Starting today, City of Toronto Court Services is resuming select services through new, enhanced online processes that protect staff and the public. The new City processes follow the Province of Ontario enacting the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act that allows Provincial Offences Act courts to restart select operations.
It will now be easier to attend an early resolution meeting with a prosecutor. All early resolution meetings with a prosecutor will be conducted via telephone, regardless of a person’s distance from the courthouse. Persons who received a ticket can request an early resolution meeting online using the online Court Case Look Up or by selecting the early resolution meeting option on their ticket and mailing it to the court address indicated on the back of the ticket. The City will send notices of early resolution meetings by mail or email to the address on file with the court.
Anyone wanting to dispute a ticket and request a trial can now submit a Notice of Intention to Appear form by email or by mail. This change applies to tickets issued on or after March 1, 2020. The information on the ticket that requires a person to attend a court office in person to file a trial request may be disregarded.
Persons previously convicted without a hearing that wish to apply to have the conviction reopened by the court can also submit their application by email or mail. Anyone who wishes to apply for an extension of time to pay a Provincial Offences fine can apply by email or by mail.
All of the required Provincial Offences Act court forms are available on the City’s website. Completed forms can be emailed to POACourt@toronto.ca or mailed to the address indicated on the back of the ticket.
Toronto’s Provincial Offences Act courtrooms, public counters, and Court Services call centre services have been closed since March 16 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. No proceedings have been conducted since mid-March, except urgent intake hearings, remote judicial pre-trials which began on June 10, and remote early resolution meetings for people who live more than 75 kilometres from the court, which resumed on July 13. Email service resumed on July 6.
All online services remain available to the public, including access to court forms and making a payment. Individuals can also look up their court case status and request an Early Resolution meeting with the prosecutor.
The decision to fully reopen the courts will be made by the Chief Justice of Ontario. The Chairs of the Toronto Local Appeal Body, Administrative Penalty Tribunal, and Toronto Licensing Tribunals, in consultation with the City of Toronto, will decide when to reopen in-person tribunal hearings.
More information about changes to Court Services and other City services in response to COVID-19 is available online.
“Streamlined, safe operations like what we are seeing from Court Services are the strong foundation of our recovery and restart. I welcome these new processes and the legislative changes that will modernize court operations and reduce the number of people who need to attend our courts in person when they eventually reopen. This is one more example of the work we are continuing to do to modernize our services in a way that will help keep each other and our community safe.”
– Mayor John Tory
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