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Bail WASH courts and holiday schedules

Bail courts run 365 days a year.  On non-juridical days (a juridical day is essentially a non-holiday weekday) the bail courts are called WASH courts (a completely uncreative term standing for weekends and statutory holidays).  These courts don’t operate in quite the same way as a normal bail court.  For one, there are much fewer courts running (for example, Old City Hall serves all of Toronto).  Second, you can only appear there as a first appearance in bail court.  This means that if you appear in bail court on a juridical day then you can only be remanded to another juridical day, not to WASH court.  If one appears in WASH court, and their matter doesn’t get dealt with on that day, they will be remanded to a juridical day.

There are various reasons why bail hearings do not get started and people get remanded.  Sureties may not be available, counsel may be in other courts, or the Crown may seek a 524 hold (meaning the accused is facing other charges and the Crown wants to bring all informations into one bail court and possibly seek to cancel bail).  Courts are also busy.  Bail hearings may not happen simply because there is no court to conduct the hearing.

Taking a look at this year’s holiday schedule, Christmas Day and Boxing Day take place on a Saturday and Sunday.  As a result, the Monday and Tuesday thereafter (December 27 & 28) are statutory holidays.  This means that, unless different rules are made, any bail matter not dealt with on Friday, December 24, or in WASH court on December 25-28, would be remanded to December 29 – meaning one may have to spend as many as five nights in custody before their next day in court.

To learn more about bail hearings, check out the ‘bail hearing’ section of my web site.