We've learned of a new Practice Direction on Filing Electronic Versions of Documents in Civil Appeals and Judicial Review Applications in the Divisional Court which will be implemented next month – it establishes a regularized process to satisfy the requirement to file electronic versions of factums and transcripts – a requirement that is already in place under Rules 61.09 and 61.12 of the Rules of Civil Procedure. The Practice Direction also encourages parties to file all electronic documents with the Divisional Court in certain proceedings. The Practice Direction does not relieve the requirement to file documents in paper format as required under the Rules of Civil Procedure.
The Practice Direction is based on the existing Court of Appeal Practice Direction on Electronic Filing of Appeals. It is very similar to the new Commercial List Guidelines for E-Document Delivery, which address the format of the documents and were prepared in consultation with senior members of the bar.
In September 2012, the Practice Direction was approved by Chief Justice Smith, on the advice of Regional Senior Judges' Council. In accordance with subrule 1.07(5), it will be filed with the secretary of the Civil Rules Committee, posted on the Superior Court of Justice website and notice of the Practice Direction will be published in the Ontario Reports on November 2, 2012. This is also the date on which the Practice Direction will become effective.
PRACTICE DIRECTION – FILING ELECTRONIC VERSIONS OF DOCUMENTS IN CIVIL APPEALS AND JUDICIAL REVIEW APPLICATIONS IN THE DIVISIONAL COURT
Effective: November 2, 2012
This Practice Direction sets out the procedures to be followed by parties filing electronic versions of documents in civil appeals, including appeals from administrative tribunals, and judicial review applications in the Divisional Court. It does not apply to motions in these matters.
This Practice Direction does not apply to family appeals to the Divisional Court.
Parties filing electronic versions of material for Divisional Court proceedings must still file typed or printed copies of such material in accordance with Rule 61 of the Rules of Civil Procedure.
This Practice Direction is intended to establish a uniform approach to filing electronic documents for appeals and judicial review applications to the Divisional Court, so that the documents may be readily accessed by the Court. It will also allow judicial officials to
prepare more productively for· their cases and facilitate judicial decision making.
Filing Electronic Versions of Documents in Civil Appeals and Judicial Review Applications in the Divisional Court
Parties are required to file electronic versions of their factums and transcripts in appeals to the Divisional Court, in accordance with Rule 61 of the Rules of Civil Procedure.
The Court also encourages parties to file electronic versions of their factums and transcripts in judicial review applications to the Divisional Court.
In addition, the Court encourages parties, or tribunals where applicable, to file electronic versions of all materials (e.g., appeal book and compendiums, case books, application records, record of proceedings) in appeals and judicial review applications to the Divisional Court.
Parties are also encouraged to give the electronic versions of documents that are filed electronically with the Court to all other parties to the proceeding.
Method of Filing Electronic Documents
Parties may file electronic documents on CD, DVD or USB key, with three copies if the matter is being heard by a panel of three judges.
The CD, DVD or USB key should be accompanied by a covering letter which identifies the materials contained on the CD, DVD or USB key.
Format of Electronically Filed Documents
The electronic documents must be submitted in either Microsoft Word format (.doc or .docx) or text searchable PDF format.
The electronic version of factums or any other material filed in a Divisional Court appeal or judicial review application must be formatted and contained in one file and be virtually identical to the official printed version that is also filed with the Court. For example, a single file for a factum should contain the front and back pages, the index, the text and the schedules. Do not submit
separate electronic files for the different sections of a factum or other document.
The Divisional Court may reject any electronic version of a factum or transcript that does not conform to the procedures set out in this Practice Direction.