Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice has directed courts to defer as many matters as possible due to the pandemic.
Chief Justice Geoffrey B. Morawetz issued a notice to the profession and the public on Tuesday saying courts should reduce the number of staff, lawyers or parties required to leave their homes.
Morawetz says virtual hearings should also be deferred.
He says courts will focus on the most serious child protection matters, urgent family matters, critical criminal matters and urgent commercial or economic matters.
He says proceedings that are in progress may continue subject to the discretion of the judge.
Morawetz says the thoughts of staff and parties should be taken into account and alternate arrangements made for those who do not want to go to the courthouse.
The notice comes as Ontario remains under a stay-at-home order.