How to Ask for an Adjournment in a Canadian Court

905-273-3322 or 1-877-273-3322

Ask Stephen Biss at 905-273-3322

                    If you are attending a criminal Court or Youth Justice Court in Canada you should come early and dress properly for Court

                    Find the courtroom shown on your Appearance Notice, Promise to Appear, or Summons and wait nearby until they unlock the door. Make sure your name is on the docket posted at the courthouse entrance and/or the courtroom entrance. Turn off your cell phone. Go into the courtroom as soon as you can. Take off your coat and put it on the seat beside you, not over the back of the seat in front of you. Sit down. Don't put your arm over the back of the seat. Sit quietly. No chewing or talking.

                    The Courts where I practice usually call the cases with lawyers present first. They call the cases with lawyers' letters second. If you have a letter from your lawyer give it to the Duty counsel, Crown Attorney, or Police Bureau Officer before Court begins. They call the remaining list in alphabetical order third. Fourth, they ask for bench warrants for the arrest of people who were not present when their name was called.

                    You may have to wait for a long time before your name is called. You must stay in the courtroom to wait your turn and not lose your seat. It may be a problem if they you call your name and you are outside in the washroom or getting a coffee. If that happens you may end up at the bottom of the list.

                    When your name is called walk up to the front quickly but quietly. Here is what you say:

You: Good Morning Your Honour, my name is ________  _________.

(If a Justice of the Peace is acting as the judge say "Your Worship" instead of "Your Honour")

Judge: (If you're under 18) 

  1. What is your date of birth?
  2. Is one of your parents present?
  3. The Clerk will read the charge ..., do you understand what you are charged with? 

You: I understand (Just "I understand", You don't have to say if you are pleading guilty or not guilty.)

Judge: (If you're any age)

  1. What do you wish to do today?  You:  I'm asking for an adjournment.
  2. Are you getting a lawyer? You: Yes, Your Honour.
  3. Are you retaining a lawyer privately or Legal Aid? You: Privately, Your Honour.
  4. How much time do you need? You: Three weeks please Your Honour.

You: May I please have disclosure?

Crown Attorney: (depending on local practice)

  1. Here is primary brief disclosure. (Hands it to you.)
  2. Here is a DVD with an electronic version of disclosure.
  3. Here is a charge screening form.
  4. Here is a video/DVD of interview room/breath room or in-cruiser video.
  5. Bring these documents to your lawyer.
  6. Your lawyer can get more disclosure by writing to the Crown.


Your case is remanded to _________  ____, 20__ at ____ a.m. in courtroom _______.

You: (Writing down the date, time, and the courtroom number) Thank you very much Your Honour.

Leave quietly and bow to the Judge when you go out the door quietly.

Phone your lawyer immediately.


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Copyright 2017, Stephen Biss


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Copyright 2018 Stephen Biss



Stephen R. Biss, Barrister & Solicitor

470 Hensall Circle, Suite 303
Mississauga, Ontario
L5A 3V4

905-273-3322  or 1-877-273-3322


Advertisement. Any legal opinions expressed at this site relate to the Province of Ontario, Canada only. If you reside or carry on business in any other jurisdiction please consult a lawyer, solicitor, or attorney in your own jurisdiction. WARNING: All information contained herein is provided for the purpose of providing basic information only and should not be construed as formal legal advice. The author disclaims any and all liability resulting from reliance upon such information. You are strongly encouraged to seek and retain professional legal advice before relying upon any of the information contained herein.