Civil Practice Court Toronto: Purpose & Process – For Beginners


Welcome everyone, this is Amer Mushtaq from
You Counsel. Today will talk about Civil Practice Court
Toronto, what is its purpose, why was it created, and what are the processes with respect to
Civil Practice Court. We begin with our usual disclaimer that this
course is not legal advice. If you have any specific questions you must
contact a lawyer or paralegal or Law Society of Upper Canada. We’ll discuss what is a Civil Practice Court,
why it was created, and we’ll talk about processes at C.P.C. Civil Practice Court came into existence I
believe in July 2015, and it replaced the Motions Scheduling Court which used to look
after all kinds of scheduling for the court. How was it created? It was created through practice, direction,
and Toronto Region, and if you have listened to my previous lectures you may know that
Courts of Justice Act is the legislation that deals with different processes at courts and
creation of course and whatnot. And then under Courts of Justice Act we have
rules of civil procedure that provide rules or process at courts in Ontario. And then underneath that you have Practice
Directions for different regions, Toronto being one region, and so these Practice Directions
further modify some of the rules with respect to that specific court. So let me take you to the Practice Direction
that deals with Civil Practice Court, this is called Consolidated Practice Direction
for Civil Actions Applications Motions and Procedural Matters in Toronto Region. And let’s see where it talks about Civil Practice
Courts. The Civil Practice Court right here. What is the purpose of Civil Practice Court? It’s defined in Paragraph 1: primarily the
reason for the creation of C.P.C. was that there is a motion culture specifically in
Toronto; the judges are booked months and months in advance for the motions, and sometimes
the motions are not booked appropriately, sometimes they shouldn’t be before a judge,
and sometimes they are not booked for the right time and whatnot. So the Toronto Court decided that they will
let a judge oversee the scheduling of these motions and applications, so that proper motions
are dealt properly and where the court’s intervention is required, the court can intervene. Where a case can be managed or should be managed
then that should be managed. So it’s an overseeing on the part of a judge
to make sure that all the all the motions and applications and urgent matters are dealt
with properly. So what does C.P.C. do? So this is the link for the Practice Direction. C.P.C. deals with Long Motions, Long Applications,
Summary Judgment Motions, and Urgent Matters. Four items you want to keep in mind. What is a Long Motion – in Toronto, not
anywhere else? Long Motion in Toronto you read underneath
rules applicable to all the motions and applications, and over here you will see applications and
motions before a judge or master that required two hours or less for all parties to argue
are considered Short Applications or Short Motions. All parties, not just your side. So if it takes two hours, or if you estimate
that it will take two hours or less for the judge or a master to listen to the entire
motion or application, then that’s a Short motion, a Short application. Otherwise it’s a Long Motion or Long Application. So if it’s a Long Motion, Long Application
Summary Judgment Motion, or Urgent Matters as I indicated, then you attend Civil Practice
Court, and that’s where your matter is schedule for hearing. Now a quick point on Urgent Matters and Summary
Judgment Motions. So let’s cover Summary Judgment Motions. Even if your Summary Judgment Motions is less
than two hours you still go to C.P.C. and get your scheduling for that motion. Just because it’s two hours or less does not
mean that you can go through a motions scheduling clerk and then get to scheduling, no. For Summary Judgment Motions you’ll have
to go through C.P.C. Similarly, for Urgent Matters, if you have
an Urgent Matter that may need the attention of the court for 15 minutes, 20 minutes, half
an hour, you will still not be able to schedule it through a motion clerk, because the motion
clerk, when he or she will look at the schedules, the schedules will be booked before the judges
for months and months in advance. So you won’t be able to, the clerk won’t be
able to squeeze you in for an Urgent Matter. The only person who can do that is a C.P.C. Judge. So you will have to appear before a C.P.C. Judge and explain why your matter is urgent
and who needs to address that and the judge will take care of that matter. All of this is provided in the Practice Directions. I’m giving you a digest of all of this information. So what is the process? Step number one; you have to get an appointment
at C.P.C. You can’t just simply walk in. So for that you will have to send a requisition
to Civil Practice Court admin unit. So let’s see if I can find you a requisition. So
there you go, a requisition to attend Civil Practice Court. I have already opened this form, let’s look
at it. You complete this form; you check the boxes
that apply. It’s requisition. Whether it’s an Urgent Hearing, Long Motion,
you check those boxes and provide the court file number, estimate the time and all of
that. And then you complete this form and you send
it to [email protected] or you use their fax number and you send it to them. So step number one as I said is that you send
your completed requisition form. Step number two, you inform all the parties
that are a part of your case that Civil Practice requisition has been sent, and if you get
an appointment you advise them of what the appointment date is. Then on the date of the actual attendance
you can attend C.P.C. by attending by video or phone or you can attend in person. So if you want to attend by video or phone
there is a website called CourtCall.com, I believe I have it open and let me show you. So this is the website CourtCall.com. It is a third party website, but you will
see here, if you click on this link you will notice which of the Ontario and U.S. courts
are the participating courts for CourtCall. What is the beauty of this CourtCall? It’s that you can attend Civil Practice
Court and maybe other matters, but specifically Civil Practice Court by video or audio from
your house, from your office, and you don’t need to physically go to court. For it self represented litigants, this service
is provided for free. For lawyers it’s a $65 charge per attendance. So it’s a very useful service because you
don’t need to physically come to the court. And you can attend and there is no harm in
not attending in person, the judges recognize the issues that they deal with at C.P.C. all
the time, and so they understand that just because you are not physically present any
chances of oral advocacy would not be diminished in any way. So make sure you benefit from this Civil Court
Call system. Or you can attend in person, and then when
you are there you want to, when it’s your turn, you look at your number, when it’s your
turn you’ll be called and you very briefly explain to the judge what is your case about. The judge will listen to it and then the judge
will assign you an appropriate date based upon your case, based upon the timeline and
whatnot. So you have to, when you attend, there’s one
important thing that you must take with you and it’s called a timetable. You need to carry a timetable with you; hopefully
having consulted with other parties and then created the timetable. Let me see if I can show you a timetable that
I’ve already pulled up. And this is also in the Practice Direction,
there’s a link for that. You open that timetable you put in the information
about your case and then there are different steps that may be necessary with respect to
cross-examination, applicant factum and whatnot. So all these steps are listed and make sure
that you have agreed to or at least prepared a timetable for the judge, so the judge can
understand what needs to be done prior to the motion. So you take all of that, and the point about
explaining the case about it, you’re not there to argue your case. You are there basically to explain to the
judge what the case is about, in maybe three sentences if you can, but not more than five
sentences if I can say that. And the judge will get it, and then judge
will understand what needs to be done, you’re not arguing your case. So for instance if you’re bringing a Summary
Judgment motion for a Wrongful Dismissal matter, you can simply say, “Your Honor of this
is a Wrongful Dismissal case where the only dispute is about the amount of Reasonable
Notice,” and that would be sufficient. So can anyone explain to the judge, the judge
may have some questions and then the judge will grant you a time alongside a timetable
that the judge finds is appropriate. Now with respect to time with attendances
C.P.C. in Toronto sits on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays of every week, but I believe in
summer, which is July and August I believe, for the next two months, it’s Tuesdays and
Fridays. So you want to make sure that you know when
and on what days does the Civil Practice Court sit, it’s not every day. Remember that it starts at 8:30, it doesn’t
start at 10:00, you want to be logged in if you’re attending by phone or video, or be
present there before 8:30AM so that you can check in. You want to keep in mind that when you requisition,
I know from experience in Civil Practice Court Toronto that if I send a requisition today
I’m looking at two to three months’ timeline to attend C.P.C., not to have my motion heard,
but just to attend. So the court is that busy, so you want to
think ahead when you are booking for C.P.C. If you think that you’ll have to bring a motion
which is going to be too long or are more two hours or more later down the line, you
may want to book for C.P.C. sooner than waiting for that time. So some of the things that you want to keep
in mind is the timelines – how long does it take for you to get to C.P.C. When you get to C.P.C. when do you expect
to get a motion date? And if it’s a motion or an application, generally
speaking you’re looking at at least three or four months ahead of that, ahead of the
day that you attend C.P.C., to get your motion. So you want to be careful and make sure that
you are watching the timelines. Then you want to watch the timelines for the
steps, for the remaining steps in C.P.C. So for instance once your motion is booked
you attend C.P.C. the judge gives you a date, you have that date, 30 days prior to that
date you want to confirm to C.P.C. that you are still going to proceed with that motion;
it is essential, because if you don’t do you may end up being in trouble and may end up
even losing your date. So you want to be careful that 30 days prior
to your actual motion you confirm with C.P.C. what’s happening with your case. Because a lot of times a lot of matters do
get sorted out or get settled and the court needs to know that. You also want to keep in mind that you have
only gotten a date from C.P.C. There are a number of other steps that you
have to take. For instance if it’s a motion or an application
you have to pay the court fee, you have to serve the Notice of Motion, the Motion Record
and whatnot. And those steps I have covered in my other
lectures with respect to motion scheduling, so you can review that. But you want to make sure that you do not,
you have put in that much time and effort to get to C.P.C. to get a date for the motion,
you don’t want to lose that date just because you missed a step. So this is important, the court’s extremely
busy, and you don’t want to miss a step and then lose your scheduling time, so be careful
about that. Hopefully this gives you a sense of what a
Civil Practice Court is, how can you benefit from it. One point quickly with respect to the Urgent
Matters, so let’s say if you have an Urgent Matter and as I said if you have to requisition
a C.P.C. you will get two or three months ahead of time, so your matter is urgent. So essentially what you can do is, one way
is that you just prepare your requisition form and then show up in the morning at C.P.C.
court and then asked to be heard by the judge on an urgent basis and the judge will accommodate
you; or you can go up to the 10th floor on 393 University and see a Civil Practice Court
scheduling clerk or the admin staff or call them, and then tell them that you have an
urgent matter that needs to be dealt with, and then they will accommodate you in the
schedule in a C.P.C. So just sending that e-mail or fax and hoping
that it will be scheduled urgently in C.P.C. may not work, so you may need to take some
extra steps to call the court, to go there physically. I actually for my last attendance where I
needed an urgent motion, I actually physically went to the to the clerk and requested that
I need to be accommodated, and I was accommodated for the very next C.P.C. appointment. So you want to make sure that you follow all
those steps and take extra steps if your matter is urgent. So hopefully this gives you a sense of the
Civil Practice Court in Toronto. If you any questions or comments please contact
us and we look forward to seeing you in the next lecture. Thank you for watching.

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