Practice Directions – What Are They and Why Are They Important

Practice Directions – What Are They and Why Are

They Important

It governs how proceedings are conducted in a specific court. Some practice directions apply province-wide while others are only specific to the region. The court system ensures consistency by issuing the same set of directions to all parties in a proceeding.

The court sets the guidelines for how to conduct proceedings. For example, if your custody trial is going to be in the Superior Court of Justice, you are required to follow its practice directions which may be similar or different to those of other courts in the region.

So… what are some examples of practice directions?

Consolidated Practice Direction Concerning Family Cases in the Toronto Region, available here.

Part II: Motions

F. Electronic Copies of Materials

16. Whenever the volume of materials is large or the motion is complex, the parties should file an electronic copy of their motion materials as well as paper copies.

K. Trial Records

26. The Applicant must file a Trial Record at least 30 days prior to the scheduled trial date. The court will decide whether to remove evidence from the trial list.

Why You Must Follow Practice Directions

Court documents must comply with both the Rules of Civil Procedure and with any relevant practice directions. This is why it is important to understand both province-wide and regional practice directions before filing any court documents or appearing before the court in a proceeding. You can find practice directions listed on the Superior Court of Justice under “Practice and Procedure”.

If you do not follow the court’s instructions, your documents may be rejected. The order may include requiring you to pay a cost award or your lawyer who filed the deficient document on your behalf.

Practice Directions during COVID-19

One possible direction that practice may have taken during the pandemic is revision. For example, the Ontario Court of Appeal has listed numerous updated practice directions due to COVID-19.

It is important to consult a legal professional to stay up-to-date on provincial and regional practice directions.

If you are looking for more information, do not hesitate to contact us and our specialist Family Lawyers can discuss your matter in more detail over a free consultation. You can reach our office at 905-366-0202 or contact us through our website here.

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