Courthouse Delays

 RE: Courthouse Delays in Family, Civil, and Estates Matters

This email is a follow up to the recent complaints by members of the significant delays being experienced in Family, Civil and Estates matters at the Waterloo Region Consolidated Courthouse. It has become increasingly apparent that there are serious staffing issues at the courthouse which are resulting in:
- emails and telephone calls not being answered,
- significant delays in obtaining signed orders, such as divorce Orders,
- long delays in having mail opened and attended to,
- months before issuance of certificates of appointment of an estate trustee
- inexplicable rejections at the counter of perfectly appropriate documents
- surly and uncooperative counter staff, at times, or
- complete absence of counter staff, at times
As you all know, this directly impacts our ability to serve our clients, and is an access to justice issue. I, along with your Vice-President Rob Bickle, continue to discuss and escalate these concerns with our local judiciary, courthouse management, our LSUC Benchers, representatives from the County and District Law Presidents Association and the Attorney General for Ontario. In the meantime, I have been able to get courthouse staff to create a general email address for you to send your inquiries and follow up requests to.
If you have been corresponding with a particular individual at the courthouse about a matter and that person now appears to be absent, please either email the general email address below or, contact Jenna Ferguson who is the Supervisor of Court Operations.
JENNA FERGUSON: (519) 741-3203
As well, if you find that you, your associates, staff or runners are experiencing difficulty in getting materials filed at the courthouse, please let them know that at all times they can request to speak to a supervisor to review the decision of counter staff, and if all else fails they can still insist that the materials be filed despite a rejection by counter staff. In such cases, a "green sheet" will be completed and attached to the materials going up to the judge, explaining why the staff were not prepared to accept it and what the perceived deficiency is, and it is up to the judge to determine whether to accept it for filing. [NOTE: this is how selfreps apparently are able to file documents that appear on their face to be grossly deficient].
As always, please feel free to contact me should you wish to discuss a particular issue you are experiencing with the courthouse, and the ability of our clients to access justice in our region.
Yours truly,
Kelly Griffin President, 2015 - 2017