Here is my update for Newmarket as of April 6, 2020.
COVID 19 Incident Reporting Protocol
The Ministry has employed an updated communicable disease reporting protocol during this health crisis. The reporting forms are to be completed where incidents are made known and delivered accordingly for notification and tracking purposes.
Same Day Traversals
There is an effort to accommodate same day traversals requests where same is possible. All such requests must go through the trial coordinator who will then contact Central East Corrections to attempt to facilitate the traversal. The preference remains that the matter be adjourned 1 day where possible.
Bail Hearings and Scheduling
All bail hearings whether consent releases or contested matters must be scheduled through the trial coordinator in advance. Counsel are being asked to provide accurate time estimates similar to setting trial dates.
Counsel are also asked to provide Duty Counsel with clear and detailed instructions when adjourning matters. They are to provide accurate time estimates, including the number of witnesses anticipated and whether an interpreter is required, when adjourning in custody matters to the next date. The time slots from Central East Corrections are set Region wide and are valuable. Wasted or lost time resulting from insufficient information and preparation has a direct negative impact on those persons in custody.
A position on surety approval has come from the office of the Chief Justice of Ontario Court of Justice. It is their view that surety signatures are not required on bail and release documents. However a requirement for surety signatures will be left up to individual jurists, who shall then notify the court clerk if they are insisting on signatures.
Sureties continue to attend personally at the courthouse where they remain outside or in the foyer as directed by York Regional Police. The sureties complete and sign the required forms and release documents from that location in addition to calling into the courtroom.
Temporary Court Locations
Criminal court matters are being conducted at the Richmond Hill Small Claims Court, 855 Major Mackenzie, Richmond Hill. All civil and family matters at the Markham filing office, 8500 Leslie Street in Markham.
Access to Court Informations
As advised there is no access to informations currently housed at the 50 Eagle Street Courthouse. As a result judicial officers are working from dockets and getting assistance from scope notes and documents. Paperwork is entailed to jurists for digital signature and then returned. Existing court informations will be updated when building access is permitted.
Sincerely, Norman Panzica, York Director, Criminal Lawyers Association