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Ontario Court of Justice announces reopening of more courthouses

Friday, August 14, 2020 @ 4:23 PM | By John Schofield

As part of the gradual resumption of in-person proceedings, the Ontario Court of Justice has announced that criminal trials will resume Aug. 17 at College Park in Toronto, Kenora, Timmins and Peterborough and Aug. 24 in Burlington.

On Monday, Aug. 17, the Ontario Court of Justice will also begin scheduling out-of-custody cases adjourned due to COVID-19 in all court locations, according to a separate notice. The notice details the court’s priority order and timeline for the setting of trial and preliminary inquiry dates, with hearings involving in-custody accused persons being given priority. It also provides information on the election of mode of trial for accused persons and the court’s revised Trial/Preliminary Inquiry Scheduling Form.

Under the Ministry of the Attorney General’s reopening plan, court operations will continue to expand at courthouses and courtrooms across the province until the targeted completion date of Nov. 1, 2020. The resumption of in-person proceedings at some locations began on July 6. The Ministry has implemented health and safety measures at each courthouse, including restrictions on the number of open courtrooms and the number of people who can enter each courtroom and courthouse.

Witnesses subpoenaed or ordered to attend proceedings at the reopened courthouses on or after the reopening date must now appear in person, according to the notice. Other proceedings will continue to be conducted remotely. A COVID-19 Trial Readiness Court has been established to help manage cases.