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Ontario Superior Court Document Rejection Information

For matters in litigation, most documents are required to be filed with the Ontario Superior Court. However, the Court struggles to accept routine filings, as indicated by their own data, below. Additionally, as shown, the percentage of documents rejected continues to be very high and runs at close to 40% in Toronto. This means more time and expense is required for a mundane, low value added task, and such expense is ultimately borne by the public.

The routine rejection of documents (to ‘enforce the Court rules’), would itself appear contrary to Court rules, specifically:

Ultimately, documents can be rejected for any reason (or no reason). Some highlights are below:

Electronic Signatures

Some days, the Court just doesn’t like electronic signatures.

Underlined Words

Other days, a word that should (dating from the time documents were prepared by typewriter) be underlined, isn’t.

Requiring Duplicate Materials

Sometimes, the court thinks there are multiple claims, and insists upon multiple filings (in each file), though there is in fact only one claim…

Or, the court will insist that when one person in a married couple is served (for both), that two Affidavit of Service Documents be submitted (instead of one listing  both names).

Retroactive and Ex Post Facto Application

Sometimes, the court rejects documents for failing to comply with current rules, despite the documents predating the current rules (i.e. rejecting fax service at a time it was permitted) ….

Redundant Requirements

Sometimes, the court simply requires redundant materials, like motion records on matters the parties consent to (that do not affect anyone under disability).

The Court Gets it Rules Wrong

Other times, the court fails to recognize that rules have been changed (i.e. that service may now (finally) be made by email), and enforces the old, repealed rules.

Or, the Court ‘imports’ a rule that pertains to one thing (say general Application Records, under Rule 38.09(1), into something else (such as an Application to Pass Accounts, Rule 74.18(9)), and then rejects the filing, for not complying with a rule that doesn’t apply.

Placeholder Dates

Sometimes, matters are adjourned (on consent), and if court staff are bored that day, they sometimes require new materials to be filed, listing the next date, or a new placeholder date.

Reasons Unknown

Sometimes, the Ontario Superior Court rejects documents, and even it doesn’t know why.

Can’t open PDF Documents?

Apparently, sometimes, the court (yes, in 2023) just can’t view pdf uploads.

Highlighting, really?

Other times, the Ontario Superior Court just gets upset that you didn’t highlight certain words.


Then, there are times when a court rejects a filing for lacking an Affidavit of Service, despite the filing including an Affidavit of Service (Form 16B).

If your documents are rejected by the Ontario Superior Court for a ‘notable’ (or stupid) reason, send me the rejection (and a brief explanation), and I may redact and include it above.

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