Dispute Resolution Officer Program Pilot Project in the Superior Court of Justice in Brampton, Milton and Newmarket

Update:

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This pilot project will be reviewed after June 6, 2011.

Mandatory Information Program in the Superior Court of Justice in Brampton and Milton

Practice Direction

Application of Practice Direction

(1) This Practice Direction applies to,

a. divorce cases started in the Superior Court of Justice in Brampton or Milton after May 3, 2010 in which any claim, other than a divorce, costs and the incorporation of the terms of an agreement or prior court order, is made; and,
b. cases governed by Parts I, II and III of the Family Law Act and Part III of the Children’s Law Reform Act and started in the Superior Court of Justice in Brampton or Milton after May 3, 2010, in which any claim, other than costs and the incorporation of the terms of an agreement or prior court order, is made.

Exception

(2) Subsection (4) to (7) do not apply to,

a. a person or agency referred to in subsection 33 (3) of the Family Law Act;
b. the Director of the Family Responsibility Office.

Content of Mandatory Information Program

(3) The Mandatory Information Program shall provide parties to cases referred to in subsection (1) with information about separation and the legal process, and shall include information on topics such as,

a. the options available for resolving differences, including alternatives to going to court;
b. the impact the separation of parents has on children; and
c. resources available to deal with problems arising from separation.

Attendance Compulsory for Contested Cases

(4) Each party in a contested case shall complete a Mandatory Information Program no later than 45 days after the case is started.

Appointments to Attend

(5) When the applicant files their application, the court clerk shall provide the applicant with a notice setting out the date on which he/she must attend the program (applicant’s notice) and with another notice setting out the date on which the respondent must attend the program (respondent’s notice). The applicant will be required to serve the respondent’s notice with the application. Both parties will be required to bring their notices when they attend the program.

Certificate

(6) The person who conducts the Mandatory Information Program shall complete a certificate of attendance for each party who attends the Program; the certificate of attendance is on the back of each notice. The notice with the completed certificate of attendance shall be filed as soon as possible, and in any event not later than 2 p.m. on the second day before the day of the case conference, if one is scheduled.

No Other Steps

(7) A party shall not take any step in the case before his or her certificate of attendance is filed, except that a respondent may serve and file an answer and financial statement, an applicant may serve and file a reply, and a party may schedule a case conference.

Exception

(8) The court may order that any or all of subsections (4) to (7) do not apply to the party because of urgency or hardship or for some other reason in the interest of justice.

Effective Date

(9) This Practice Direction is effective as of June 7, 2010, with the results to be evaluated after 1 year.

Dated, April 30, 2010.

Heather Smith
Chief Justice, Superior Court of Justice

Francine Van Melle
Regional Senior Judge, Central West

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