Ontario Court Online Services

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An update to both major Ontario Court online / e-filing initiatives:

  1. The pleadings portal (called Civil Claims Online);
  • You can file various documents, including a Statement of Claim, Statement of Defence, Jury Notice and the affidavit of Litigation Guardian. The full list of items is found here;

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  1. After pleadings, file motions / pre-trial (and probably trial) documents on CaseLines;

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They’re two different websites. The pleadings portal is a government site. CaseLines is a private provider that’s hit the jackpot. Incidentally, Thomson Reuters has just purchased Caselines. For those interested, Thomson Reuters stock is near its all-time high.

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For now, the two websites / systems will not be linked. My suggestion? The Court can require counsel of record to put a copy of whatever they have filed in the pleadings portal (i.e. Statement of Defence), into the CaseLines file, when the CaseLines file is created (i.e. when the first motion is filed). That would ensure that the Judge and all parties are working off the same info. That’s an easy fix to having two separate systems.

Ontario Litigators Can Only Dream

  • Save hours of clerk time – i.e. no more assembling paper motion records or pre-trial records, etc
  • No second-guessing as to what documents are filed on a Court motion (or when they were filed)
  • Everyone on the file, including Judge, can access the materials and make their own notes, online (since you’ll be working off your own account)
  • for criminal lawyers, life just got a lot easier re don’t have to buy your own internal document organization system if Crown disclosure is done thru Caselines (like it apparently is now in England). But, of course, the Crown will become much, much more efficient if their system is completely digitized
  • in the civil litigation world, the benefits are more limited to reducing the friction on motions and pre-trials. It will help greatly at Trial, as well, if documents can be ‘agreed’ upon between counsel, pre-loaded but hidden from Judge’s view, until you properly introduce the evidence at Trial, at which point you can ‘make public’ the documents, one by one, for the Judge to review

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Other Online Resources

1. Search for your Court hearing online here

2. search for Court actions, online (instead of having to go in-person) – you need a One Key Account

3. this is the Court operations update site regarding Covid-19 affected issues

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