Two recent changes amended Regulation 194 of R.R.O. 1990 (Rules of Civil Procedure), both of which took effect July 1, 2024.

Motions for leave in Superior and Divisional Court and new cost provisions

Ontario Regulation 176/24: Rules of Civil Procedure changes are summarized as follows1:

  • provide that a motion for leave to commence a claim in the Superior Court of Justice pursuant to section 23 (1.1) of the Courts of Justice Act (i.e., an action in the jurisdiction of the Small Claims Court) may be made without notice unless the court orders otherwise;
  • provide that such a motion may be granted only if it is in the interest of justice;
  • move the existing provision in rule 14.01(3) respecting leave to commence a proceeding to a new location in rule 14.01.1;
  • provide that the court may order costs against a plaintiff if it determines that the plaintiff included a claim for relief to avoid commencing the proceeding in the Small Claims Court;
  • provide that the existing rule 62.02 procedure for motions for leave to appeal certain orders in the Divisional Court also applies to orders or decisions of tribunals under a statute; and
  • create a new in-writing motion for leave procedure, to apply where a statute other than the Judicial Review Procedure Act requires leave of the Divisional Court or Superior Court of Justice to commence an application for judicial review.

Bifurcation orders

Ontario Regulation 175/24: Rules of Civil Procedure changes are summarized as follows 2:

  • provide that an order for separate hearings on one or more issues in a proceeding (also known as bifurcation of the proceeding) may be made on a party’s motion either with or without the consent of all parties, or at a case conference only with consent of all parties;
  • set out the factors the court shall consider in determining whether to order separate hearings;
  • provide that a party who sets an action down for trial does not require leave to make a subsequent motion seeking an order for separate hearings;
  • require each party’s pre-trial conference brief to set out their position on a potential order for separate hearings, if any of the parties in the proceeding is intending to seek such an order, both under the ordinary procedure and under the Rule 76 simplified procedure; and
  • require any party’s intention to seek a bifurcation order to be one of the issues considered at the pre-trial conference in a proceeding.

It is vital to stay current with amendments that can impact litigation strategy and case management. If you have questions pertaining to the changes, you may contact the Ministry of the Attorney General’s Court Services Division at 1-800-980-4962 or 647-438-0403

1 Amendment to Reg. 194 under the Court of Justice Act (Rules of Civil Procedure).
2 Amendment to Reg. 194 under the Court of Justice Act (Rules of Civil Procedure).

Categories: Civil Litigation