Summary Trials are changing as of January 1, 2024 to Streamlined Trials. I've attached the Order in Council.
The Court can direct a streamlined trial any any court appearance if it is necessary and proportionate to the importance and complexity of the issues, the amounts involved and the resources that can reasonably be allocated to resolving the dispute.
They can occur even if you need oral evidence, cross-examination, expert evidence, or there are issues of credibility.
The parties have a joint responsibility to prepare the record. (I'm not sure that is always possible when dealing with a self-represented litigant...)
The Rules are not specific to Family Law.
What are everyone's thoughts?
AFLA is interested in hearing your position. Feel free to email info@AFLALawyers.ca with any additional comments.
I find this quite funny as I was just in FDC on Monday and was denied leave to book a summary trial by consent and with a consent Summary Trial Hearing Order prepared. Currently, 1-day summary trials are booking spring 2025. We were forced to a 4.10 case conference to determine if summary trial is appropriate, first date available March 28th. (We've already attended two resolution counsel meetings). Therefore by the time we are ready to book in March, we'll likely be looking at 2026 dates. Not so streamlined... I'm hoping these changes allow for an easier path to booking dates more than two years in advance.
I hear you. When it says "streamlined" I think it refers more to the trial process being streamlined, i.e. less viva voca evidence and less overall time in conducted the trial. But I don't think this change will make much impact in getting more Court dates sooner, unfortunately.