2. Contact a friend or family member

What should I do if I have a last minute emergency and can't attend a court date?
This question has an answer and 3 steps
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2. Contact a friend or family member

If you don't have a lawyer and have a personal emergency at the last minute, you can send a friend or family member to court for you. Your friend or family member may be able to appear as your agent.

The person acting as your agent appears in the court as if they are you. The court treats the situation as if you attended court.

Even if they are not able to appear as your agent, they can explain your absence to duty counsel. Duty counsel will explain your absence to the court and ask for a discretionary bench warrant.

The court will be more likely to issue a discretionary bench warrant if your absence has been explained. But it is still up to the court to decide whether to issue a discretionary bench warrant or a warrant for your arrest.

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Legal Aid Ontario
Reviewed: November 20, 2017

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