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Jury Notice > When Can They Be Filed?

Further to our April 9, 2009 blog and our May 25, 2009 blog, the question of when you can file a Jury Notice is reviewed.

In the Ontario Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 47 sets out that a Jury Notice is to be filed before the close of pleadings, which means that it is to be filed early in the litigation process.

In Ontario’s Courts of Justice Act, Section 108 sets out some conditions for allowing jury notices to be filed.

Typically, a jury notice is required early, so that all parties in the lawsuit can plan their litigation strategy accordingly.  Depending on the case, the approach may differ depending on whether the Trial is by Judge alone or it is Trial by Judge and jury.

In this case, Proper v. Nikore (2010 Ontario Superior Court of Justice), the case involved deaths arising from a fire in a rented residential premises.

The plaintiff filed a jury notice only two months prior to the October, 2009 Trial – and approximately 5 or more years after the litigation had commenced.

It is important to note that up until 2007, the plaintiff had been pursuing the municipality as one of the defendants.  Under this circumstance, a jury notice would not be permitted.  In 2007, the municipality was released from the action.

Unfortunately, the plaintiff did not file a jury notice for two years after the municipality was released, arising from inadvertence.

Madam Justice Wilson reviewed the issue of prejudice and noted that the defendant did not indicate, in the motion materials, that their substantive approach or defence of this action would have been different if a jury notice had been filed much earlier.

Leave was granted to allow the jury notice to be served.
Gregory Chang
Toronto Insurance Lawyer