Virtual Case Management Update
This morning I took part in a conference call with the Newmarket Courthouse Committee, primarily to address anticipated issues arising from the move towards the Province wide Virtual Case Management protocol. Barrie court has already implemented the protocol. The new Virtual Case Management protocol is set to commence this Monday September 21, 2020.
Case management court operations will be an evolving process to be adjusted and refined after the initial few weeks. For the time being, the court will only deal with remands and perhaps simple withdrawals. Matters involving section 810 peace bonds and HTA pleas, which a Justice of the Peace can hear, will need to be adjourned to a "plea" court (i.e. 202 court) on another date, atleast for the time being.
Virtual Sign In Sheet - Calling the list
With respect to the use of a virtual sign in sheet to address an orderly and efficient mode of calling the list, an online sign up sheet is being used in other jurisdictions. As for Newmarket, and relying on the experience of other Courthouses, we are developing a Newmarket online sign up "sheet" with the assistance of David Moull and Sean Doyle, and hope to have it available shortly.
When the link is available I will send it out and ask Betty to post it on our website.
Zoom Calling v. Phone In (Audio)
Zoom calling is the preferred method for counsel to call into the virtual courtroom. The zoom call lets all know which counsel are waiting on the line. However an audio capability, currently in use, will still be available for the time being.
Virtual Case Management Court Notices
Door notices and hand outs for accused will be made available. With respect to bail matters, accused persons on release, will get zoom notice information, along with their Bail documents. For Police releases, Police will.provide the same notices with the accused's releases documents, and will include zoom info.
Virtual Courtroom Hours
Courtroom schedules will be posted. It is anticipated for the time being, that the case management courts will start a 9am. The schedule will permit addressing counsel matters from 9am to 10am. From 10am to 10:30 am, unrepresented accused will be addressed. After 1030, counsel can be addressed as they call in.
Morning, afternoon and lunch breaks will be strictly followed to ensure appropriate time for staff. Schedules for all courts will also be posted on doors.
Obtaining Crown Disclosure
The Office of the Crown Attorney will continue to email disclosure to counsel or accused directly, provided they have a secure email address. For audio and video disclosure, these can be picked up at the crown's office by appointment. The Newmarket crown attorney office is in the process of implementing the "evidence.com" platform used in other jurisdictions which will replace in person pick up of this disclosure.
New Arrests And Presumptive Remands
New arrests and presumptive remands are currently being addressed in 101 for this week only. It is anticipated to have one courtroom to address only presumptive remands and new arrests given the time experienced in some jurisdictions dealing with the high numbers of new arrests and the time required to address each new arrest. More to follow on this shortly.
Domestic and Youth lists Tuesday wed Thursday
Both Domestic and Youth courts will be addressed before a Judge, and not before a Justice of the Peace, given the historical nature of the operations of those courtrooms.
Norman Panzica York Director, Criminal Lawyers Association