Job Specification

Position Title:
Amended - Court and Client Representative -Designated bilingual (English-French) (Irregular On-Call)
Job Code:
09OAD - Office Administration 09
Job ID:

Purpose of Position :

To provide technical guidance, information and support in both English and French for the provision of an accessible, fair, timely and effective justice service to the public and justice participants in keeping with the division's commitment to a workplace that reflects the Ontario Public Service values in court, in the court office and at the court counter.

Duties / Responsibilities :

For all practice areas (criminal, civil, family, small claims and enforcement) in the Ontario Court of Justice and the Superior Court of Justice, the position performs the following duties and is responsible for providing technical expertise and guidance in relation to:

Court support functions (pre-court, in-session, and post-court):

1. Ensures all pre-court work is conducted prior to each day's proceedings, such as the preparation and presentation of all court documents and exhibits; distributing court dockets; liaising with court staff, judiciary, clients, counsel, agency workers and parties; testing of court audio and recording equipment prior to court, during court and after each recess; and setting up, troubleshooting and monitoring court video technology for remand and WASH courts and any other appearance that requires video.

2. Maintains order and decorum and coordinates case-flow in the courtroom, including opening and recessing court; calling cases; arraigning; administering oaths and cautions; relaying orders of the court; arranging adjournment dates; following exhibit management protocols; identifying to a supervisor or designate wherein the disposition or type of proceedings initiates an automatic transcript order; and liaising with various court staff in different functional or practice areas, stakeholders and judiciary as required to ensure proper case-flow.

3. Coordinates and manages the jury panel and all jury related duties, including coordinating the jury selection process, remaining with and attending to the needs of sequestered juries and maintaining the requisite isolation of sequestered jurors, e.g., ensuring there is no contact with any persons including the media.

4. Ensures the courtroom proceedings are documented as per legislated requirement and Rules of Procedure, including preparing and checking court documents for accuracy and completion; preparing orders; exercising delegated signing authority as per legislated requirements on court documents; obtaining documentation filed or referenced in the courtroom (e.g., Factums, case law) and processing for filing to support recordings ordered for transcript production; and ensuring the courtroom is secured and court recordings are safeguarded against unauthorized access or copying of the record.

5. Ensures all proceedings are recorded in accordance to legislative requirements and ministry guidelines (e.g., recording verbatim all proceedings using digital recording technology (or "DRD")); annotating recordings in accordance with ministry standards; confidence monitoring the recording to ensure proceedings are clear and captured accurately; interrupting court proceedings to seek clarification; playing back previously recorded material at the request of the presiding judicial official; certifying the recording; saving the digital file in accordance with the ministry standardized file naming structure; and ensuring safe delivery post-court of the certified electronic recordings of court proceedings, annotations and all hard copy and/or electronic reference materials to the designated recording management coordinator.

6. Performs accurate and timely data entry into the ICON and FRANK computerized systems in order to ensure the most up-to-date information is available to other justice agencies (e.g., police services, corrections, etc.).

Client support at the public counter and in the court office:

7. Provides professional and respectful service to clients by determining the nature and scope of clients' service needs in relation to the requirements of the court (e.g., legislative, Rules of Procedure, etc.); researches and verifies information via databases, resource documents (e.g., manuals, Rules, and legislation) and web sites; provides procedural guidance and advice to support and clarify requirements for clients when completing and filing forms pursuant to relevant legislation, rules, procedures and policy; ensures accuracy and completeness of all filings and that timelines are adhered to; accepts and / or rejects filings; sets dates and times for court hearings; processes filings, fees, restitution, fines and / or payments; and directs clients to other program areas, ministries, agencies and associations when necessary.

8. Proactively provides guidance and support to clients with complex requests or issues by identifying, addressing and resolving the problem/concern or refers the matter to the applicable program area or organization; follows up and communicates outcomes to clients; and demonstrates sensitivity and emotional intelligence when dealing with clients who are distressed or upset and clients requiring special accommodations.

9. Develops and maintains program contacts with other functional units, divisions, personnel of third party service providers (e.g., Family Law Information Centres, Mandatory Information Programs, etc.), other government programs and jurisdictions and related agencies to obtain information for clients or to refer clients' for assistance and resolution.

10. Prepares and signs court documents such as warrants of committal and restraining orders under statutory authority of clerk of the court, registrar and/or sheriff for all documentation related to all criminal, family and civil proceedings, including documents from across the province to address backlog in other jurisdictions; swears and signs affidavits as authorized; and enters into the court record all court orders and notifies parties as required.

11. Receives and electronically records documents such as claims, applications, notices of motion, writs, and certificates of judgment, informations and indictments; applies relevant tariff fees; schedules court dates and prepares files and documents required for court; notifies parties as required according to policy and rules; and ensures documents are directed for service as required.

12. Completes all administrative duties that contribute to the progress of court matters by inputting, updating and listing court information and filings into manual or computerized tracking systems; and liaising with judiciary, court staff, police, interpreters and all necessary parties to ensure timely and effective use of courts.

13. Provides administrative, financial and clerical support by assisting with exhibit management, preparation of post court documents, recording statistics and preparing and reviewing reports from systems; financial management processes, issuing invoices and preparing payments to witnesses, jurors, interpreters, and distribution of trust funds; writing correspondence; exercising financial signing authority as delegated; and managing current and archival files.

Technical guidance and advice:

14. Provides technical advice, guidance and mentorship to ministry employees on providing court services to the public and clients, both in and out of court, as experts in all front-line services; and fosters a positive work environment while providing on-the-job training and coaching in order to improve and / or sustain performance.

15. Liaises with staff in different functional areas on operational changes, addressing and resolving unusual or local issues that arise, including obtaining support in resolving system problems for unique courtroom technology; and provides recommendations to support the implementation of new policies or procedures or for enhancements to existing procedures for consideration by divisional and local operational tables.

16. Participates in meetings and on working groups, providing input into proposed operational/procedural changes to improve the quality of the client experience and achieve service excellence.

17. Supports modernization of courts by participating in pilot projects, providing feedback on new initiatives and championing improvements to the provision of court services; mastering the operation of and troubleshooting various current and upcoming court and office technologies; and keeping apprised of ongoing modernization initiatives in order to use new products or services or implement new procedures as well as to explain them in plain language to clients and the public (e.g., Small Claims Court Online, Online Dockets, etc.).

18. Performs duties on weekends and statutory holidays and travels to other court locations, as required.

Staffing and Licencing :

-Security clearance required
-Availability to work on weekend and statutory holidays
-Travel to other court locations
-Proficiency (oral and written) in both French and English at the advanced level
-Valid Ontario Driver's Licence (where required)

Knowledge :

-Provincial, municipal or federal legislative requirements (e.g., Criminal Code, Child and Family Services Act, Rules of Civil Procedure, Small Claims Court Rules, the Family Rules), programs, services (e.g., lawyer's referral service), policies, processes, and procedures to interpret and apply to clients' needs, provide information, clarification and guidance to clients and accept filings and exercise delegated signing authority on legal documents.
-Analytical methods and techniques to research and probe for information and determine client objectives, needs, requests or concerns; to assess situations or circumstances, and determine appropriate courses of action and to discern facts in order to detect irregularities; to interpret complex rules and procedures and communicate them to clients in a way that is both clear and concise but also comprehensive; to interpret situations and then make sound judgements or decisions based on the information gathered; to assess complaints and problems and investigate relevant factors to develop viable solutions that satisfy client needs or concerns; and to analyze trends, anomalies and problem areas and make recommendations to the supervisor to improve the provision of services locally or across the division.
-Research techniques, relevant ministry/inter-jurisdictional reference/resource tools and materials (e.g., manuals, directives websites, etc.) and legal terminology and provide specialized guidance on services or issues and interpretation regarding the intent and content of legislation, regulation, policies, procedures, rules and to investigate and resolve issues or contentious situations which may be confidential in nature and to confirm the validity/ complete court filings.
-Technical knowledge of specialized digital recording equipment in order to ensure the accurate recording and annotation of court proceedings, and to provide playback of proceedings upon request of the court; various court office practices and procedures to carry out functions such as archiving /retrieving files, record-keeping, writing correspondence, operating court and office technology (e.g., multi-functional devices, remote video technology, electronic evidence display equipment, digital recording devices, assistive listening devices, and child-friendly courtroom equipment) and troubleshooting problems in order to ensure timely delivery of services.
-Knowledge of ministry mandate and goals, including other divisions to explain all services which are provided from the courthouse. Court Services Division Strategic Plan, programs and services, including each business line (family, criminal, small claims, enforcement and civil) and each level of court (Ontario Court of Justice, Superior Court of Justice and Court of Appeal for Ontario), to effectively act as the first point of contact to clients and appropriately triage and direct clients to available services, cover all duties of the position, both in court and at the court counter, and mentor and provide guidance to other court staff.
-Ontario Public Service customer service principles and service standards as well as Court Services Division service standards in order to consistently provide professional, responsive and accessible client service.
-Court Services Division's Professional and Respectful Workplace Initiative and Ontario Public Service Workplace Discrimination, Harassment and Prevention Policy and related legislation to ensure professional and respectful behaviour at all times and workplaces free from bias, harassment and discrimination.
-Government policies and procedures related to cash handling, monthly reconciliation, and other policies/procedures related to accepting, recording, reporting and administering financial transactions;
-Third party service providers, other government programs and jurisdictions and related agencies to obtain information for clients; and to refer clients' issues for information, assistance and resolution.

Skills :

The position requires:

-Oral and written communication skills to liaise with senior officials and the judiciary regarding requirements/information relating to court orders and judgments and to provide concise explanations and clarification of complex information such as the Rules, guidelines, procedures and legislation to clients, ensuring understanding; to write correspondence to clients and prepare forms and orders with a high degree of accuracy; to liaise with program area staff regarding referred matters; to participate on local project teams and committees and to exchange information within the unit and other program areas regarding best practices; to provide recommendations regarding enhancements to processes or practices for consideration at divisional operational tables or for divisional policy changes or to develop local policy / practices and provide on-the-job training.
-Problem solving and analytical skills in order to respond to clients unique requests, to execute the transaction and resolve operational and technical issues related to the court technology; to provide recommendations for future divisional and local procedure changes; and to direct / triage issues within the courthouse and interpret clients requests.
-Flexibility and adaptability to meet the needs of a broad, diverse client base whose service support and information needs vary substantially; to respond promptly to client needs and problems; to work in a variety of court environments and practice areas, in-court, in the court office or at the court counter, often with short notice.
-Collaboration, team building and mentoring skills to provide leadership, technical advice, guidance and coaching to in and out of court staff; and to participate in developing a motivated, cohesive team focused on achieving high quality court services.
-Technology skills such as operating digital recording devices (including checking microphones for recording levels, ensuring proper operation of the equipment and an ability to troubleshoot audio problems related to in-court audio equipment and components); specialized courtroom technology and troubleshooting; office software such as Microsoft Office; operational and case management systems and the Internet to access and retrieve information from databases; and to prepare correspondence and to conduct research.
-Ability to work independently to perform duties under minimal supervision, often in environments where there is no supervisor on site.
-Ability to apply client service standards to consistently provide an optimum level of service to clients and be fully responsive to their needs; courtesy, professionalism, tact, diplomacy and a positive attitude to consistently serve clients/justice participants/colleagues/management with professionalism and respect when providing information and services and resolving problems, complaints and concerns; active listening, empathy, sensitivity, emotional intelligence, mediation skills and patience to remain composed, convey understanding and respond to emotional, distressed, irate or confused/frustrated clients in a respectful manner when resolving difficult situations; and a respectful and inclusive approach when addressing people's needs for accommodation in a private and dignified manner, with an emphasis on full participation in all aspects of the courts services program.
-Public speaking skills to address small to large groups of individuals during courtroom proceedings; maintain court order and decorum; coordinate jury activities in court and during jury selection; and to guide or lead clients and public to the appropriate service within the courthouse and / or to where they are required in court.
-Accurate keyboarding skills in order to prepare and complete documentation and annotate court proceedings, often within tight timelines.
-Political acuity to identify situations and occurrences with political or media relations overtones, and respond in a manner that does not compromise service and/or problem resolution.
-Attention to detail to ensure that forms and other legal documents are completed fully and accurately and that service and legal requirements are met by the client and reviewed against the court and business requirements.
-Planning and organization skills to organize and prioritize workload; and to respond to unforeseen demands.
-The ability to make decisions based on facts/information provided in reviewing and signing default judgments or other orders.
-Arithmetic skills to complete basic mathematical calculations for receiving payments, calculating fees and distributing proposals, collecting and balancing monies, including operation of a cash register and point of sale machine to handle cash and credit/debit card transactions.

Freedom of Action :

-The work is guided overall by legal practice and procedures, government legislation, OPS/ministry policies, guidelines, directives, established practices and OPS service standards.
-The position works independently in performing daily activities, often in large teams with one supervisor to a work unit of 20 to 60 staff. Complex decisions are made in the absence of supervisors on a wide range of issues with serious implications to clients and justice participants. The position is responsible for independently opening the courthouse and performing duties with no on-site supervision (e.g., satellite courts and Weekend and
Statutory Holiday court). The position refers only highly contentious or serious issues and problems that deviate significantly from established guidelines to the supervisor.
-Decision-making involves an independent analysis of the issue and decide the best approach for resolution (e.g., intent of policy for ambiguous circumstances, interpreting regulations to resolve issues and making recommendations on new/improved operational processes and best practices to achieve service excellence). Many decisions made independently by the position cannot be overturned, except by application to the court (e.g., decisions on default judgments) and can have serious impact on clients, the public and the administration of justice.
-The position is accountable for providing technical advice, guidance and support to both in court and office staff and participating in group/area office activities to ensure deadlines are met and recommending courses of action based on expertise. The position identifies and evaluates issues and trends and recommends new procedures to eliminate problems and improve efficiency and/or client service and may identify work deficiencies and recommend solutions.
-Position is responsible for ensuring court records are confidentiality maintained and secure at all times, including the integrity of government/court and client information.
-Position certifies audio recordings of court records and ensuring corresponding annotations have met Ministry standards, subject to audit.
-Position assumes complete ownership of filing of in-court documentation and court counter filings, from start to conclusion, and follows through on provision of information/services or resolution of problems to provide effective customer service.
-Errors such as inaccurate exercising of designated signing authority on legal documents, improper exhibit management, inaccurate completion of forms, or incorrect processing could cause significant productivity issues as resources must be re-allocated to research and resolve issues or discrepancies, significant embarrassment and loss of integrity to the justice system and ministry, significant hardship to the client or parties involved (e.g., mistrial, wrongful incarceration or remand), legal challenge (e.g., lawsuit or inquest), jeopardize public safety (e.g., a dangerous individual not being incarcerated) and loss of public confidence in the justice system.
-Failure to appropriately identify client needs, enquiries, problems and concerns; to identify the provisions and limitations of a program or service to a client; or to find satisfactory solutions to client problems could impact on the provisions of timely, effective and quality justice services, and could result in reduced confidence levels; public criticism; potential hardship for clients and stake holders; and/or complaints to management/senior management,
the Minister's Office and MPPs.

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