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Frequently Asked Questions: CaseLines

  • 1. What is CaseLines?
    The Ministry of the Attorney General procured Thomson Reuters CaseLines for the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. CaseLines is a user-friendly cloud-based document sharing and storage e-hearing platform for remote and in-person court proceedings. CaseLines is being rolled out in stages across practice areas and locations.

    Some of the benefits of CaseLines include:
     
    • it is easy to use
    • materials of nearly any format can be uploaded and easily organized
    • users can make private notes and highlight documents
    • terms can be searched in all uploaded documents
    • parties can navigate documents and direct opposing counsel and the court to view specific sections, and
    • users can view uploaded materials anytime, with or without VPN access.

    For more information, please see:
     
  • 2. Does CaseLines replace the Justice Services Online Portal?

    No. CaseLines does not replace the Justice Services Online (JSO) Portal and it does not constitute the court record. Parties must continue to file documents with the court in accordance with the applicable rules of procedure and Notices to the Profession.

    Once the court documents are filed, parties must also upload the documents into CaseLines at least 5 days prior to the court date, or at the same time as any filing deadlines that are fewer than 5 days, unless directed otherwise by regional notice. Uploading to CaseLines is mandatory. Material that is not uploaded to CaseLines will likely not be reviewed by the judicial official in advance.

    For criminal matters, Crown and defence counsel must file materials with the court by email and in advance, in accordance with the applicable rules in the Criminal Proceedings Rules for the Superior Court of Justice (Ontario)the Criminal Code (Canada), and the Superior Court of Justice’s Practice Directions.  For more information, see “What do I need to know about CaseLines for Toronto criminal matters?

    Parties can contact JSO Contact Centre for assistance if they encounter technical issues with e-filing through JSO or CaseLines.

  • 3. What is the estimated timeline for rolling out CaseLines?

    The CaseLines pilot project began August 10, 2020 for selected civil motions and pre-trial conferences in Toronto, with an aim to expand to other practice areas and court locations.

    CaseLines has now been implemented in Civil and Divisional Court, Family, and Criminal matters in Toronto and will expand to additional regions shortly. The schedule for rolling and upcoming CaseLines expansion is as follows:

    • Toronto Family: CaseLines was expanded to select Toronto family matters scheduled for hearings in December 2020. This does not include child protection cases or cases that are subject to a sealing order. Parties will receive notice if CaseLines will be used for their upcoming event.
    • Toronto Criminal: Select Toronto criminal matters scheduled for hearings at 361 University Avenue courthouse on or after February 8, 2021 will begin using CaseLines. Starting January 25, 2021, court staff from the Criminal Intake Office (room 241) will begin sending CaseLines invitations to Crown and defence counsel for certain matters. 
    • Roll-out to the East and Northwest Regions: Effective March 1, 2021, CaseLines has expanded to the East and Northwest regions. The platform will first be used for selected civil, family, and criminal proceedings.
    • Roll-out to Other Regions: Province-wide expansion of the CaseLines pilot will continue throughout Spring and early Summer 2021.  It is expected that all judicial regions will be using CaseLines by the end of Summer 2021. ​
     

    Additional information can be found in the Superior Court of Justice’s Supplementary Notice to the Profession and the Superior Court of Justice’s FAQs and the Notice to the Profession for Toronto Criminal Matters.

  • 4. What do I need to know about CaseLines for Toronto criminal matters?
    Commencing January 25, 2021, CaseLines will be used for any newly scheduled pre-trial motions, summary conviction appeals, or applications for prerogative remedies scheduled to be heard from February 8, 2021 onward at the 361 University Avenue courthouse. Most previously scheduled pre-trial motions, summary conviction appeals, or applications for prerogative remedies scheduled to be heard from February 8, 2021 onward at 361 University Avenue courthouse will also use CaseLines.  Once a CaseLines file is opened and used in a pre-trial motion, it is anticipated that CaseLines will be used in the subsequent trial related to that matter. Note that for criminal matters, CaseLines will only be used where the accused is represented by counsel.

    If Crown or defence counsel receive a CaseLines invitation on a matter where they are aware the party is now self-represented or has changed representation, counsel should notify the Criminal Intake Office as soon as possible. In addition, if Crown or defence counsel become aware of an upcoming matter where CaseLines fits the criteria for the CaseLines Toronto criminal pilot, Crown and defence counsel should confer with each other and contact the Criminal Intake Office.

    Access to CaseLines is limited to the judiciary, court staff, lawyers, and their designated Crown and defence staff requiring access. Lawyers are prohibited from providing access to CaseLines to their clients or any other unauthorized persons. Lawyers should plan to share the necessary documents with their clients using other appropriate means.

    Further exceptions apply to the types of cases in which CaseLines will be used and what documents should be uploaded.

    For more information, see the Superior Court of Justice’s Notice to the Profession for Toronto Criminal Matters.
  • 5. How will I know if the Superior Court of Justice is using CaseLines for my matter?

    If your case has been selected for the CaseLines pilot, you will receive an email invitation from CaseLines to upload your materials about 1 to 2 weeks before your court attendance. The email will include a link to your case within the system.

    If you do not receive a notification that your case will proceed using CaseLines, please do not call the trial coordination office asking for your case to be added.

    For criminal matters, if a matter fits the criteria for the Toronto criminal pilot and no invitation is received, Crown and defence counsel can confer and notify the Criminal Intake Office.

    As set out in the Supplementary Notice to the Profession, parties must:

    • Include their current email address on all filed court documents.
    • Make CaseLines a trusted sender by saving caselines.com in their contacts list or regularly check their junk folder for emails from CaseLines.
    • Ensure that all documents submitted on or after January 11, 2021 are named in accordance with province-wide document naming protocol, which applies to all practice areas. Document names that do not follow this protocol will not upload correctly or be accepted (see Question 7 of the Superior Court of Justice’s FAQs).
  • 6. How do I register?

    The email invitation you receive from CaseLines will include a registration link. Licensees can also register in advance for CaseLines here.

    Licensees should consider bookmarking the CaseLines website to ensure they use the Ontario version of CaseLines and not another jurisdiction. 

  • 7. Is there a fee to use CaseLines?
    There is currently no charge to use CaseLines.
  • 8. What resources are available to assist me with understanding how to use CaseLines?
    The following resources are available:
     
    For demonstrations, information sessions, and continuing professional development about CaseLines, please see: 

    Thomson Reuters
    • An Introduction to Using CaseLines (18-minute tutorial)
    • CaseLines will be hosting online demonstrations between February 23 to March 2, 2021. Two sessions will be offered for each of civil, criminal, and family law matters. A recording will be offered for those who are unable to attend.
     
    The Superior Court of Justice  
    The Law Society  
    The Advocates’ Society
  • 9. How do I stay up to date on developments regarding CaseLines?

    Consider monitoring the Superior Court of Justice’s Notices to the Profession for updates regarding CaseLines.  

    The Law Society of Ontario will continue to update these FAQs as more information becomes available.

Last Updated: March 1, 2021
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