*2023 Results: Approx. 99% of Mark Zinck's clients avoided a criminal record (conviction) for charges of theft, fraud, assault, mischief and threats.

How to find out the court date for someone who is criminally charged in Ontario, Canada.

If you are charged with a criminal offence by the police you will normally receive one of four documents with a court date on it:
  1. Appearance Notice (Form 9): This document will be given to and signed by the accused. It is often on a white, green or blue paper and will list the alleged offence(s) along with a fingerprinting and court date.

  2. Undertaking (Form 10): This document will be on a white piece of paper and will have a fingerprinting date, court date, and possibly other additional release conditions that you must follow (no attendance at certain places, no contact/communication, not to possess X, etc.).

  3. Release Order (Form 11): If the accused is held for bail and is later bailed out at court, they will receive a Release Order with their first court appearance date on it along with other conditions of release.

  4. Summons (Form 6): This document is used by local police forces to provide court dates for criminal matters outside of their jurisdiction. For example, if the accused resides in Halton Region and is being charged by York Regional Police they may be served a summons by Halton Regional Police for the YRP criminal charges.
The precedents for these documents come straight from the Criminal Code though each police force will have different stylistic ways to provide them. They all will state which criminal offenses the accused is being charged with along with their first appearance court date that must be attended by either themselves personally or their lawyer.

If the accused has not been fingerprinted already, a date will also be provided for them to attend to have their fingerprints and mugshot taken.

Other ways to find out criminal court dates and case information in Ontario

If you are the accused and lost your court paperwork, or you are a third party who is interested in someone else’s case, you can obtain the court dates yourself by using any of the following options:
  1. The Ontario Government’s “Online Court Case Search Tool” allows anyone to look up specific names of those appearing in court. You will need to register an account with the Ontario government to use this tool but it is free and open to the public.

  2. By using the Daily Court Lists (DCL) service to look up the names of those appearing in court on the day of or the following day. This is a free service to view the court dockets that does not require registration. Please see our article on the posting of accused persons' names on the DCL for more information.

  3. By attending at the courthouse and viewing the printed dockets or asking the court clerks (court services or support) to look up a particular name in their system.

  4. By calling the clerk’s office and asking them to search for a name in the ICON database.
For each of these methods, it helps tremendously if you know which courthouse the case you are looking for is at. In Ontario, criminal cases are assigned to the courthouse by jurisdiction. While most jurisdictions (Peel, York, Durham, Halton, KWC, Hamilton, etc.) have only one OCJ courthouse servicing the entire area, the city of Toronto has five depending on where the charges were laid.

The court clerks will be most helpful in looking up cases at their specific courthouse and the online search tools are courthouse specific. Usually charges will be laid by the police force/division servicing the area where the crime is alleged to have been committed. It does not go by where the person lives though some alleged crimes often take place at home (domestic assault, possession of child pornography, etc.).

Ontario court dates are public information

While it is often the accused that is trying to figure out or confirm their own court appearance date, it is important to know that any member of the public can obtain this information. Being criminally charged with an offence is not a private/confidential matter between the accused and the government. It is a public proceeding that is open and accessible to anyone who wants to view it.

While many accused do not like that their criminal charges are a matter of public record it is considered an extremely important element of keeping the justice system fair for all participants (both the accused and alleged victims). If proceedings were conducted in secrecy the system would be much more susceptible to corruption and abuse. Having an open justice system provides transparency and encourages equal treatment of all participants including the accused.

The courts have the power to seal off the proceedings or prevent access via publication bans.

While generally speaking the justice system is open to the public, Judges in Ontario do have the power to limit access to the public in certain circumstances. The most common reason is for the protection of the identities of alleged victims of sexual offences. Sometimes the courts will order a publication ban on the accused’s name in order to protect the identity of their accuser.

It is extremely important that anyone speaking or writing about court cases confirm that there is no publication ban in place beforehand. It is a serious offence to disobey a court order in Canada.

Can anyone log in and view court appearances online via Zoom in Ontario?

Assuming the courtroom is not sealed by the judge, remote court proceedings should be publicly accessible via Zoom. If it is not a routine case management (set date) appearance such as a preliminary hearing, trial, or sentencing, you may need to contact the courthouse where the case is being heard to obtain the specific Zoom link to the courtroom.

If you attend court virtually as an observer you may be asked by the judge to turn on your camera so they can confirm that a “real person” is watching. Judges do not want bots attending or possibly recording the proceedings (which is illegal). They may also want to explain to the observer that they are free to watch but not record and provide instructions such as not to talk to witnesses.

Will it seem weird if I show up virtually on Zoom to watch some random person’s court appearance or trial?

If the proceeding you are watching is not one of general public interest, court staff and participants may find it a little weird that someone just wants to observe. While they may be suspicious and want to know your intentions/clarify the rules, it is not -that- unusual for third parties to attend.

Even before the virtual remote court system was implemented there were people who would hang around at the courthouses and watch proceedings just for something to do. While some people may not like you watching their sexual assault trial, divorce proceeding, or other deeply personal matter, you usually have every right to do so even if they find it uncomfortable.

It is important that if you choose to observe that you conduct yourself respectfully and follow any instructions the judge has for you. If you disrupt the proceedings with improper behaviour you could be held in contempt of court, criminally charged, and even jailed.

   Call us today.

You don't have to jeopardize your future or waste thousands of dollars on excessive legal fees. We provide effective and affordable lawyer representation for those charged with criminal offences throughout Ontario, Canada.

Have a skilled criminal lawyer who focuses on criminal law protect you and your future from the stigma and consequences of a criminal record and conviction.

    call now: 647-228-5969


Your case will be defended by a fully licensed Practicing Lawyer of the Law Society of Ontario. For more information about our lawyer, click here.

We provide our clients with:
  • Flat fee pricing
  • 99%+ non-conviction success rate
  • U.S. travel advice and information
  • Help with related immigration/IRCC issues
  • Employment background check advice/services
  • Fingerprints and records destruction services
  • Clear goals of getting charges dropped and bail conditions varied without a trial
  • Vulnerable Sector records suppression help
  • Experienced, focused counsel

* Please note:

If you are not a paying client, we cannot answer questions and provide assistance about avoiding jail and/or a criminal record, employment background checks, IRCC/immigration applications and status, or travel to the U.S. in the future. This includes those who have already retained other counsel and those whose cases have already been completed.

We only can respond to calls and emails relating to current Ontario criminal cases. Please see our FAQ for a listing of the courthouses we service.

Are you a lawyer? If you are defending a criminal case and are looking for expert advice regarding possible defences, case strategies, and information release management call us at: 647-228-5969.

Please note: We do not accept legal aid certificate cases. All clients are handled on a private retainer only.

*2023 Results: the percentage of 99% of clients avoiding a criminal record (conviction) stated on this page is based solely on Lawyer Mark Zinck's personal representation of approximately 2000 criminal defence case clients as of the year 2023. Past results are not necessarily an indication of future results.


Your questions and concerns are extremely important to me.


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   Criminal Information:

   We provide:
  • Flat fee pricing
  • 99%+ non-conviction success rate
  • U.S. travel advice and information
  • Help with related immigration/IRCC issues
  • Employment background check advice and services
  • Fingerprints and records destruction services
  • A clear goal of getting the charges dropped without a trial
  • Vulnerable Sector records suppression help
  • Timely resolutions
  • Lawyer/client privilege
  • Experienced, focused counsel