Continued Suspension of Small Claims Court Operations

In a recent Order the Superior Court of Justice has announced a continued suspension of Small Claims Court operations across the province.

Many readers will remember that matters before Ontario courts were largely suspended in March 2020 due to COVID-19 with various operations moving to virtual platforms. Since then, a limited number of Small Claims Court proceedings (including urgent motions, garnishments hearings, and select settlement conferences) have also been permitted to proceed remotely.

However, with this new Order, dated July 10, 2020, certain Small Claims Court matters may continue to experience delays depending on the stage of the proceeding that had been reached prior to the start of suspensions in March.

In particular, this recent Order provides that:

All Small Claims Court proceedings that

  • were, as of March 13, 2020, scheduled for a hearing between March 16, 2020 through October 30, 2020, and
  • are not assigned a new date between March 16, 2020 and October 30, 2020,

are adjourned to November 2, 2020 or to such other date as determined by the Court. (See the full Order here).

In other words, any Small Claims Court matter that was scheduled for a hearing between March 13 and October 30, 2020 that has not been assigned a new date will be adjourned until at least November 2, 2020 (or later, depending on the likely backlog of matters to be rescheduled in the Fall).

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