B.C. Reg. 417/98
O.C. 1444/98
Deposited November 25, 1998
effective December 1, 1998

Court Rules Act

Provincial Court (Family) Rules

Note: Check the Cumulative Regulation Bulletin 2014
for any non-consolidated amendments to this regulation that may be in effect.

[includes amendments up to B.C. Reg. 40/2013, March 18, 2013]

Point in Time

Rule 1 — Purpose and Interpretation

Purpose

(1)The purpose of these rules is to allow people to obtain just, speedy, inexpensive and simple resolution of matters arising under the Family Law Act and certain matters under the Family Maintenance Enforcement Act.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 1 (a).]

Definitions

(2)In these rules:

"clerk" means a member of the registry staff;

"court" means the Provincial Court;

"family justice counsellor" means a person appointed as a family court counsellor under section 3 of the Family Relations Act or a person appointed as a family justice counsellor under section 10 of the Family Law Act;

"family justice registry" means the Kelowna, Nanaimo, Surrey or Vancouver (Robson Square) registry;

"file" means file in the registry;

"filed agreement" means an agreement filed under section 121 of the Family Relations Act or filed under section 5, 44 (3), 58 (3), 148 (2) or 163 (3) of the Family Law Act;

"filed copy", in relation to a document that is filed, means a copy of the document that is date stamped with the registry stamp;

"party" means

(a) an applicant,

(b) a respondent who has filed a reply [see rule 3 about replying to applications],

(c) a person added as a party under rule 20 (5), and

(d) the Director of Maintenance Enforcement if an application relates to an order that is filed with the director;

"regional manager", in relation to a registry, means the regional manager of Family Justice Services Division (Justice Services Branch), Ministry of Justice, who is responsible for the region in which the registry is located;

"registry" means a registry of the court where family matters are dealt with.

"support" includes maintenance.

[am. B.C. Regs. 102/2001, s. 1; 159/2003, s. 1; 52/2007; 132/2012, s. 1 (b) to (e); 27/2013, Sch. 2, s. 7.]

Reference aids

(3)Italicized words in square brackets are not part of these rules, are included for convenience only and are not to be used in interpreting the rules or any provision to which the words refer.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 1 (f).]

Family Law Act

(4)Unless a contrary intention appears, the definitions in the Family Law Act apply to these rules.

[en. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 1 (g).]

Rule 2 — Making, Filing and Serving an Application

Applying to the court for an order

(1)To apply to the court for any of the following orders under the Family Law Act:

(a) an order for guardianship, parenting arrangements or contact with a child;

(b) an order for child or spousal support;

(c) a protection order under Part 9 of the Family Law Act,

a person must complete an application to obtain an order in Form 1 and file it, together with 3 copies of it.

[en. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 2 (b).]

Applying to change orders or agreements

(2)To apply to the court for any of the following orders:

(a) an order to change, suspend or terminate an order that was made under the Family Law Act or the Family Relations Act;

(b) an order to reduce or cancel arrears under a support order made under the Family Law Act or under a support or maintenance order made under the Family Relations Act;

(c) an order to set aside or replace a filed agreement;

(d) an order under section 35 of the Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act to vary a support order registered in British Columbia,

a person must complete an application respecting existing orders or agreements in Form 2 and file it, together with 3 copies of it, in the registry where the order or agreement to which the application applies is filed unless a judge permits otherwise under rule 19 (1) or unless rule 19 (5) or (6) applies:

[To file the application in another registry, see rule 19 concerning transfer of court files. Rule 19 (5) and (6) specifically concerns transfer of files by the registry when the parties consent to the transfer or when only one of the parties resides in British Columbia and that party requests the transfer. If a person seeks an order or direction from a judge in relation to another order, an agreement or the determination of a parenting coordinator, see rule 12 (5).]

[en. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 2 (b).]

Personal service of application, not by the applicant

(3)Unless a judge grants permission to use a different method of service under rule 9 (7), an applicant under subrule (1) or (2) must have a filed copy of the application served personally on the respondent by a person who is at least 19 years of age other than the applicant.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 2 (c).]

Documents to be included with the application

(4)The following documents must be served with the filed copy of the application when it is served on the respondent:

(a) a blank reply in Form 3;

(b) a blank financial statement in Form 4, if the applicant seeks an order for child or spousal support or to change, suspend or terminate child or spousal support;

(c) if required under rule 4, a filed copy of the applicant's financial statement and applicable documentation under rule 4 (2).

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 2 (d).]

Affidavit of service

(5)If the respondent does not file a reply to the application in accordance with rule 3, the applicant must file an affidavit of personal service in Form 5.

[To apply for recognition of an extraprovincial order, see rule 16. To apply for enforcement of a support order under the Family Maintenance Enforcement Act, see rule 17. To apply for an order for guardianship, see rule 18.1.]

[am. B.C. Regs. 132/2012, ss. 2 (e) and 3; 40/2013, s. 1.]

Rule 3 — Replying to the Application

and Making a Counterclaim

Filing the reply

(1)A person named as a respondent in an application referred to in rule 2 must, within 30 days after being served with a filed copy of the application,

(a) complete a reply in Form 3, following the instructions on the form,

(b) file that reply, together with 3 copies of it, in the registry where the application was filed, and

(c) if required under rule 4, file with that reply the original and 3 copies of the respondent's financial statement and applicable documentation referred to in rule 4 (2) (b).

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 4 (b) to (d).]

Respondent's options

(2)The respondent may do one or more of the following in the reply:

(a) consent to one or more of the orders requested in the application;

(b) disagree with anything claimed in the application, stating the reasons for the disagreement;

(c) apply to the court for any of the following under the Family Law Act:

(i)   an order for guardianship, parenting arrangements or contact with a child;

(ii)   an order for child or spousal support;

(iii)   a protection order under Part 9 of the Family Law Act;

(iv)   an order to change, suspend or terminate an order that was made under the Family Law Act or the Family Relations Act;

(v)   an order to cancel or reduce arrears under a support order made under the Family Law Act or under a support or maintenance order made under the Family Relations Act;

(vi)   an order to set aside or replace a filed agreement;

(vii)   an order under section 35 of the Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act to vary a support order registered in British Columbia.

(d) Repealed. [B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 4 (e).]

[To apply for enforcement of an order or filed agreement for guardianship, parenting arrangements or contact with a child, see rule 12, or for recognition of an extraprovincial order, see rule 16. To apply for enforcement of a support order under the Family Maintenance Enforcement Act, see rule 17. To apply for an order for guardianship, see rule 18.1.]

[am. B.C. Regs. 132/2012, s. 4 (e); 40/2013, s. 2.]

No notice of hearing if no reply

(3)A respondent who has not filed a reply is not entitled to receive notice of any part of the proceedings under these rules, including, without limitation, any court appearance, hearing, conference or trial.

[See rule 6 (4) about what a judge may do if a respondent fails to file a reply.]

How a reply is served on the applicant

(4)Within 21 days after a reply is filed, the clerk must serve on the applicant a filed copy of the reply and any documents filed by the respondent under subrule (1) (c).

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 4 (f).]

Applicant needs to respond if the reply includes a counterclaim

(5)If the reply includes a counterclaim under subrule (2) (c), the applicant must, within 30 days after being served with a filed copy of the reply,

(a) complete a reply in Form 3, following the instructions on the form,

(b) file that reply, together with 3 copies of it, in the registry where the application under rule 2 was filed, and

(c) serve on the respondent a filed copy of that reply and, if required under rule 4 and only if the applicant has not already done so, serve with that reply a filed copy of the applicant's financial statement and applicable documentation referred to in rule 4 (2) (b).

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 4 (b), (g) and (h).]

Rule 4 — Provision of Financial Information

Persons who must provide financial information

(1)Subrule (2) applies to the following persons:

(a) a person who applies, in Form 1 or 3, for a spousal support order or who is responding to such an application;

(b) a person who applies, in Form 2 or 3, to change, suspend or terminate a spousal support order or who is responding to such an application;

(c) a person who applies, in Form 1 or 3, for a child support order and who is required under the Child Support Guidelines Regulation to provide income information;

(d) a person who is responding to an application for a child support order;

(e) a person who applies, in Form 2 or 3, to change, suspend or terminate a child support order and who is required under the Child Support Guidelines Regulation to provide income information;

(f) a person who is responding to an application to change, suspend or terminate a child support order and who is required under the Child Support Guidelines Regulation to provide income information;

(g) a person who applies, in Form 2 or 3, to reduce or cancel arrears under a support order;

(h) a person who applies, in Form 2 or 3, to set aside or replace a filed agreement respecting child or spousal support and who is required under the Child Support Guidelines Regulation to provide income information.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, ss. 5 (a) to (d) and 6.]

Requirement to file financial information

(2)A person referred to in subrule (1) must

(a) complete a financial statement in Form 4, following the instructions on the financial statement, and

(b) when filing the application or the reply, as the case may be, file the original and 3 copies of that financial statement and any applicable documentation described in Form 4 or required under the Child Support Guidelines Regulation.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 5 (e).]

If the parties agree on income and amount of child support

(3)Parties to an application for child support or to change child support are deemed to have complied with the documentation requirements of the Child Support Guidelines Regulation and the requirement to complete and file financial statements under subrule (2) in respect of that application if

(a) the parties have agreed on the amount of child support to be paid and on the annual income of each party who would otherwise be required to provide income information under that regulation,

(b) the parties have signed a consent in Form 19 respecting that agreement, and

(c) the consent, together with a copy of the most recent income tax return of each party who would otherwise be required to provide income information under that regulation and a copy of that person's most recent income tax notice of assessment or reassessment, have been filed.

[If the parties wish to file an application for an order that the parties consent to, see rule 14.]

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, ss. 5 (f), 6 and 7.]

Rule 5 — Procedures in Family Justice Registries

Application of this rule

(1)Subject to the exceptions set out in subrule (2), this rule applies to proceedings begun by an application under rule 2 (1) or (2) if

(a) the application is filed in a family justice registry, or

(b) the court file for the proceedings is transferred under rule 19 to a family justice registry.

[Rule 2 is about applications for guardianship, parenting arrangements or contact with a child orders, support orders and protection orders and applications to set aside or replace filed agreements or to change, suspend or terminate existing orders.]

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 8(a) and (b).]

Rule does not apply

(2)This rule

(a) does not apply to the proceedings referred to in subrule (1) if the only applications concern support and there has been an assignment of support rights under the Employment and Assistance Act or the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act,

(b) ceases to apply to the proceedings referred to in subrule (1) if the court file for the proceedings is transferred under rule 19 to a registry that is not a family justice registry, and

(c) does not apply to the proceedings referred to in subrule (1) if the only applications concern return of a child under the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction signed at The Hague on October 25, 1980.

[am. B.C. Regs. 159/2003, s. 2; 132/2012, s. 8 (c) and (d).]

First referral by a clerk

(3)Before setting a date for the parties' first appearance before a judge, a clerk must refer the applicant and each respondent who has filed a reply to a family justice counsellor.

[For exemption from this subrule in urgent and special circumstances, see subrule (8).]

Options for parties

(4)To assist the parties in resolving any part of their dispute, each party must meet with the family justice counsellor and may seek referral from the family justice counsellor to one or more of the following persons, programs or services:

(a) a person designated by the Attorney General to provide specialized support assistance;

(b) a program, approved by the Attorney General, designed to help parties identify and consider post-separation issues involving children;

(c) mediation with a family justice counsellor;

(d) a family dispute resolution professional other than a family justice counsellor;

(e) any other service or agency that may assist the parties.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, ss. 6 and 8 (e).]

Subsequent referral to a judge

(5)At any time after meeting with the family justice counsellor, a party may do any of the following:

(a) ask to appear before a judge on one or more issues in the case by filing a referral request in Form 6;

(b) seek a consent order under rule 14.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 7.]

Court action after referral to a family justice counsellor

(6)Subject to rule 21 (8), on receiving a referral request in Form 6, the clerk must serve the parties with notice of the time and place at which they must attend before a judge.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 8 (f).]

What the judge may do

(7)When the parties attend before the judge under subrule (6), the judge may

(a) do any of the things described in rule 6 (3), and

(b) require the parties to attend, or continue their attendance with, one or more of the persons or programs referred to in subrule (4) of this rule.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 8 (g).]

Urgent and special circumstances

(8)If, at any time in the course of the proceedings,

(a) a party applies to a judge for a protection order under Part 9 of the Family Law Act, or

(b) a judge is satisfied on application by a party that urgent and exceptional circumstances exist requiring a judge to hear the matter at the earliest opportunity,

the judge may do one or more of the following:

(c) dispense with or defer compliance with all or any part of this rule if the judge considers it necessary;

(d) order that subrule (3) does not apply and that the matter be referred to a judge for hearing at the earliest opportunity;

(e) make any order or give any directions that the judge considers appropriate.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 8 (h) and (i).]

If a respondent fails to file a reply or appear in court

(9)Rule 6 (4) and (10) applies to proceedings begun by an application filed in or transferred to a family justice registry.

[Rule 6 (4) and (10) sets out the options available to a judge if the respondent fails to file a reply or fails to appear in court and includes the option of making a final order.]

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 8 (h) and (i).]

All other rules apply

(10)All other rules apply to proceedings in a family justice registry but, if anything in another rule other than rule 22 is considered to be in conflict with this rule, this rule prevails.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 8 (j).]

Persons exempt from meeting with family justice counsellors

(11)A person representing the government, a ministry or public officer, if they are parties, need not but may meet with and attend with a family justice counsellor or persons or programs under subrules (3), (4) and (7) (b).

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 8 (k).]

Repealed

(12)Repealed. [B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 8 (l).]

Rule 5.1 — Procedures in Fax Filing Pilot Project Registries

Definition

(1)In this rule, "fax filing pilot project registry" means the Chilliwack, Cranbrook, Dawson Creek, Kamloops, Kelowna, Nelson, Penticton, Prince George, Rossland, Salmon Arm, Smithers, Terrace, Vernon or Williams Lake registry.

[en. B.C. Reg. 9/2003, s. 1.]

Application of this rule

(2)Despite rules 2 (1) and (2), 3 (1) and (5), 4 (2), 13 (4), 16 (3) and 17 (4) and subject to this rule, if a registry is a fax filing pilot project registry, a clerk may accept any document in a filing that has been transmitted to the registry by fax, except the following:

(a) an application for an order under rule 2 (1) or (2) if the application is filed in a family justice registry or the court file for the proceedings is transferred under rule 19 to a family justice registry;

(b) a statement of finances under section 13 of the Family Maintenance Enforcement Act.

[en. B.C. Reg. 9/2003, s. 1; am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 9 (a).]

When a fax filing may be refused

(3)A clerk may refuse to accept a filing that is transmitted to a fax filing pilot project registry by fax for any one or more of the following reasons:

(a) the filing is not accompanied by a fax cover sheet in Form 32;

(b) the filing relates to more than one court file;

(c) the filing and the fax cover sheet exceed 20 pages in length;

(d) in the opinion of the clerk, the filing is illegible and cannot be used by the court;

(e) the filing is incomplete;

(f) the filing should have been transmitted to another fax filing pilot project registry;

(g) the filing does not otherwise conform to practice and procedure under these rules and any applicable enactment.

[en. B.C. Reg. 9/2003, s. 1; am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 9.]

When a fax filing is filed

(4)A filing that is transmitted to a fax pilot project filing registry by fax and received by the registry fax machine will be filed as soon as is practicable, provided that it has not been refused under subrule (3).

[en. B.C. Reg. 9/2003, s. 1.]

When a fax filing is considered to be filed

(5)A filing that is transmitted to a fax filing pilot project registry by fax is considered to be filed on the date stamped on it by a clerk.

[en. B.C. Reg. 9/2003, s. 1.]

Original of fax filing may be required by judge

(6)A judge may require that the original of a document transmitted to a fax filing pilot project registry by fax in accordance with this rule be produced.

[en. B.C. Reg. 9/2003, s. 1.]

Rule 6 — First and Subsequent Appearances in Court

Notice to parties of first appearance

(1)Subject to rule 21 (8), if the respondent

(a) files a reply, or

(b) has not filed a reply within the time limit set in these rules and the applicant has filed an affidavit of service and requested an appearance,

a clerk must

(c) serve the parties with notice of the time and place they are to attend court for a first appearance in the matter, and

(d) if the reply has been filed, serve the applicant with a filed copy of

(i)   the reply, and

(ii)   any financial statement and applicable documentation filed by the respondent under rule 4 (2).

[am. B.C. Regs. 102/2001, s. 2; 132/2012, s. 10 (a).]

Subrule (1) does not apply

(2)Subrule (1) does not apply to proceedings to which rule 5 applies.

Options for the judge

(3)The judge at the first appearance or any subsequent appearance may do one or more of the following:

(a) make an order that all parties consent to in respect of all or any part of what is claimed in the application or reply;

(b) make an interim order under section 216 or 217 of the Family Law Act;

(c) if a party has failed to provide financial information in accordance with rule 4,

(i)   make an order requiring the party to file that financial information within a set time,

(ii)   draw an adverse inference from that failure and impute an amount of income to that party that the judge considers appropriate,

(iii)   make an interim order under section 216 or 217 of the Family Law Act, and

(iv)   if the judge considers that the circumstances justify it, make a final order;

(d) adjourn the case for a specified period of time that the judge considers appropriate;

(e) order a party to allow another party to inspect and copy records, specified in the order, that are or have been in that other party's possession or control or, if not in that other party's possession or control, are within that other party's power;

(f) set a date for a family case conference under rule 7;

(g) set a date for a trial preparation conference under rule 8;

(h) if the judge does not set a date for a family case conference or for a trial preparation conference, set a trial date for the matter or set a date for a trial that is restricted to issues defined by the parties;

(i) make a conduct order under Division 5 of Part 10 of the Family Law Act, including an order

(i)   requiring the parties to participate in family dispute resolution within the meaning of the Family Law Act, or

(ii)   requiring one or more parties or, with or without the consent of the child's guardian, a child, to attend counselling, specified services or programs;

(j) hear evidence and make an interim or final order for child or spousal support or for guardianship, parenting arrangements or contact with a child;

(k) make any other order or give any direction that the judge considers appropriate.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, ss. 3 and 10 (b) and (c).]

If the respondent fails to file reply

(4)If the respondent fails to file a reply under rule 3, the judge at the first appearance or any subsequent appearance may do one or more of the following:

(a) draw an inference that the respondent consents to the orders sought by the applicant;

(b) impute an amount of income to that respondent that the judge considers appropriate;

(c) make an interim order under section 216 or 217 of the Family Law Act;

(d) if the judge considers that the circumstances justify it and it is fair to do so in the respondent's absence, make a final order;

(e) issue a summons in Form 7 to be served on the respondent.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 10 (b).]

Adjournment to enable parties to attend services, programs or agencies

(5)Without limiting subrule (3) (d), the judge may adjourn the case for a specified period of time that the judge considers appropriate to enable the parties to consult with or attend one or more of the following:

(a) a family justice counsellor;

(b) a person designated by the Attorney General to provide specialized support assistance;

(c) a program, approved by the Attorney General, designed to help parties identify and consider post-separation issues involving children;

(d) a family dispute resolution professional other than a family justice counsellor;

(e) any other service or agency that may assist the parties.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, ss. 6 and 10 (d).]

Adjournment only if services available

(6)A judge may adjourn a case to enable the parties to consult with or attend a person or program under subrule (5) (a), (b) or (c) only if the regional manager has advised the court in writing that the person or program is readily available to the parties.

If parties attend a service, program or agency

(7)A party who consults with or attends a service, person, program or agency referred to in subrule (5) may, at any time, do any of the following:

(a) ask to appear before a judge on one or more issues in the case by filing a referral request in Form 6;

(b) seek a consent order under rule 14.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 7.]

Court action after parties attend service, program or agency

(8)On receiving a referral request in Form 6, the clerk must serve the parties with notice of the time and place at which they must attend before a judge.

What the judge may do

(9)When the parties attend before a judge under subrule (8), the judge may do any of the things described in subrule (3).

If a respondent does not appear in court

(10)If a respondent fails to appear in court as directed by a judge or in response to a summons issued by a judge or to a notice sent under these rules, a judge may do one or more of the following:

(a) draw any inference from that failure that the judge considers appropriate, including, without limitation, an inference that the respondent consents to the orders sought by the applicant;

(b) impute an amount of income to the respondent that the judge considers appropriate;

(c) for the purpose of making an order for child or spousal support, hear submissions on the respondent's probable income;

(d) make an interim order under section 216 or 217 of the Family Law Act;

(e) if the judge considers that the circumstances justify it and that it is fair to do so in the respondent's absence, make a final order;

(f) issue a summons in Form 7 to be served on the respondent;

(g) if the respondent was served with a summons for the court appearance or was present in court when the date for the court appearance was set, issue a warrant for arrest in Form 8 for the arrest of the respondent.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 10 (b), (e) and (f).]

How long a warrant for arrest is in force

(11)A warrant under subrule (10) (g) remains in force until

(a) the respondent named in the warrant appears in court either voluntarily or under the warrant, or

(b) a judge cancels the warrant.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 10 (g).]

After respondent is arrested

(12)A respondent who is arrested under a warrant must be brought before a judge as soon as practicable.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 10 (g).]

Release of respondent

(13)The judge must release the respondent on giving the respondent a release in Form 9 requiring the respondent to appear in court on the date and at the time and place stated in the release.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 10 (g).]

Notice to applicant of appearance

(14)A clerk must notify the applicant regarding the date, time and place of the appearance stated in the release.

If respondent does not comply with release

(15)If the respondent does not appear in court on the date and at the time stated on the release, the judge may

(a) issue a warrant for arrest in Form 8 for the arrest of the respondent and order that the respondent be brought to a judge promptly on that arrest, or

(b) do anything described in subrule (10) (a) to (f).

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 10 (f).]

Rule 7 — Family Case Conference

Family case conferences for contested guardianship,

parenting arrangements or contact with a child

(1)If guardianship, parenting arrangements or contact with a child are contested, a judge may order the parties to attend a family case conference.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 11 (a).]

Who must attend the family case conference

(2)The following persons must attend the family case conference:

(a) the parties;

(b) each lawyer representing a party or a child.

Other persons may attend with court's permission

(3)With permission of a judge, a child or person who is not a party may attend the family case conference.

What happens at the family case conference

(4)The judge at the family case conference may do one or more of the following:

(a) mediate any of the issues in dispute;

(b) decide any issues that do not require evidence;

(c) make a conduct order under Division 5 of Part 10 of the Family Law Act, including an order

(i)   requiring the parties to participate in family dispute resolution within the meaning of the Family Law Act, or

(ii)   requiring one or more parties or, with or without the consent of the child's guardian, a child, to attend counselling, specified services or programs;

(d) if the regional manager has advised the court in writing that the person or program is readily available to the parties, refer the parties to a family justice counsellor or to a person designated by the Attorney General to provide specialized support assistance;

(e) adjourn the case for the purposes of paragraph (c) or a referral under paragraph (d);

(f) make an order to which all of the parties consent;

(g) direct that any or all applications must be made within a set time;

(h) direct the parties to attend a further family case conference, setting a date for that conference;

(i) set a date for a trial preparation conference under rule 8;

(j) make any order that may be made at a trial preparation conference under rule 8 (4);

(k) if the judge does not set a date for a further family case conference or for a trial preparation conference, set a trial date for the matter or set a date for a trial that is restricted to issues defined by the parties;

(l) make an interim or final order requested in an application, reply or notice of motion;

(m) without hearing witnesses, give a non-binding opinion on the probable outcome of a hearing or trial;

(n) make any other order or give any direction that the judge considers appropriate.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, ss. 6 and 11 (b) and (c).]

Judge may make order on failure to attend

(5)If the judge presiding at the family case conference considers that the circumstances justify it and that it is fair to do so in the person's absence, the judge may make an order referred to in subrule (4) (l) even though one or more of the persons required to attend the family case conference under subrule (2) fails to attend.

Rule 8 — Trial Preparation Conference

Trial preparation conference

(1)If a judge determines that a trial is necessary, the judge may first set a date for a trial preparation conference.

Who must attend the trial preparation conference

(2)The following persons must attend the trial preparation conference:

(a) each lawyer representing a party or a child;

(b) subject to the exception set out in subrule (3), the parties.

Absent parties must be available and accessible by telephone or other means

(3)A party who is represented by a lawyer need not attend the trial preparation conference in person if the party is readily available and immediately accessible for consultation during the trial preparation conference, either in person or by telephone.

What happens at the trial preparation conference

(4)The judge at the trial preparation conference may do one or more of the following:

(a) order a party to allow inspection and copying of records, specified in the order, that are or have been in the party's possession or control or, if not in that party's possession or control, are within that party's power;

(b) order a party to serve on the other parties a written summary of the proposed evidence of a witness within a set time;

(c) if the judge determines that there are any pending applications relating to the case that have not yet been heard, order that those applications be heard at the trial preparation conference or be brought and heard within a set time;

(d) order the parties to file a statement of agreed facts, within a set time;

(e) discuss evidence that will be required and the procedure that will be followed at that trial;

(f) order a party to bring to trial a record, specified in the order, that is or has been in the party's possession or control or, if not in the party's possession or control, is within that party's power;

(g) grant permission to a party to submit evidence by affidavit at the trial, in accordance with rule 13 [concerning affidavits] and with any directions given by the judge presiding at the trial preparation conference;

(h) estimate the time required for a trial;

(i) set a trial date for the matter or set a date for a trial that is restricted to issues defined by the parties;

(j) make any order or give any direction that the judge considers appropriate.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, ss. 3 and 12.]

Rule 9 — Other Rules about Service and Proving Service

Serving documents

(1)Subject to the exceptions set out in subrule (2), documents may be served by delivering the documents as follows:

(a) on a party, other than the Director of Maintenance Enforcement,

(i)   by leaving the documents with the party's lawyer or having a person who is at least 19 years of age, other than the serving party, leave the documents with the party to be served,

(ii)   by mailing the documents to the last address for service provided by that party under subrule (4) or (5),

(iii)   if the address for service provided by that party includes a fax number, by transmitting the documents to that fax number together with a fax cover-page in Form 10, or

(iv)   if the address for service provided by that party includes an e-mail address, by e-mailing the document to that e-mail address;

(b) on the Director of Maintenance Enforcement, by mailing the documents to the post office box number provided by the director;

(c) on any other person, by leaving the documents with the person or by mailing the documents by registered mail to that person's postal address.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 13 (a) and (b).]

When subrule (1) does not apply

(2)Subrule (1) does not apply in the case of a summons, a subpoena, an application in Form 1, 2 or 22 or a request for court enforcement under the Family Maintenance Enforcement Act in Form 23.

[Forms 1 and 2 concern applications for guardianship, parenting arrangements, contact with a child, support or protection orders and applications to set aside or replace filed agreements or to change, suspend or terminate orders. These applications must be served personally on the respondent (see rule 2 (3) to (5)).]

[Form 22 concerns applications to recognize orders, similar in nature to an order respecting guardianship, parenting arrangements or contact with a child, that are made by courts outside of British Columbia. These applications must be served personally on the respondents (see rule 16 (4)).]

[Form 23 is related to enforcing existing support orders and is a request to the court for issuance of a summons, warrant or garnishing order. These applications are generally made without notice to the person against whom the summons or warrant will be issued or against whom the order will be made.]

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 13 (c) and (d).]

Service of summons

(3)Unless a judge grants permission to use a different method of service under subrule (7), a summons (Form 7) issued under rule 6 (4) (e) or (10) (f) must be served on the respondent at least 3 days before the date of the hearing referred to in the summons as follows:

(a) a clerk may have it served on the respondent by mail or fax or personally by a peace officer or a person who is at least 19 years of age other than the applicant;

(b) the applicant may have it served on the respondent personally by a person who is at least 19 years of age other than the applicant.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 13 (e).]

Party must give address

(4)Each time a party files a Form 1, Form 2 or Form 3, the party must provide in the document the party's current address for service.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 13 (f).]

Party must notify of change of address

(5)If a party's address for service changes, the party must promptly file a notice of change of address in Form 11 and serve a copy of the notice on the other parties.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 3.]

When service by mail is effected

(6)A document served by mail in accordance with this rule is presumed to have been served 14 days after it was mailed.

Alternatives to personal service

(7)If a person is required under these rules to have a document served personally on another person, a judge may, on application brought by notice of motion under rule 12,

(a) order that the document be served by a peace officer, if the judge is satisfied that such an order is appropriate in the circumstances, or

(b) make an order granting permission to use a different method of service, specified in the order, if the judge is satisfied that the person to be served

(i)   cannot be found after a diligent search,

(ii)   is evading service of the documents, or

(iii)   is temporarily outside of British Columbia.

If different method of service is permitted

(8)If a different method of service of a document is permitted by a judge under subrule (7) (b), a filed copy of the judge's order must be served with the document, unless the judge

(a) orders otherwise, or

(b) orders notice to be given by advertisement.

Notice by advertisement

(9)If a judge orders notice to be given by advertisement,

(a) the advertisement must be in Form 12, and

(b) the party who obtained permission must pay for the advertisement.

Proof of service

(10)If an affidavit or certificate referred to in the following paragraphs is completed in accordance with the instructions on the applicable form and is filed, the affidavit or certificate is proof of service of the document to which the affidavit or certificate relates:

(a) in relation to a document served by mail, fax or e-mail, an affidavit of service in Form 13;

(b) in relation to a document served personally by a person who is at least 19 years of age other than a peace officer, an affidavit of personal service in Form 5;

(c) in relation to a document served personally by a peace officer, a certificate of service in Form 14.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, ss. 7 and 13 (g) and (h).]

Admissibility of other evidence of service

(11)Nothing in subrule (10) restricts the admissibility of any other evidence of service that the court may consider appropriate in the circumstances.

Service outside British Columbia

(12)An application, notice of motion or other document may be served on a person outside British Columbia if the court has jurisdiction in relation to the order sought in the application or notice of motion under section 10 of the Court Jurisdiction and Proceedings Transfer Act or Division 7 or 8 of Part 4 of the Family Law Act.

[en. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 13 (i).]

Rule 10 — Witnesses

How to subpoena a witness

(1)To require the attendance of a witness, a party must

(a) complete a subpoena in Form 15, and

(b) serve a copy of the subpoena on the witness personally at least 7 days before the date the witness is required to appear.

Travelling expenses

(2)At the time the subpoena is served, the party who subpoenas the witness must offer the witness reasonable estimated travelling expenses.

What a witness must do

(3)A person who is served with a subpoena must

(a) appear in court on the date and at the time and place stated on the subpoena, and

(b) bring to court any records and other things required by the subpoena.

Subpoena may be cancelled

(4)A person who is served with a subpoena may, on 2 days notice, apply by notice of motion under rule 12 to a judge who may cancel the subpoena if

(a) the person is not required as a witness, or

(b) it would be a hardship for the person to appear in court as required by the subpoena.

If a subpoena is cancelled

(5)A judge who cancels a subpoena may make any order or give any directions that the judge considers necessary and advisable in the circumstances, including an order adjourning the trial or any other hearing.

If a witness does not obey a subpoena

(6)A judge may issue a warrant for arrest in Form 8 for the arrest of a witness who does not appear in court as required by a subpoena if the judge is satisfied that

(a) the subpoena was served on the witness,

(b) reasonable travelling expenses were offered to the witness, and

(c) justice requires the presence of the witness.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 14 (a).]

How long a warrant for arrest of witness is in force

(7)A warrant issued under subrule (6) remains in force until

(a) the witness named in the warrant appears in court, whether voluntarily or under the warrant, or

(b) a judge cancels the warrant.

After a witness is arrested

(8)A witness who is arrested under a warrant issued under subrule (6) must be brought before a judge as soon as practicable.

What the judge may do when the witness appears

(9)If the judge determines that the witness' evidence is still required, the judge may

(a) release the witness on giving the witness a release in Form 9 requiring the witness to appear in court on the date and at the time and place stated in the release, or

(b) order a sheriff or police officer to detain the witness in custody until the witness' presence is no longer required.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 14 (b).]

Rule 11 — Trial Date and Evidence

Changing the trial date

(1)A trial may be adjourned only as follows:

(a) if the adjournment is sought more than 45 days before the scheduled trial date,

(i)   by filing a consent to the adjournment signed by all parties, or

(ii)   if the parties cannot agree to the adjournment, on application brought by notice of motion to a judge under rule 12 to explain why the adjournment is necessary;

(b) if the adjournment is sought within 45 days of the scheduled trial date, on application brought by notice of motion to a judge under rule 12 to explain why the adjournment is necessary.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 3.]

Report must include address for service

(1.1)If, under section 211 of the Family Law Act, the court appoints a person to conduct an assessment, that person must

(a) include in the report required under section 211 (4) of that Act an address for service, and

(b) unless the court otherwise orders, file a copy of the report and give a filed copy of the report to all parties at least 30 days before the scheduled trial date.

[en. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 15 (a).]

When cross-examination required

(1.2)A party who wishes to contest any of the facts or opinions contained in a report referred to in subrule (2) must cross examine at trial the person who prepared the report.

[en. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 15 (a).]

Permission required to call person who prepares court-ordered report

(2)If a party wishes to call as a witness at trial the person who prepared a report ordered by a judge under section 211 of the Family Law Act,

(a) the party who wishes to call the witness must

(i)   Repealed. [B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 15 (c).]

(ii)   apply by notice of motion to a judge under rule 12 at least 14 days before the trial date for permission to do so, and

(b) the judge hearing the application may make any order or give any direction that the judge considers appropriate in the circumstances.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 15 (b) and (c).]

Summary of expert's evidence required in advance

(3)A party may not call an expert to give opinion evidence unless

(a) the party serves a written summary of the expert's evidence on each other party at least 30 days before the expert is called to give evidence, or

(b) a judge grants permission.

Expert's report required in advance

(4)Instead of calling an expert to give evidence, a party may introduce a report stating opinions of an expert, only if

(a) the party serves a copy of the report on each other party at least 30 days before the report is introduced, or

(b) a judge grants permission.

Expert's qualifications

(5)A statement of qualifications in an expert's report is proof that the expert has those qualifications.

Proof of signature not required

(6)A report stating opinions of an expert may be introduced in court without proof of the expert's signature.

Expert may be called for cross-examination

(7)A party receiving another party's expert report, other than a report referred to in subrule (2), may serve on the other party, at least 14 days before the trial date, a notice requiring the expert to attend the trial for cross-examination.

Cost of calling expert

(8)If a judge determines that it was unnecessary to call another party's expert or to call the person who prepares the report referred to in subrule (2), the judge may order the party who required the expert or person to attend to pay to the other party the reasonable costs associated with that expert's or person's attendance.

Judge may refer calculation of child support

(9)If the regional manager has advised the court in writing that specialized support assistance is readily available to the court, a judge may at any time during a trial refer calculation of child support to a person designated by the Attorney General to provide such assistance and require that the calculation be referred back to the judge.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 6.]

Rule 12 — Applying by Notice of Motion for Orders or Directions

Applications to be made by notice of motion

(1)If a person seeks from a judge an order, direction or review referred to in subrule (5), the person must

(a) file the original and 3 copies of

(i)   a notice of motion in Form 16, and

(ii)   any documents in support of the motion, and

(b) at least 7 days before the date set for the hearing of the motion, serve a filed copy of the documents described in paragraph (a)

(i)   on each party,

(ii)   if the order sought relates to the production of a record in the possession or control of a person who is not a party, on that person, and

(iii)   if the application relates to the guardianship of one or more children, on the persons referred to in section 52 of the Family Law Act.

[am. B.C. Regs. 132/2012, ss. 3 and 16 (a); 40/2013, s. 3 (a).]

When service of the notice is not required

(2)Subrule (1) (b) does not apply if

(a) the motion is for permission to use a different method of service or notice under rule 9 (7), or

(b) a judge orders otherwise.

Affidavit evidence may be used to support motion

(3)Subject to rule 18.1, evidence may be given in support of a motion

(a) orally on oath or affirmation, or

(b) by affidavit [see rule 13].

[am. B.C. Reg. 40/2013, s. 3 (b).]

If someone does not appear in court

(4)If a party or person served with a notice of motion under subrule (1) (b) fails to appear in court on the date and at the time and place set for hearing the motion, the judge may

(a) hear the motion in the party's or person's absence, and

(b) make any order requested in the notice of motion if the judge thinks that the circumstances justify it and that it is fair to do so in that party's or person's absence.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 16 (b).]

Applications about orders, agreements and determinations of parenting coordinators

(5)This rule applies if a person is seeking from a judge

(a) an order or direction to enforce an order without seeking any changes to that order,

(b) an order or direction to change, suspend or terminate an order that was made in the person's absence or because the person failed to file a reply,

(c) an order or direction to enforce a filed agreement,

(d) an order or direction to enforce compliance with, or to change or set aside, a filed determination of a parenting coordinator,

(e) a review of a filed agreement or order respecting spousal support under the Family Law Act or support or maintenance under the Family Relations Act,

(f) an order determining whether there are arrears owing under a support order made under the Family Law Act, or under a support or maintenance order made under the Family Relations Act, and, if so, the amount of those arrears,

(g) an order under section 33 (2) of the Family Law Act for the taking of one or both of a tissue sample or a blood sample, or

(h) any other order, direction or review that, under these rules, is to be sought by a notice of motion.

[en. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 16 (c).]

Requirement to file financial information

(6)A person who is seeking a review of a filed agreement or order respecting spousal support or maintenance under the Family Law Act or the Family Relations Act must

(a) complete a financial statement in Form 4, following the instructions on the financial statement, and

(b) when filing the notice of motion to seek the review, file the original and 3 copies of that financial statement and any applicable documentation described in Form 4.

[en. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 16 (c).]

Rule 13 — Affidavits

What form to use

(1)Unless a rule provides otherwise or a judge orders otherwise, an affidavit must be in Form 17.

Exhibits

(2)Any exhibits referred to in an affidavit must be identified and attached to the affidavit.

Affidavit evidence at trial or hearing

(3)Subject to the requirements of subrule (4), evidence may be given by affidavit at a trial or hearing only if permission is granted by a judge, either on application brought by notice of motion under rule 12 or under rule 8 (4) (g).

Affidavit must be filed and served

(4)Evidence may not be given by affidavit at a trial or hearing unless

(a) the affidavit and 3 copies of it are filed, and

(b) a filed copy of the affidavit is served on each party at least 7 days before the date of the trial or hearing or such other period as the court may order under rule 20 (2).

[Under rule 20 (2), judges may shorten or extend time periods under these rules.]

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, ss. 3 and 17.]

Permission to use defective affidavit

(5)With permission of the judge presiding at the trial or hearing, an affidavit may be used in evidence even though it does not comply in form with this rule.

Rule 14 — Consent Orders

Consent orders

(1)If at any time in the course of proceedings the parties wish to apply for an order that the parties consent to, the parties may apply in one of the following ways:

(a) without having to appear before a judge, under subrules (1.1) to (3);

(b) in an appearance before a judge, under subrule (4).

[en. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s.18 (a).]

Consent order without appearing in court

(1.1)The parties may apply for an order by consent without appearing before a judge by filing all of the following:

(a) a request in Form 18;

(b) a consent in Form 19;

(c) a draft consent order in Form 20 containing the particulars of the order sought;

(d) one or more affidavits in support of the order.

[If the order sought is for guardianship of one or more children, see rule 18.1.]

[en. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s.18 (a); am. B.C. Reg. 40/2013, s. 4.]

Judge may sign consent order or require parties to attend

(2)If a consent order is applied for under subrule (1.1), a clerk must place the request, draft consent order and supporting documents before a judge who may

(a) approve and sign the consent order without the parties having to attend, if the judge is satisfied that consent is given and it is appropriate that the order be made, or

(b) direct that the parties, and any other person specified by the judge, attend before the judge to explain why the order should be made.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 18 (b).]

Notice of appearance if parties required to attend

(3)If the judge gives a direction under subrule (2) (b), a clerk must notify the parties and any other persons specified by the judge of the date, time and place for the court appearance.

Consent order sought before a judge

(4)The parties may seek an order by consent before a judge by providing such evidence of consent as the judge may require.

[en. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 18 (c).]

Rule 15 — Repealed

Repealed. [B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 19.]

Rule 16 — Applying for Recognition of Extraprovincial Orders

Repealed

(1)-(2)Repealed. [B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 20 (b).]

Definitions

(2.1)In this rule:

"extraprovincial order" means an order of an extraprovincial tribunal that is similar in nature to an order respecting guardianship, parenting arrangements or contact with a child;

"extraprovincial tribunal" means a court or tribunal, outside British Columbia, having authority to make an extraprovincial order.

[en. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 20 (b).]

How to apply for recognition of an extraprovincial order

(3)To apply to the court under section 75 of the Family Law Act for an order recognizing an extraprovincial order, a person must complete an application to recognize an extraprovincial order for guardianship, parenting arrangements or contact with a child in Form 22 and file it, together with 3 copies of it and a certified copy of the extraprovincial order.

[en. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 20 (b).]

Personal service of application, not by the applicant

(4)Unless a judge grants permission to use a different method of service under rule 9 (7), the applicant under subrule (3) must have a filed copy of the application served personally on the respondent by a person who is at least 19 years of age other than the applicant.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 20 (c).]

Other rules that apply

(5)The following rules apply to proceedings begun by an application under subrule (3):

(a) rule 9 [other rules about service and proving service];

(b) rule 10 [witnesses];

(c) rule 11 [trial date and evidence];

(d) rule 12 [applying by notice of motion for orders or directions];

(e) rule 13 [affidavits];

(f) rule 14 [consent orders];

(g) Repealed. [B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 20 (e).]

(h) rule 18 [orders];

(i) rule 19 [transfer of files];

(j) rule 20 [general].

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 20 (d) and (e).]

Rule 17 — Applying for Enforcement of Maintenance Orders under

the Family Maintenance Enforcement Act

Definitions

(1)In this rule:

"Act" means the Family Maintenance Enforcement Act;

"applicant" includes

(a) a creditor or debtor as defined in the Act,

(b) the Director of Maintenance Enforcement, if the application relates to an order that is filed with the director, and

(c) anyone else who is entitled to bring or defend an application under the Act.

[en. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 21 (a).]

How to apply for a summons, warrant or garnishing order

(2)To apply to the court for issuance of any of the following under the Act, an applicant must complete a request for court enforcement under the Act in Form 23:

(a) a summons in Form 7 or a warrant under section 14 (2) of the Act;

(b) a garnishing order under section 18 of the Act;

(c) a summons to a default hearing in Form 7A to summon a debtor to a default hearing under section 19 of the Act;

(d) a summons in Form 7 or warrant of arrest for failing to report in accordance with an order under section 22 (1) (a) or (b) of the Act;

(e) a summons to a committal hearing in Form 7B to summon a debtor to a committal hearing under section 23 (1) of the Act;

(f) a warrant of execution under section 27 of the Act;

(g) a warrant for the arrest of a debtor under section 31 (a) of the Act.

[am. B.C. Regs. 103/2001, s. 1; 132/2012, s. 21 (b) to (e).]

How to apply for other orders

(3)To apply to the court for any of the following under the Act, an applicant must complete a notice of motion in maintenance enforcement proceedings in Form 24:

(a) an order respecting correspondence and searchable information under section 9 of the Act;

(b) an order extending the time for filing a statement of finances under section 13 (4) of the Act;

(c) an order requiring the debtor to file a statement of finances or prescribed documents or both under section 14 (1) (a) of the Act;

(d) an order requiring the debtor to pay an amount on failing to file a statement of finances or prescribed documents under section 14 (1) (b) of the Act;

(e) an order for payment by an attachee under section 16 (3) or 24 (6) of the Act;

(f) an order determining liability under a notice of attachment or determining a related issue under section 16 (5) of the Act;

(g) an order changing an order made under section 21 (1) or (2) of the Act;

(h) an order changing the amount exempt from attachment under an attachment order or notice of attachment;

(i) an order setting aside an attachment order made under section 24 of the Act;

(j) an order under section 26 (10) of the Act discharging or postponing the registration of a maintenance order registered against land;

(k) an order requiring an individual or authorized representative of a corporation, partnership or proprietorship to attend a default hearing or committal hearing and to file financial information under section 39 (1) of the Act;

(l) a restraining order under section 46 of the Act;

(m) an order that a corporation is jointly and separately liable with the debtor for payments required under the maintenance order under section 14.2 (2) of the Act;

(n) an order under section 29.2 (2) of the Act that the Director of Maintenance Enforcement direct the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia to disregard

(i)   a notice not to issue or renew the driver's licence of a debtor, or

(ii)   a notice not to issue or renew the licence and corresponding number plates for any motor vehicle or trailer owned by a debtor.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 21 (b) and (f) to (h).]

Filing the form

(4)An applicant under subrule (2) or (3) must file, in the registry where the order to be enforced is filed, the original and 3 copies of

(a) the completed Form 23 or 24, and

(b) any documents listed in the form.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 21 (i).]

Service of summons

(5)Unless a judge grants permission to use a different method of service under rule 9 (7), a summons (Form 7, 7A  or 7B) issued in response to a request under subrule (2) and a filed copy of the request and each accompanying document must be served on the respondent at least 3 days before the date of the hearing referred to in the summons as follows:

(a) a clerk may have them served on the respondent by mail or fax or personally by a peace officer or a person who is at least 19 years of age other than the applicant;

(b) the applicant may have them served on the respondent by mail or fax or personally by a person who is at least 19 years of age other than the applicant.

[am. B.C. Regs. 103/2001, s. 2; 132/2012, s. 21 (j).]

If a respondent served with a summons does not appear

(6)If a respondent who is served with a summons issued under subrule (2) does not appear in court as required by the summons, the judge may issue a warrant for arrest in Form 8 for the arrest of the respondent.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 21 (k).]

If a warrant for arrest is issued

(7)Rule 6 (11) to (15) (a) applies to a warrant issued under subrule (2) (g) or (6) of this rule.

Method of service on respondent

(8)Unless a judge grants permission to use a different method of service under rule 9 (7), an applicant under subrule (3) must have a filed copy of the notice of motion and any accompanying documents served on the respondent by mail or fax or personally by a person who is at least 19 years of age other than the applicant.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 21 (j).]

Other rules about applications under subrule (3)

(9)The following rules apply to an application under subrule (3) and to proceedings that follow the issuance of a summons to a request under subrule (2):

(a) rule 8 [trial preparation conference];

(b) rule 9 [other rules about service and proving service];

(c) rule 12 (1) (b) and (2) to (4) [applying by notice of motion for orders or directions];

(d) rule 13 [affidavits];

(e) rule 18 [orders];

(f) rule 19 [transfer of files];

(g) rule 20 [general].

Rule 18 — Orders

Effective date of order

(1)An order takes effect on the day it is made by a judge unless the judge orders otherwise.

Successful party prepares the order

(2)Unless the judge orders otherwise, if the party in whose favour an order is made is represented by a lawyer, the party's lawyer must, as soon as practicable, prepare the order.

[en. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 22 (a).]

Clerk prepares the order for unrepresented party

(3)Unless the judge orders otherwise, if the party in whose favour an order is made is not represented by a lawyer, a clerk must, as soon as practicable, prepare the order in the applicable form.

Form of order

(3.1)An order must be in the following form:

(a) in Form 25, if the order is a protection order made under Part 9 of the Family Law Act;

(b) in Form 25.1, if the order is a restraining order made under section 46 of the Family Maintenance Enforcement Act;

(c) in Form 26, in any other case.

[en. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 22 (b).]

Approving the form of the order

(4)Unless a judge orders otherwise, an order that is prepared by a party's lawyer and is not made by consent under section 219 of the Family Law Act must be signed as approved

(a) by the party's lawyer, and

(b) if any other party is represented by a lawyer, by the other party's lawyer.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 22 (c).]

Settling the order

(5)A party may apply by notice of motion to a judge under rule 12 to settle the terms of an order if there is a dispute about the terms.

Delivering the order to the registry

(6)After an order is signed as approved in accordance with subrule (4),

(a) it must be delivered to the registry to be signed by a judge, filed and date stamped with the registry stamp, and

(b) any document required by a judge to be filed with the order must be delivered for filing at the same time, or the order ceases to have effect.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 22 (d).]

Notice of order

(7)Unless the judge orders otherwise, after an order is signed by the judge and filed, a clerk must provide a filed copy of the order to the parties or their lawyers.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 22 (d).]

Correcting the order

(8)Any judge may correct, at any time, a clerical mistake or omission in an order.

Rule 18.1 — Guardianship Orders

Guardianship affidavit required

(1)When an order is sought appointing a person as the guardian of one or more children, the applicant must

(a) file with the court the original and 3 copies of an affidavit in Form 34 that complies with subrule (4) and serve a copy of that filed affidavit on the other parties and on any other person who may be affected by the orders sought, and

(b) provide to the judge any other evidence the judge considers necessary.

[A person who is a guardian within the meaning of section 39 of the Family Law Act does not need to apply for guardianship and does not need to file the Form 34 affidavit referred to above.]

[en. B.C. Reg. 40/2013, s. 5.]

Interim order may be made

(2)A judge may make an interim order for guardianship without an affidavit in Form 34 having been filed if the judge is satisfied that it is in the best interests of the child that an interim guardianship order be made before that affidavit is filed.

[en. B.C. Reg. 40/2013, s. 5.]

Duration of interim order

(3)An interim order under subrule (2) must expire within 90 days after the date of pronouncement unless renewed by a judge.

[en. B.C. Reg. 40/2013, s. 5.]

Affidavit required before hearing

(4)Unless a judge otherwise orders,

(a) if the order referred to in subrule (1) is being sought at a hearing, an affidavit referred to in subrule (1) must be filed and served at least 7 days before the date set for the hearing, or

(b) if the order referred to in subrule (1) is being sought without a hearing,

(i)   an affidavit referred to in subrule (1) must be sworn not more than 7 days before the date on which the materials in support of the application are filed, and

(ii)   any records check, criminal records check or protection order records check attached as an exhibit to the affidavit must be dated not more than 60 days before the date on which the materials in support of the application are filed.

[en. B.C. Reg. 40/2013, s. 5.]

What to do if information changes

(5)Unless a judge otherwise orders, if the order referred to in subrule (1) is being sought at a hearing and there is a material change in any of the information contained in an affidavit referred to in subrule (1) between the date it is sworn and the date of the hearing, the applicant must do the following before the hearing:

(a) if the change relates to information contained in a records check attached to the affidavit,

(i)   obtain a new records check to replace the one that has changed,

(ii)   file an original and 3 copies of an affidavit attaching the new records check, and

(iii)   serve a copy of that filed affidavit on each of the parties and on every other person who may be affected by the orders sought;

(b) if the change relates to information that is not contained in a records check attached to the affidavit,

(i)   file an original and 3 copies of an affidavit describing the material change, and

(ii)   serve a copy of that filed affidavit on each of the parties and on every other person who may be affected by the orders sought.

[en. B.C. Reg. 40/2013, s. 5.]

Rule 19 — Transfer of Court Files

Judge may order transfer of court files

(1)On application by notice of motion to a judge under rule 12, the judge may order that a court file be transferred to another registry.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 23 (b).]

Where to make the application

(2)The transfer application must be made in the registry where the court file is located or, if the application relates to an order, or a filed agreement, referred to in rule 2 (2), the applicant must apply to a judge at the registry where the order or agreement is filed.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 23 (b) and (c).]

Permission may be for one application or all purposes

(3)The application to transfer may be made for the purposes of all or any part of the proceedings.

What the judge must consider

(4)Before granting permission to transfer a court file to another registry or to file an application at another registry, the judge must consider

(a) the balance of convenience, and

(b) any special circumstances that exist.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 23 (d).]

Transfer of court file by consent

(5)A clerk may transfer a court file to another registry for the purposes of all or any part of the proceedings, if the parties

(a) complete a transfer consent in Form 27, and

(b) file the consent in the registry where the court file is located.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 23 (d) to (f).]

Transfer of court file without order or consent

(6)A clerk may transfer a court file to another registry, for the purposes of one application or for all purposes, if

(a) only one of the parties, other than the Director of Maintenance Enforcement, resides in British Columbia, and

(b) the party residing in British Columbia files a written request for the transfer.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, ss. 3 and 23 (d).]

Rule 20 — General

Judge may adjourn trial or hearing

(1)Whether or not the parties consent, a judge may adjourn a trial or hearing to a specific date or without setting a date.

Judge may waive or vary rules

(2)A judge may, at any time,

(a) waive or modify a time limit set by these rules or by an order of the court, even after the time limit has expired,

(b) waive or modify any service, delivery or notice requirement under these rules, and

(c) permit any other means of proof instead of that required by these rules.

Order may be made without notice

(3)If a matter is urgent or special circumstances exist, a judge may make an order without a person having been served with a copy of an application, summons or notice of motion.

Changing or cancelling orders made in the absence of a party

(4)A judge may change, suspend or terminate an order made in the absence of a person, or made when the person failed to file a reply, if

(a) there is a good reason for changing, suspending or terminating the order, and

(b) that person applies by notice of motion to a judge under rule 12 within a reasonable time and attaches to the application an affidavit stating

(i)   the reason the person did not file a reply or attend before the court when required,

(ii)   the reason for any delay if there has been delay in filing the application, and

(iii)   the facts that support the application.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 24 (a) to (c).]

Notice of proceedings and adding parties

(5)A judge may, at any time, do one or more of the following:

(a) order that a person be given notice of a trial or hearing;

(b) order that a person be added as a party for purposes of a hearing or the proceedings generally;

(c) dispense with a requirement that notice of a trial or hearing be given to a person who is not a party.

Judge may order production of records

(6)On application by notice of motion to a judge under rule 12, the judge may order a person who possesses or controls a record that is relevant to the proceedings and on whom notice has been served in accordance with rule 12 (1) (b) to produce the record for inspection and copying on the date, at the time and place and in the manner the judge thinks is fair.

Copies permissible instead of originals

(7)With a judge's permission, a copy of a document may be used in court instead of the original.

Judge may give directions

(8)A judge may give directions on any procedural matter that is not provided for in these rules or an enactment.

Confidentiality of financial information

(9)A person must not disclose any information contained in a record filed under rule 4 [financial information] except to the extent necessary for the purposes of an application under the Family Law Act.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 24 (d).]

Who can search court files

(10)No one is entitled to search a court file respecting an application under the Family Law Act, a filed agreement or an application under the Family Maintenance Enforcement Act except

(a) a party,

(b) a lawyer, whether or not a lawyer of a party,

(c) a person who is named in the application as a respondent or who is named as a party to the agreement, as the case may be,

(d) a family justice counsellor,

(e) a person authorized by a judge, or

(f) a person authorized in writing by a party or a party's lawyer.

[am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 24 (d) to (h).]

If an applicant or respondent does not comply with the rules

(11)If an applicant or respondent does not comply with these rules, a judge may

(a) cancel a step taken or an order made or disregard a document filed in the course of the proceedings,

(b) order the trial or a hearing to continue as if the applicant or respondent were not present, or

(c) make any order or give any directions that the judge considers necessary and advisable in the circumstances, including an order dismissing or granting an application or counterclaim made.

Filing an agreement or parenting coordinator's determination

(12)The following may be filed:

(a) a copy of a written agreement referred to in section 15, 44 (3), 58 (3), 148 (2) or 163 (3) of the Family Law Act;

(b) a copy of a determination by a parenting coordinator referred to in section 18 of the Family Law Act.

[en. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 24 (i).]

Practice directions

(13)The chief judge of the court may issue practice directions consistent with these rules and their purpose.

Repealed

(14)Repealed. [B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 24 (j).]

Rule 21 — Parenting after Separation Program

Definitions

(1)In this rule:

"Certificate of Attendance" means a certificate issued on behalf of the Ministry of Justice attesting that the person named has attended at a Parenting after Separation Program;

"designated registry" means the following registries: Abbotsford, Campbell River, Chilliwack, Courtenay, Kamloops, Kelowna, Nanaimo, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Penticton, Port Coquitlam, Prince George, Richmond, Surrey, Vancouver (Robson Square), Vernon and Victoria;

"party" includes a respondent who has not yet filed a reply within the time allowed under rule 3;

"program" means a Parenting after Separation Program operated by the Family Justice Services Division of the Ministry of Justice;

"program administrator" means a person employed by the minister to review exemption requests made under subrule (6).

[en. B.C. Reg. 102/2001, s. 3; am. B.C. Regs. 159/2003, s. 3; 96/2006, s. 1 (a); 270/2010, s. 1;

111/2012, s. 1 (a); 27/2013, Sch. 2, s. 8.]

Purpose

(2)The purpose of this rule is to promote the best interests of children by providing a program to persons in dispute over issues respecting children.

[en. B.C. Reg. 102/2001, s. 3; am. B.C. Reg. 111/2012, s. 1 (b).]

This rule applies in designated registries

(3)Subject to the exceptions set out in subrule (4), this rule applies to the following applications if the application is filed in a designated registry or the court file for the proceeding is transferred under rule 19 to a designated registry:

(a) for guardianship, parenting arrangements or contact with a child;

(b) for child support;

(c) to change, suspend or terminate an order for anything listed in paragraph (a) or (b);

(d) to set aside or replace a filed agreement for anything listed in paragraph (a) or (b).

[en. B.C. Reg. 102/2001, s. 3; am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, ss. 6 and 25 (a).]

Parties in some cases need not attend

(4)None of the parties need attend a program if one of the parties files a parenting after separation exemption request in Form 31 and

(a) a consent order is filed that resolves all issues involving children,

(b) a director under the Child, Family and Community Services Act is a party,

(c) the application is for child support only and a party has assigned child support rights to the government under the Employment and Assistance Act or the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act,

(d) the application is made under the Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act, or

(e) one or both of the parties is seeking an order for return of a child under the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction signed at The Hague on October 25, 1980.

[en. B.C. Reg. 102/2001, s. 3; am. B.C. Regs. 159/2003, s. 3; 96/2006, s. 1 (b); 111/2012, s. 1 (c); 132/2012, ss. 6 and 25 (b).]

A party who has already attended

(5)Unless the court otherwise orders, a party need not attend a program if that party files a parenting after separation exemption request in Form 31 stating that the party has attended and completed a program in the 24 months immediately preceding the date of filing the request.

[en. B.C. Reg. 111/2012, s. 1 (d).]

A party who is unable to attend the program

(6)A program administrator may exempt a party from attending a program if the party provides to the program administrator a parenting after separation exemption request in Form 31 that states one of the following reasons:

(a) the party is not fluent in a language in which a program is offered;

(b) the party resides in a community where a program is not offered and the party has no electronic access to a program;

(c) the party is incapable of attending due to a serious medical condition.

[en. B.C. Reg. 111/2012, s. 1 (d).]

Judge may grant exemption or deferral

(7)On application a judge may dispense with or defer the application of this rule to one or more parties if

(a) a party has applied for an order under Part 9 of the Family Law Act, or

(b) the judge is satisfied that urgent and exceptional circumstances exist requiring a judge to hear the matter at the earliest opportunity.

[en. B.C. Reg. 102/2001, s. 3; am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 25 (c).]

One party must attend program before date set

(8)Subject to subrules (4), (5), (6) and (7), a date for a first court appearance will not be set until either the applicant or respondent files a Certificate of Attendance.

[en. B.C. Reg. 102/2001, s. 3; am. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 7.]

Both parties must attend program before court appearance

(9)If this rule applies, but subject to subrules (4), (5), (6) and (7), both the applicant and respondent must attend a program and must file a Certificate of Attendance on or before the date of the first court appearance.

[en. B.C. Reg. 102/2001, s. 3; am. B.C. Regs. 111/2012, s. 1 (e); 132/2012, s. 7.]

Rule 22 — Electronic Filing

Definitions

(1)In this rule:

"electronic document" means a document that has been transmitted for filing electronically;

"electronic services agreement" means an agreement referred to in subrule (3);

"registered user" means a person who has entered into an electronic services agreement.

[en. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 26.]

This rule applies in event of conflict

(2)In the event of a conflict between this rule and another rule, this rule applies.

[en. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 26.]

Electronic services agreement

(3)A person wishing to file documents in a registry under this rule must

(a) enter into an agreement with the Court Services Branch of the Ministry of Justice respecting the terms and conditions under which those filings may be made, and

(b) submit documents for filing in accordance with that agreement.

[en. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 26.]

Means of transmission

(4)A registered user may electronically transmit a document to a registry for filing if the document is not one referred to in subrule (5).

[en. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 26.]

Application of this rule

(5)The following documents may not be transmitted for filing electronically:

(a) a summons to a default hearing in Form 7A;

(b) a summons to a committal hearing in Form 7B;

(c) a certificate of service in Form 14;

(d) an application to recognize an extraprovincial order for guardianship, parenting arrangements or contact in Form 22;

(e) a request for court enforcement under the Family Maintenance Enforcement Act in Form 23.

[en. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 26.]

Affidavits and other signed documents

(6)An affidavit or other signed document that is being filed for evidentiary purposes, if submitted for filing electronically, must clearly identify the signatory and must be accompanied by a statement, in Form 33, of the lawyer acting for the person on whose behalf the document is submitted for filing or, if that person is unrepresented, by a statement of that person, in Form 33, indicating that

(a) the original paper version of the document appears to bear an original signature of the person identified as the signatory and the person making the Form 33 statement has no reason to believe that the signature placed on the document is not the signature of the identified signatory, and

(b) the version of the document that is being submitted for filing electronically appears to be a true copy of the original paper version of the document and the person making the Form 33 statement has no reason to believe that it is not a true copy of the original paper version.

[en. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 26.]

Retention of documents

(7)A person who, under subrule (6), submits a document for filing electronically under these rules must

(a) keep the original paper version of the document until the earliest of

(i)   the date on which the proceeding, including any appeals, is finally disposed of,

(ii)   the date on which the appeal period for the proceeding has expired if no notice of appeal respecting the proceeding has been filed within that period, and

(iii)   the date on which a judge orders that the original paper version be filed, and

(b) if a request is made under paragraph (a) (iii), file the original paper version promptly after that request is made.

[en. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 26.]

Conversion of documents

(8)If a document in paper form is filed, a clerk of the registry in which the document was filed may convert the document into electronic form and, in that event, the clerk must

(a) store the conversion in a computer or in another electronic system that the clerk considers appropriate, and

(b) retain the paper form of the document.

[en. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 26.]

Inspection of original documents

(9)A person who submits a document referred to in subrule (6) for filing electronically must, on request, make the original paper version of that document available for inspection by other parties or their lawyers and by the court.

[en. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 26.]

Notice of motion

(10)A person who is entitled to inspect a document under subrule (9) may, if that inspection is denied, apply by notice of motion to a judge under rule 12 for an order that the original paper version of the document be filed.

[en. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 26.]

Application of rule 13

(11)Rule 13 continues to apply to affidavits filed under this rule, but, in the event of a conflict between this rule and rule 13 in respect of those affidavits, this rule prevails.

[en. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 26.]

Electronic authentication deemed a signature

(12)For the purposes of these rules other than subrule (6) of this rule, a document is deemed to have been originally signed if it has been electronically authenticated in the manner contemplated by the applicable electronic services agreement.

[en. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 26.]

Filing of documents

(13)If a document that has been transmitted for filing electronically is accepted for filing by a clerk, the document is deemed to have been filed as follows:

(a) if the document is received by the registry at or before 4 p.m. on a day that is not a Saturday or a holiday, the document is deemed to be filed on the day of receipt;

(b) if the document is received by the registry on a Saturday or holiday or after 4 p.m. on any other day, the document is deemed to be filed on the next day that is not a Saturday or a holiday.

[en. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 26.]

Electronic acceptance

(14)After a document that has been transmitted for filing electronically is accepted for filing by a clerk, the clerk must affix an electronic version of the registry stamp to the document and, after that, must provide a copy of the stamped electronic document, in the manner contemplated by the electronic services agreement, to the person who transmitted the document for filing.

[en. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 26.]

Public access to documents filed electronically

(15)After a document has been filed under this rule, a person who is otherwise entitled to view and obtain a copy of the document may

(a) obtain from the registry a paper copy of the document,

(b) if a public access computer terminal is available in the registry, view the document on that terminal or, if the document is not available for viewing on that terminal, view on that terminal the information about the document or its contents, if any, that is available on that terminal, or

(c) if the person is a registered user, access the document in accordance with the terms of the electronic services agreement entered into by that person.

[en. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 26.]

Service of documents

(16)A document that may or must be served on a person may, if it is an electronic document, be served on the person in a manner contemplated by rule 9 or as follows:

(a) if the person has provided an e-mail address for service, by e-mailing it to that person's e-mail address for service;

(b) if the lawyer for the person has provided an e-mail address for service, by e-mailing it to that lawyer's e-mail address for service;

(c) if paragraph (a) or (b) applies and, under these rules, multiple copies of the document are to be served, the serving party need serve only a single electronic copy of the document.

[en. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 26.]

If document does not reach a person

(17)Even though a document has been served in accordance with subrule (16), a person may show, on an application to set aside the consequences of default, on an application for an extension of time or on an application in support of a request for an adjournment, that the document

(a) did not come to the person's notice,

(b) did come to the person's notice later than when it was served or effectively served, or

(c) was incomplete or illegible.

[en. B.C. Reg. 132/2012, s. 26.]

Contents  |  Rules 1 to 21  |  Forms