no longer required.

... parties must now provide an email address on court documents...

CaseLines

Electronic document sharing

Electronic document sharing will be done through a software called “CaseLines”.

Under rule 4.05.3, the court may require parties to use CaseLines to submit previously filed documents for use at hearings, pre-trial conferences, and case conferences. Submitting documents to CaseLines does not amount to filing or serving a document under the Rules.

Transcripts to be provided electronically

For proceedings commenced on or after January 31, 2020, transcripts are to be served or filed in electronic format.

Electronic Service
E-mail service is permitted without consent or a court order for documents that are not required to be served personally, or by an alternative to personal service. An affidavit of service for e-mail service is required.

Documents may no longer be served by fax. An order removing a lawyer from the record must include the client’s e-mail address and telephone number.

Affidavits may be sworn or affirmed remotely...

Remote Commissioning
Affidavits may be sworn or affirmed remotely, in accordance with the amendments to the Commissioners for Taking Affidavits Act.

Motions for Leave to Appeal to Divisional Court
On a motion for leave to appeal to the Divisional Court, only one copy of a motion record, factum, or transcript needs to be filed if the filing is done electronically.

Endorsement of Orders
Endorsements may be made electronically and may be made on separate documents.

Preparation and Form of Order
Under rule 59.03, any party or person affected by an order may prepare a draft order, and send it to all parties who participated in the hearing or conference for approval of its form and content. If all the parties approve the draft order, the drafting party may request that it be issued by the registrar by filing the draft order, along with the evidence that the parties have all approved same.

Issuing Orders
Orders may be issued electronically, and must be provided to the person who filed the draft order by either e-mail, CaseLines (if CaseLines is being used for the hearing or conference), or by making the order available for pickup at the court counter.

Electronic Entry of Orders
Orders are to be entered electronically rather than in paper format.


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