Scheduling, serving and filing a motion in Ontario is a time intensive process, with different Regions employing different procedures and utilizing different ‘standard’ forms.
With that in mind, these are the general procedures that the offices of Michael’s Law Firm in Hamilton and Toronto employs to schedule a motion before the Superior Court of Justice in various regions.
Note that different procedures apply in other courts such as the Small Claims Court.
Michael’s Firms’ Standard Procedure for Scheduling and Filing a Civil Motion:
1. Determine, if applicable (i.e.Toronto), whether your motion may be heard by a Master, or must be heard by a Judge. You should consult the Rules of Civil Procedure to be sure.
2. Call the Civil Office of the Superior Court to obtain potential motion dates. Inquire as to any area specific steps that need be taken (or forms submitted) to schedule your motion for hearing.
3. Canvas available motion dates with the opposing side and select one.
4. If applicable (i.e. Toronto, Newmarket), submit the area specific motion requisition form to reserve that date, typically by email or fax.
5. Prepare your Notice of Motion with all attachments, including an Affidavit, and if necessary, have it bound. Make sure you have one copy for the Court along with each party to the action, including one for your file.
6. Serve your Notice of Motion on all opposing parties (or their counsel, if represented).
7. Prepare an Affidavit of Service for your Notice of Motion, to prove you served your Notice of Motion on the other parties.
8. Canvas with the opposing parties (or their counsel) to determine whether they agree with some, all or none of the relief requested in the Notice of Motion.
9. File your Notice of Motion with the Court, along with the Affidavit of Service, a cheque for the current motion fee (for the current fees, see this page) payable to the Minister of Finance, and to be safe, the completed Confirmation of Motion Form. I usually also include a brief letter listing what has been enclosed. All of this should be filed with the Court within 10 days of having scheduled your motion.
10. Email the Confirmation of Motion Form to the Court at least 4 business days prior to the hearing date.
11. Call the Court and verify that the motion has in fact been properly scheduled and is going forward.
By following the above steps, Michael’s Firm is able to ensure motions are properly scheduled for hearing and minimize the chances our motions get struck from the hearing list for non-compliance with the Rules.
Going forward, I am hopeful the Court will consider a more efficient process, to ease the administrative burden on law firms and litigants, and to reduce the costs of litigation.