If you start litigation, and then fail to take action, you may be faced with a status hearing under Rule 48.14 of the Rules of Civil Procedure. You then have the burden of proving that you had an acceptable explanation for the delay and that the other side will not be prejudiced by the delay in a way that cannot be compensated with money, according to Oberding v. Sun Life Financial Assurance Co. of Canada 2010 ONSC 3303 (CanLII). The Ontario Court of Appeal recently found that a Master wrongly decided that the person you are suing has the burden of proving why your case should be dismissed in Bolohan v. Hull, 2012 ONCA 121 .

To prove your case should not be dismissed for delay, you do not need to present your evidence at a status hearing by affidavit. You can present the evidence orally. The focus of the hearing will be on your actions (and inactions) in moving your case forward. The judge has the discretion to dismiss your case if you have sat idly by and not moved it forward diligently.

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