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What is civil purge court?

|Written By Gail J. Cohen

This is a public service annoucement from your friendly editor in chief.

Yesterday, I received the usual daily update from the Ontario Court of Appeal that lists what decisions etc. have been released. In it, was a notification about “civil purge court” in the case of Parker v. Fockler at which a three-judge panel would sit.

What, I thought to myself, is this civil purge court? I shall ask lawyers and judges I know to find out. None did. I tweeted it out the universe and still was no further informed. So I asked John Kromkamp, senior legal officer of the Ontario Court of Appeal who is also the court’s media liaison.

He shed light on what the civil purge court is and thus I am sharing in the spirit of information dissemination.

Here is Krompkamp’s answer:

These are pretty rare. We have a regular status court to keep transcript production moving within reasonable time frames, and we have a number of rules that permit the Registrar to administratively dismiss appeals that are in default of various rules for delay. This case appears to be one where there appears to be unreasonable delay by the appellant but is not technically in default of a rule. As a result at a previous status court the judge referred the matter to a panel to potentially dismiss the appeal effectively for “want of prosecution” to use the old expression. Where the appeal is not in default, it requires a panel to dismiss the appeal. Hence this single case is before a panel, to be purged (unless the appellant has a very good reason to explain the delay and a solid assurance that it will be heard soon).

So now you know. You are welcome.


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