Going to court

Ontario and its justice partners continue to take the necessary health and safety precautions – in line with evolving public health advice – to protect people entering the courthouse, including:

  • judicial officers
  • lawyers and paralegals
  • litigants
  • staff
  • members of the public

We continue to provide innovative ways of delivering justice remotely and online to ensure access to justice as we work to reopen courthouses in phases for in-person appearances.

Where possible, consider online filing for your:

You can also file by email at the Superior Court of Justice or the Ontario Court of Justice in certain situations.

Protecting your health

Measures are in place to protect everyone who attends a courthouse, including:

  • signage and reminders to stay home if sick
  • hand sanitizer stations
  • indoor air quality monitoring and HVAC system maintenance
  • supply of face coverings available, upon request
  • enhanced cleaning, where feasible

Enhanced cleaning

We will continue regular enhanced cleaning in courthouses. High-touch areas will also be cleaned with Health Canada-approved disinfectant cleaners, where feasible.

Hand sanitizer stations

You can find hand sanitizer dispensers located in many places throughout the building. We encourage you to use them if you cannot wash your hands, or as a second way to disinfect.

Plexiglass barriers

Plexiglass barriers are currently installed in various areas of the courthouse and courtrooms. These will be removed gradually over several months, so you may observe plexiglass barriers in some locations but not others during this period of transition.

Accessibility

If you have an illness or disability and require support or accommodation, or if you are unable to go to a courthouse in person, you may contact the courthouse accessibility coordinator. Learn more about accessibility in courts.

Going to the counter

Public counter hours have been limited to:

  • 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
  • 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

For payments at the counter:

  • try to avoid hand-to-hand exchange of money, bank or credit cards
  • use hand sanitizer after

Where possible, consider online filing for your civil, small claims or family law matter or filing by email at the Superior Court of Justice or the Ontario Court of Justice.

Being in a courtroom

We changed courtroom layouts and installed barriers early in the pandemic. In line with current health and safety requirements, plexiglass barriers will be removed gradually over several months.

Sharing documents or exhibits at the courthouse

Court staff will continue practising diligent hand hygiene (washing and/or sanitizing hands) when handling physical documents or exhibits.

You should wash or sanitize your hands before and after sharing documents or exhibits.

Public and media access

Members of the media or the public who wish to hear or observe a hearing should contact the courthouse as early as possible before the hearing to determine if the hearing is being held remotely (by video or telephone) or in person. Learn how to request to hear or observe a remote hearing at the Superior Court of Justice, Small Claims Court and Ontario Court of Justice.

Additional resources