The Rules of Civil Procedure are being amended as of January 1, 2015. Included in the amendments are changes to r. 48.
Currently, r. 48.14 provides that if an action has not been placed on the trial list within two years after the first defence is filed, the Registrar will issue a status notice providing that the action will be dismissed in 90 days.
The new rule provides that the Registrar shall dismiss the action for delay if:
(a) The action has not been set down or terminated by the later of five years after its commencement or January 1, 2017; or
(b) The action was struck from the trial list and has not been restored to the trial list by the later of two years of being struck or January 1, 2017.
If a status hearing was scheduled before January 1, 2015, the old rule continues to apply.
These amendments will likely help to avoid many motions that were necessary to either avoid a dismissal or to set aside an administrative dismissal.