Virtual appearances resume for Ontario Court of Justice's criminal cases
The scales of justice and a judge's gavel are pictured. (File)
SUDBURY -- Timmins Police Service is reminding those with criminal court cases that scheduled appearances have resumed with consequences for not attending.
Marc Depatie, corporate communications coordinator for Timmins Police Service, told CTV News in an email that several local accused have cited COVID-19 as a reason to not attend court.
"Obviously, we cannot question the validity of any health-related assertions, but the courts are reopening at a trickle, so we want our accused persons to meet their obligations," Depatie said.
"As of Monday, Nov. 30, accused persons are required to attend for their scheduled appearance in criminal case management court – either by having counsel appear on their behalf or by appearing by telephone or video," the Ontario Court of Justice said in a notice on Nov. 18.
This after criminal case management matters were adjourned for five weeks.
"If you do not attend a scheduled criminal case management appearance on or after Monday, Nov. 30, the court may (i) issue a bench summons requiring you to attend court on a specified date or, (ii) issue a warrant for your arrest, if the presiding judicial officer has reasonable and probable grounds to believe that it is necessary in the public interest to do so.
The mattes include first appearances, those scheduled "to be spoken to" and to "set a date."
"If you have a case management criminal court appearance, you should attend by videoconference or telephone. Do not attend in person unless you have confirmed that your court location is able to accommodate an in-person criminal case management appearance," the court said.
However, if an Enhanced Designation of Counsel has been filed, neither the accused nor their counsel is required to attend immediately following the filing.
Read the full notice here.