Answers to your questions in regards to the impact of COVID-19 on case-related matters before the Supreme Court of Canada

Deadlines that are imposed by the Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada are suspended until further notice. 

Deadlines that are imposed by an order of the Court, a judge or the Registrar are suspended until further notice. 

Deadlines that are imposed by statute, including s. 40 of the Supreme Court Act, remain in force.  Any party concerned about the ability to meet a deadline imposed by statute should contact the Registry by email at registry-greffe@scc-csc.ca

The requirements for filing an electronic document are set out in the Guidelines for Preparing Documents to be Filed with the Supreme Court of Canada and continue to apply, with any modifications as set out below. The following questions and answers are provided for further information.

1. When does this suspension period take effect?

The suspension takes effect on March 25, 2020.

2. When will the suspension end?

Upon further notice from the Court.

3. Can I still file documents during the suspension period?

Yes. Parties are encouraged to serve and file documents, whether originating or otherwise, by email.  The Court is now processing written submissions using electronic means.

4. When do I file the original paper copies?

For documents filed electronically, parties are not required to file paper copies at this time.  The Registrar will issue a directive as to the filing of paper copies once the Supreme Court Building is fully re-opened.

5. Can I file paper copies instead of filing electronically?

Please do not file paper copies until directed to do so by the Registrar. 

6. I am a self-represented litigant, how should I file documents?

All parties, including self-represented litigants, are requested to serve and file all documents by email in light of the Court’s difficulty in processing paper documents in the current exceptional circumstances. If circumstances related to COVID-19 prevent timely service and filing, the Court will not require a motion for an extension of time. Instead, self-represented litigants may include a request for an extension of time in their filings. 

7. When must an application for leave to appeal be filed?

The deadline for serving and filing an application for leave to appeal is governed by the Supreme Court Act and is therefore not affected by the temporary suspension of deadlines under the Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada. If circumstances related to COVID-19 prevent timely service and filing of an application for leave to appeal, the Court will not require a motion for an extension of time. Instead, applicants may include a request for an extension of time in Part V of the application for leave to appeal. 

8. When must a motion for leave to intervene be filed?

The deadline for serving and filing a motion for leave to intervene pursuant to rule 56 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada is suspended until further notice. During the suspension period, if possible, proposed interveners and parties are encouraged to serve and file documents by email.

9. When must a Notice of Appeal be filed?

The deadline for serving and filing of a notice of appeal – whether by leave or as of right – is governed by the Supreme Court Act. It is therefore not affected by the temporary suspension of deadlines under the Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada.  Parties are required to serve and file a notice of appeal within that mandatory deadline.  If circumstances related to COVID-19 prevent timely service and filing of a notice of appeal, parties may seek an extension of time by way of motion to be served and filed together with the notice of appeal.

10. Must I respond or reply?

If served with an application for leave to appeal, motion or appeal factum and if your deadline for responding or replying expires on March 25, 2020 or later, the deadline is suspended.  You may still serve and file, if you can.  The response or reply must be served and filed by email. Parties who do not intend to serve and file a response or reply should notify the Registry promptly.

What if my deadline to respond or reply expired prior to March 25, 2020?

If circumstances related to COVID-19 prevented you from serving and filing your response or reply in a timely manner, the Court will not require a motion for an extension of time.  Instead, in such a case, parties may include a request for an extension of time in their response or reply.

11. When do I pay the filing fees?

Once a file is opened and a file number is assigned, the Registry will request the filing fee.

12. How do I provide proof of service?

Proof of service may be filed by email.

13. Is the Court proceeding with the hearing of appeals?

The cases previously scheduled for hearing in March, April and May are adjourned, tentatively, to the month of June 2020.

14. Is the Court continuing to issue judgments on leave and on appeal?

Yes. The Court will continue to issue judgments on applications for leave and on appeal for the time being.

15. Further questions?

Should you have any questions in regard to case-related matters, please send an email to registry-greffe@scc-csc.ca. We appreciate your patience and understanding as there will be delays in processing your documents and responding to your emails.