Government is Expanding In-Person, Remote and Online Justice Services in Ontario

Published on September 15, 2020

Ontario expanding upon recent work to build a more accessible, responsive and resilient justice system.

The government has moved Ontario’s outdated justice system forward by decades in a matter of months by working closely with justice partners and we cannot afford to look back or slow the pace of progress as the province gradually reopens. 

The government will continue to take decisive action to keep Ontarians safe and maintain access to justice by establishing new and innovative ways of delivering services remotely, in-person and online.
As courtrooms across the province continue to re-open gradually (as they have done since early June,) we will continue to take measures to limit attendance in courthouses by continuing to move services online and support remote operations.

• For example, online claims can be filed for civil claims, small claims and family law matters. The public can also file by email at the Superior Court of Justice or the Ontario Court of Justice.
• Our government made it possible for people to submit almost 400 additional types of court documents for civil and family law matters.
• We have also made it easier for Ontarians to find court case information without leaving home through a new online service that provides public access about criminal and civil court cases at the Superior Court of Justice.

With this added support, courtrooms began re-opening in early July with enhanced health and safety protocols, guidelines, equipment and supplies in place.
As of today, more than 20 additional courthouses have reopened and an additional 18 courthouses that opened in July have now reopened more courtrooms.
In-person proceedings can now occur in almost half of Ontario’s 682 courtrooms and four satellite courtrooms.
Following the guidance of public health experts, the government is working with Ontario’s courts to reopen more courtrooms by this fall.

Before each courthouse could reopen, individual site assessments were completed to ensure courthouse-specific measures were in place to support the health and safety of all participants.
We are working with public health officials to ensure strict health and safety protocols are followed in all courthouses including:

•screening measures before entering the court
• enhanced cleaning
• hand sanitizer stations
• barriers in public spaces and in courtrooms
• physical distancing by staying two metres apart
• mandatory face coverings

For more information about precautionary measures being taken as courthouses and courtrooms reopen, please read the:

• COVID-19: Reopening courtrooms page

• Guidebook, COVID-19: Recommended Precautionary Measures for Resuming Court Operations.