B.C. Reg. 169/2009
O.C. 303/2009
Deposited July 7, 2009
effective July 1, 2010

Court Rules Act

Supreme 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. 92/2013, July 1, 2013]

Point in Time

Part 1 — Interpretation

Rule 1-1 — Interpretation

Definitions

(1)In these Supreme Court Family Rules, unless the context otherwise requires:

"accessible address" means an address that describes a unique and identifiable location in British Columbia that is accessible to the public during normal business hours for the delivery of documents;

"application" means an application made before trial to obtain a court order or an application, whenever made, to change a final order;

"Chief Justice" means the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia;

"claimant" means a person who has filed a notice of family claim under Rule 4-1;

"court" means the Supreme Court of British Columbia and, if a master has jurisdiction, includes a master of the Supreme Court;

" Divorce Act " means the Divorce Act (Canada);

"document" has an extended meaning and includes a photograph, film, recording of sound, any record of a permanent or semi-permanent character and any information recorded or stored by means of any device;

"FMEP Director" means the Director of Maintenance Enforcement under the Family Maintenance Enforcement Act;

"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 law case" means a proceeding in which one or more of the following orders is sought:

(a) an order under the Divorce Act;

(b) an order under the Family Law Act;

(c) an order for annulment of marriage;

(d) an order,

(i)   based on unjust enrichment or other trust claims, for an interest in property, or

(ii)   based on unjust enrichment, for compensation

if the claim for the interest or compensation arises out of a marriage-like relationship;

(e) an order for adoption,

and includes a proceeding that, under Rule 3-1 (4.1), was started by the filing of a requisition and agreement under Rule 2-1 (1);

[Orders available under a family law case include orders concerning guardianship, parenting arrangements or contact with a child, orders for support for a child or spouse, protection orders, orders dealing with property and divorce orders.]

"file" means file in the registry;

"final order" means an order finally resolving a claim in a family law case even though the order may be subject to change;

"former Supreme Court Rules" means the Supreme Court Rules, B.C. Reg. 221/90;

"joint family law case" means a family law case referred to in Rule 2-2 (1);

"notice of application" means the document described in Rule 10-6 (3);

"party" means

(a) a claimant,

(b) a respondent,

(c) a respondent by way of counterclaim,

(d) a petitioner,

(e) a petition respondent, and

(f) if a support order is filed with him or her, the FMEP Director in relation to the following:

(i)   any matter arising under section 9, 14 (1) or (2), 16 (3) or (4), 18 (2), 19, 20, 21, 22 (1), 23 (1), 26 (10), 29, 30, 30.1, 31, 39 (1) or 46 (1) of the Family Maintenance Enforcement Act;

(ii)   an application to change, suspend or terminate a support order that is in arrears, other than a support order under the Divorce Act;

(iii)   an application to change, suspend or terminate a support order made under the Divorce Act if the order has been assigned to a minister designated by the Lieutenant Governor in Council under the Divorce Act;

"petitioner" means a person who has filed a petition under Rule 17-1;

"petition proceeding" means a family law case started by a petition;

"petition respondent" means a person who has filed a response to petition under Rule 17-1 (4);

"pleading" means a notice of family claim, a response to family claim, a counterclaim and a response to counterclaim;

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

"registrar" includes a district registrar and a deputy district registrar;

"registry", in relation to a family law case, means the office of the court in which the family law case is being conducted;

"relief" includes remedy;

"respondent" means a person who has filed a response to family claim under Rule 4-3;

"respondent by way of counterclaim" means a person who has filed a response to counterclaim under Rule 4-4 (5);

"support" includes maintenance;

"undefended family law case" means a family law case in which one of the following is true:

(a) the family law case is a joint family law case and no party has filed a notice of withdrawal;

(b) no response to family claim has been filed;

(c) a response to family claim was filed but has been withdrawn or struck out;

(d) a response to family claim and a counterclaim have been filed but the notice of family claim and any response to counterclaim have been

(i)   withdrawn, or

(ii)   struck out, discontinued or dismissed;

(e) all claims other than a claim for divorce, if any, have been settled, the parties have filed a statement to that effect signed by the parties or their lawyers and the claim for divorce, if any, is not contested.

[am. B.C. Regs. 119/2010, Sch. B, s. 1; 133/2012, Sch. s. 1; 27/2013, Sch. 2, s. 14.]

Interpretation Act and Supreme Court Act

(2)Unless a contrary intention appears, the Interpretation Act and the interpretation section of the Supreme Court Act apply to these Supreme Court Family Rules.

Titles and headings

(3)The titles and headings of these Supreme Court Family Rules are for convenience only and are not intended as a guide to interpretation.

Reference aids

(4)Italicized words in square brackets are not part of these Supreme Court Family Rules, are included editorially for convenience of reference only and are not to be used in interpreting the rules or any provision to which the words refer.

Rule 1-2 — Citation and Application

Citation

(1)These Supreme Court Family Rules may be cited as the "Supreme Court Family Rules" and are included within any citation to the "Rules of Court" or the "Supreme Court Rules".

Rules apply to all family law cases

(2)These Supreme Court Family Rules apply to all family law cases.

Waiver of rule by agreement

(3)On application, and if all parties to a family law case agree, the court may order that any provision of these Supreme Court Family Rules does not apply to the family law case.

Rule 1-3 — Object of Rules

Object

(1)The object of these Supreme Court Family Rules is to

(a) help parties resolve the legal issues in a family law case fairly and in a way that will

(i)   take into account the impact that the conduct of the family law case may have on a child, and

(ii)   minimize conflict and promote cooperation between the parties, and

(b) secure the just, speedy and inexpensive determination of every family law case on its merits.

Proportionality

(2)Securing the just, speedy and inexpensive determination of a family law case on its merits includes, so far as is practicable, conducting the family law case in ways that are proportionate to

(a) the interests of any child affected,

(b) the importance of the issues in dispute, and

(c) the complexity of the family law case.

Part 2 — Resolving Cases by Agreement

Rule 2-1 — Agreements

Written agreements

(1)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 may be filed.

[en. B.C. Reg. 133/2012, Sch. s. 2; am. B.C. Reg. 67/2013, Sch. s. 1 (a).]

Filing agreements under the Family Law Act

(2)To file an agreement under subrule (1), a copy of the agreement must be attached to a requisition in Form F17.1 and the requisition must be filed.

[en. B.C. Reg. 133/2012, Sch. s. 2.]

Enforcing agreements

(3)Without limiting any other power the court may have to enforce an agreement filed under this rule, the court may make an order for that purpose on an application and, for that purpose, Part 10 of these Supreme Court Family Rules applies.

[en. B.C. Reg. 133/2012, Sch. s. 2.]

Rule 2-1.1 — Determinations of Parenting Coordinators

Determination may be filed

(1)Subject to subrule (2), a determination of a parenting coordinator referred to in section 18 of the Family Law Act may be filed in a family law case.

[en. B.C. Reg. 133/2012, Sch. s. 2.]

Agreement must be filed

(2)If the parenting coordinator who makes a determination was engaged under an agreement referred to in section 15 (1) of the Family Law Act, the determination must not be filed until that agreement has been filed under Rule 2-1.

[en. B.C. Reg. 133/2012, Sch. s. 2.]

Filing determinations under the Family Law Act

(3)To file a determination under subrule (1), a copy of the determination must be attached to a requisition in Form F17.2 and the requisition must be filed.

[en. B.C. Reg. 133/2012, Sch. s. 2.]

Rule 2-2 — Joint Family Law Case

Joint family law case

(1)A family law case may be started jointly by the persons involved if all relief, except any claim for divorce, is by consent.

[See Rule 10-10 for the process to be followed for obtaining judgment in a joint family law case.]

Notice of family claim in joint family law case

(2)In a joint family law case, the notice of family claim

(a) must be in Form F1, and

(b) need not be served.

Withdrawal from joint family law case

(3)A person may withdraw from a joint family law case by

(a) filing a notice of withdrawal in Form F2, and

(b) serving a copy of the filed notice of withdrawal by personal service in accordance with Rule 6-3 (2).

Claiming additional relief

(4)If a person who withdraws from a joint family law case wishes to oppose a claim made in the joint notice of family claim or wishes to claim other relief, that person must, at the time of filing the notice of withdrawal, file a response to family claim or counterclaim or both.

Application of rules

(5)If a notice of withdrawal is filed under subrule (3), these Supreme Court Family Rules apply to the family law case as if it were not a joint family law case.

Part 3 — How to Start and Defend a Family Law Case

Rule 3-1 — Choosing the Correct Form of Proceeding

Commencing family law cases by notice of family claim

(1)Except for those special situations referred to in subrules (2.1) to (2.4) and (4.1) of this rule, every family law case must be started by filing a notice of family claim under Rule 4-1.

[am. B.C. Reg. 133/2012, Sch. s. 3(a).]

Repealed

(2)Repealed. [B.C. Reg. 133/2012, Sch. s. 3(b).]

Joint family law case

(2.1)A joint family law case must be started in accordance with Rule 2-2.

[en. B.C. Reg. 133/2012, Sch. s. 3(b).]

When petition must be used

(2.2)The following orders must be sought in a family law case started in accordance with subrule (3) of this rule:

(a) an order for adoption;

(b) 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;

(c) an order granting a person who is not a spouse or former spouse

(i)   leave under section 16 (3) of the Divorce Act to make an application for

(A)  custody of,

(B)  access to,

(C)  interim custody of, or

(D)  interim access to

a child, or

(ii)   leave under section 17 (2) of the Divorce Act to make an application for an order varying, rescinding or suspending, prospectively or retroactively, a custody order or support order.

[en. B.C. Reg. 133/2012, Sch. s. 3 (b).]

Order for declaration of parentage

(2.3)An order for a declaration of parentage must be sought in a family law case

(a) started by filing a notice of family claim under Rule 4-1, or

(b) in accordance with subrule (4) of this rule.

[en. B.C. Reg. 133/2012, Sch. s. 3 (b).]

When petitions or applications must be used

(2.4)The following orders must be sought in accordance with subrule (4) of this rule:

(a) an order under section 35 or 36 of the Family Law Act to recognize a Canadian extraprovincial declaratory order or a non-Canadian extraprovincial declaratory order respectively;

(b) directions sought by a guardian of a child under section 49 of the Family Law Act;

(c) an order under section 75 of the Family Law Act to recognize an extraprovincial order;

(d) an order under section 231 (4) of the Family Law Act to apprehend a child;

(e) an order under the Divorce Act to vary, rescind or suspend a support order or custody order of another court.

[en. B.C. Reg. 133/2012, Sch. s. 3 (b).]

Petitions

(3)To obtain any of the orders referred to in subrule (2.2), a person must start a family law case by petition under Rule 17-1 and seek the order within that family law case.

[am. B.C. Reg. 133/2012, Sch. s. 3 (c).]

Applications and petitions

(4)To obtain any of the orders referred to in subrule (2.3) (b) or (2.4) of this rule, a person must apply for the order as follows:

(a) if there is an existing family law case within which, under these Supreme Court Family Rules, it is appropriate to seek that order, the application for that order must be made in that family law case;

(b) if there is no existing family law case within which it is appropriate to seek that order, a person wishing to obtain that order must start a family law case by petition under Rule 17-1 and seek the order within that family law case.

[am. B.C. Reg. 133/2012, Sch. s. 3 (d) and (e).]

Filing agreements under the Family Law Act

(4.1)If a person files under Rule 2-1 (2) a requisition to which an agreement is attached and there is no existing family law case within which it is appropriate to file the requisition, the filing of the requisition under that rule starts a family law case.

[en. B.C. Reg. 133/2012, Sch. s. 3 (f).]

Style of proceedings if filing of agreement starts family law case

(4.2)If the filing of a requisition starts a family law case under subrule (4.1) of this rule, the style of proceeding in the family law case must name the person filing the requisition as "Claimant" and the other parties to the agreement as "Respondents".

[en. B.C. Reg. 133/2012, Sch. s. 3 (f).]

Filing determinations of parenting coordinators

(4.3)Without limiting Rule 2-1.1 (2), if a person wishes to file a determination of a parenting coordinator under Rule 2-1.1 and there is no existing family law case within which it is appropriate to file the determination, the person must first start a family law case under subrule (4.1) of this rule and file the determination within that family law case.

[en. B.C. Reg. 133/2012, Sch. s. 3 (f).]

Joining claims and parties

(5)A claim that, on its own, would not be the subject matter of a family law case may be brought in a family law case, and a person by or against whom any such claim is made may be added as a party in that family law case, if

(a) relief referred to in paragraph (a), (b), (c), (d) or (e) of the definition of "family law case" in Rule 1-1 is being sought in the family law case, and

(b) the claim is related to or connected with any of that relief.

[am. B.C. Reg. 133/2012, Sch. s. 3 (g).]

Part 4 — Family Law Cases Started by Filing a Notice of Family Claim

Rule 4-1 — Notice of Family Claim

Notice of family claim

(1)To start a family law case other than a family law case referred to in Rule 3-1 (2.1), (2.2), (2.3) (b), (2.4) or (4.1), a person must file a notice of family claim in Form F3.

[A joint family law case is to be brought under Rule 2-2.]

[An application to change, suspend or terminate an existing order is to be brought under Part 10.]

[am. B.C. Regs. 133/2012, Sch. s. 4; 67/2013, Sch. s. 1 (b).]

Service

(2)After filing a notice of family claim, the claimant must serve a copy of the filed notice of family claim on each of the persons named as a respondent in the notice of family claim

(a) by personal service in accordance with Rule 6-3 (2), or

(b) if the court makes an order under Rule 6-4 (1) allowing service by an alternative method, by that alternative method.

[Rule 4-2 limits the time for service.]

[Part 6 provides instructions about service.]

Rule 4-2 — Serving and Renewing the Notice of Family Claim

Renewal of original notice of family claim

(1)An original notice of family claim does not remain in force for more than 12 months, but if a respondent named in a notice of family claim has not been served, the court, on the application of the claimant made before or after the expiration of the 12 months, may order that the original notice of family claim be renewed for a period of not more than 12 months.

Further renewal of notice of family claim

(2)If a renewed notice of family claim has not been served on a respondent named in the notice of family claim, the court, on the application of the claimant made during the currency of the renewed notice of family claim, may order the renewal of the notice of family claim for a further period of not more than 12 months.

When renewal period begins

(3)Unless the court otherwise orders, a renewal period ordered under subrule (1) or (2) begins on the date of the order.

After renewal of notice of family claim

(4)Unless the court otherwise orders, a copy of each order granting renewal of a notice of family claim must be served with the renewed notice of family claim, and the renewed notice of family claim remains in force and is available to prevent the operation of any statutory limitation and for all other purposes.

Rule 4-3 — Responding to a Notice of Family Claim

Filing a response to family claim

(1)To respond to a notice of family claim, a person must, within 30 days after being served,

(a) file a response to family claim in Form F4, and

(b) serve a copy of the filed response to family claim on the claimant and on the other persons named in the notice of family claim as respondents.

No notice of hearing if no response to family claim

(2)A person served with a notice of family claim under Rule 4-1 (2) who does not file a response to family claim in accordance with subrule (1) of this rule is not entitled to receive notice of any part of the family law case including, without limitation, any court appearance, hearing, conference or trial.

Rule 4-4 — Counterclaim

Counterclaim

(1)In addition to filing a response to family claim under Rule 4-3, a respondent may bring one or more of the following against the claimant:

(a) a claim under the Divorce Act;

(b) a claim under the Family Law Act;

(c) Repealed. [B.C. Reg. 133/2012, Sch. s. 6(a).]

(d) a claim for annulment of marriage;

(e) a claim,

(i)   based on unjust enrichment or other trust claims, for an interest in property, or

(ii)   based on unjust enrichment, for compensation

if the claim for the interest or compensation arises out of a marriage-like relationship;

(f) a claim that, on its own, would not be the subject matter of a family law case if the claim is related to or connected with any of the relief sought in the family law case.

[Orders that may be sought under subrule (1) include orders concerning guardianship, parenting arrangements or contact with a child, orders for support for a child or spouse, protection orders, orders dealing with property and divorce orders.]

[am. B.C. Reg. 133/2012, Sch. ss. 5 and 6.]

Form of counterclaim

(2)To seek an order referred to in subrule (1) of this rule, a party named as a respondent must file a counterclaim in Form F5 within 30 days after being served with the notice of family claim.

Counterclaim may include claims against persons other than the claimant

(3)If one or more of the claims made in a counterclaim brought by a respondent against the claimant also relate to another person, the respondent may name that other person as a respondent to the counterclaim.

Service required

(4)A respondent who files a counterclaim must,

(a) within 30 days after being served with the notice of family claim, serve a copy of the filed counterclaim by ordinary service on all parties, and

(b) within 60 days after being served with the notice of family claim, serve a copy of the filed counterclaim and a copy of the filed notice of family claim by personal service in accordance with Rule 6-3 (2) on any person who is not yet a party to the family law case but against whom a claim is made in the counterclaim.

Parties against whom relief is sought must respond

(5)To respond to a counterclaim, the claimant and any other person named as a respondent to the counterclaim must, within 30 days after being served,

(a) file a response to counterclaim in Form F6, and

(b) serve a copy of the filed response to counterclaim on all parties.

No notice of hearing if no response to counterclaim

(6)A person referred to in subrule (4) (b) who does not file a response to counterclaim in accordance with subrule (5) is not entitled to receive notice of any part of the family law case including, without limitation, any court appearance, hearing, conference or trial.

If family law case stayed or discontinued

(7)A respondent's counterclaim in a family law case may proceed even though the claimant's claim in the family law case has been stayed, discontinued or dismissed.

Separate trial of counterclaim

(7.1)If, on the application of a party against whom a counterclaim is made, it appears that the subject matter of the counterclaim ought to be dealt with separately, the court may order that the counterclaim be struck out or tried separately or may make any other order the court considers will further the object of these Supreme Court Family Rules.

[en. B.C. Reg. 119/2010, Sch. B, s. 2.]

Judgment

(8)If a set-off or counterclaim establishes a defence to the claimant's claim, the court may grant judgment in favour of the respondent for any balance in the respondent's favour or for other relief as the court considers appropriate.

Rule 4-5 — Other Rules about Notice of Family Claim Cases

Person allegedly involved in adultery

(1)If it is alleged in a notice of family claim or counterclaim that a spouse has committed adultery with another person,

(a) that other person must not be identified in the notice of family claim or counterclaim unless that other person is named as a party to the family law case,

(b) that other person must not be named as a party to the family law case unless relief, other than or in addition to costs, is claimed against the person, and

(c) the identity of that other person may be demanded by the party alleging adultery, but any information provided in response to that demand must not be filed before the trial or application for final order.

Marriage certificate to be filed

(2)The first person to file in a family law case a document in which a claim for divorce, nullity or judicial separation is made must file with that document a certificate of the marriage or of registration of the marriage unless

(a) the filed document

(i)   sets out the reasons why the certificate is not being filed with the document and states that the certificate will be filed before the family law case is set down for trial or before an application is made for an order of divorce, nullity or judicial separation, or

(ii)   sets out the reasons why it is impossible to file a certificate, and

(b) the registrar is satisfied with the reasons given for the failure or inability to file such a certificate.

Withdrawal

(3)In a family law case in which a divorce is claimed, a party who has filed a pleading may withdraw that document or any part of it by filing and serving a notice of withdrawal in Form F7.

Rule 4-6 — Pleadings Generally

Content of Pleadings

Inconsistent allegations

(1)A party must not, in a pleading, make an allegation of fact or raise a new ground or claim inconsistent with the party's previous pleading.

Alternative allegations

(2)Subrule (1) does not affect the right of a party to make allegations in the alternative or to amend or apply for leave to amend a pleading.

Particulars

Order for particulars

(3)The court may order a party to serve further and better particulars of a matter stated in a pleading.

Demand for particulars

(4)Before applying to the court for particulars, a party must demand them in writing from the other party.

Demand for particulars not a stay of proceedings

(5)A demand for particulars does not operate as a stay of proceedings or give an extension of time, but a party may apply for an extension of time for serving a response to family claim or a response to counterclaim on the ground that the party cannot answer the notice of family claim or counterclaim respectively until particulars are provided.

Part 5 — Financial Disclosure

Rule 5-1 — Financial Disclosure

Interpretation

Interpretation

(1)In this rule:

"applicable income documents" means, in respect of a person,

(a) a copy of every personal income tax return filed by the person for each of the 3 most recent taxation years,

(b) a copy of every notice of income tax assessment or reassessment issued to the person for each of the 3 most recent taxation years,

(c) if the person is receiving employment insurance benefits, a copy of the 3 most recent employment insurance benefit statements,

(d) if the person is receiving workers' compensation benefits, a copy of the 3 most recent workers' compensation benefit statements,

(e) if the person is receiving social assistance, current documentary evidence of the social assistance that is being received by that person,

(f) if the person is an employee,

(i)   the most recent statement of earnings indicating the total earnings paid to the person in the year to date, including overtime, or

(ii)   if that statement is not provided by the employer, a letter from the person's employer setting out the information referred to in subparagraph (i) and including the person's rate of annual salary or remuneration,

(g) if the person is self employed, the following information for the 3 most recent taxation years:

(i)   the financial statements of the person's business or professional practice, other than a partnership;

(ii)   a statement showing a breakdown of all salaries, wages, management fees or other payments or benefits paid to, or on behalf of, persons or corporations with whom the person does not deal at arm's length,

(h) if the person is a partner in a partnership, confirmation of the person's income and draw from, and capital in, the partnership for each of its 3 most recent taxation years,

(i) if the person controls a corporation, the following information for the corporation's 3 most recent taxation years:

(i)   the financial statements of the corporation and its subsidiaries;

(ii)   a statement showing a breakdown of all salaries, wages, management fees or other payments or benefits paid to, or on behalf of, persons or corporations with whom the corporation and every related corporation does not deal at arm's length,

(j) if the person is a beneficiary under a trust, a copy of the trust settlement agreement and copies of the trust's 3 most recent financial statements, and

(k) if the person owns or has an interest in real property, a copy of the most recent assessment notice issued from an assessment authority for each property;

"child support guidelines" means,

(a) in reference to a claim under the Family Law Act, the child support guidelines established under the Family Law Act, or

(b) in reference to a claim under the Divorce Act, the child support guidelines established under the Divorce Act;

"party" means a person named as a party to a family law case who is claiming, or against whom is claimed,

(a) an order for child support or an order changing, suspending or terminating an order for child support,

(b) an order for spousal support or an order changing, suspending or terminating an order for spousal support, or

(c) Repealed. [B.C. Reg. 67/2013, Sch. s. 1 (c).]

(d) relief under Part 5 of the Family Law Act;

"social assistance" includes

(a) income assistance within the meaning of the Employment and Assistance Act, and

(b) disability assistance within the meaning of the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act;

"stepparent" means, in relation to a child,

(a) a stepparent of the child within the meaning of section 146 of the Family Law Act, or

(b) a person who stands in the place of a parent for the child within the meaning of the Divorce Act.

[am. B.C. Regs. 133/2012, Sch. ss. 5 and 7 (a) to (d); 67/2013, Sch. s. 1 (c).]

Application of this rule

(2)This rule applies to a family law case as follows:

(a) if, in the family law case, a person is seeking to obtain or to change, suspend or terminate an order for child support, subrules (1), (3) to (8) and (11) to (32) apply;

(b) if, in the family law case, a person is seeking to obtain, review or change, suspend or terminate an order for spousal support, subrules (1), (3), (9) and (11) to (32) apply;

(c) if, in the family law case, a person is seeking to obtain or to change, suspend or terminate an order for relief under Part 5 of the Family Law Act, subrules (1), (3) and (10) to (32) apply;

(d) if, in the family law case, a person is seeking to set aside or replace the whole or any part of that portion of an agreement that deals with child support, subrules (1), (3) to (8) and (11) to (32) apply;

(e) if, in the family law case, a person is seeking to review, set aside or replace the whole or any part of that portion of an agreement that deals with spousal support, subrules (1), (3), (9) and (11) to (32) apply.

[am. B.C. Reg. 133/2012, Sch. ss. 5 and 7 (e) to (g).]

Numbering applicable income documents

(3)Each page of the applicable income documents that are to be used in court must be numbered sequentially.

Claims for Child Support

Who must provide Part 1 of a Form F8 financial statement

(4)Each party who is required under the child support guidelines to provide income information must file the following documents and must serve them under subrule(11):

(a) Part 1 of a Form F8 financial statement;

(b) the party's applicable income documents;

(c) any other documents that the party is required to file and serve under subrules (5) to (7).

Who must provide Parts 2 and 3 of a Form F8 financial statement

(5)In addition to any other documents a party is obliged to file and serve under this rule, the party must file Parts 2 and 3 of a Form F8 financial statement and must serve those documents under subrule (11), if one of the following is true:

(a) the child support guidelines require the court to consider any or all of the following:

(i)   the financial ability of the parties;

(ii)   the means of the parties;

(iii)   the condition, means, needs and other circumstances of the parties or the child;

(b) the party who is to pay the child support is a stepparent of the child.

If special or extraordinary expenses are claimed

(6)A party who makes a claim for special or extraordinary expenses must

(a) file Part 4 of a Form F8 financial statement, in addition to any other documents the party is obliged to file under this rule, and

(b) serve that Part 4 under subrule (11).

["Special or extraordinary expenses" is defined in section 7 of the child support guidelines.]

If undue hardship is claimed

(7)In addition to any other documents that a party is obliged to file and serve under this rule, if a claim for undue hardship is made,

(a) the party making the claim for undue hardship must file and serve, under subrule (11), Parts 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 of a Form F8 financial statement along with that party's applicable income documents, and

(b) unless the court otherwise orders, a party other than the party making the claim for undue hardship must file and serve, under subrule (11), Parts 1, 2, 3 and 6 of a Form F8 financial statement along with that party's applicable income documents.

["Undue hardship" is defined in section 10 of the child support guidelines.]

Agreement avoids need for documents

(8)Parties are deemed to have complied with the requirements of the child support guidelines respecting the provision of documents, and with the requirements of this rule, as it applies to child support, respecting the filing and service of documents, if

(a) the parties have agreed on the annual income of the party who is to pay the child support,

(b) the parties have signed an agreement in Form F9, and

(c) the agreement in Form F9 has been filed together with the documents referred to in that agreement.

Applications for Spousal Support

Who must provide income documents

(9)In addition to any other documents a party is obliged to file and serve under this rule, a party must file Parts 1, 2 and 3 of a Form F8 financial statement along with the party's applicable income documents, and must serve those Parts and applicable income documents under subrule (11), if one of the following is true:

(a) the party is seeking to obtain a spousal support order;

(b) the party is seeking to change, suspend or terminate a spousal support order;

(c) a spousal support order is being sought against the party;

(d) a spousal support order has been obtained against the party and another party is seeking to change, suspend or terminate that order.

[am. B.C. Reg. 133/2012, Sch. s. 7 (e), (h) and (i).]

Applications for Division of Assets

Who must provide Part 3 of a Form F8 financial statement

(10)Each party who is making a claim under Part 5 of the Family Law Act or against whom such a claim is being made must

(a) file Part 3 of a Form F8 financial statement, in addition to any other documents that the party is obliged to file under this rule, and

(b) serve that Part 3 under subrule (11).

[am. B.C. Reg. 133/2012, Sch. s. 5.]

Service

When party must file and serve documents

(11)A party who is obliged to file documents under subrule (4), (5), (6), (7), (9) or (10) (in this subrule called the "disclosing party") must file all of those documents that have not already been filed, and serve on each of the other parties all of those documents that have not already been served on that party, as follows:

(a) if the disclosing party's obligation arises because of a claim he or she made, he or she must file and serve those documents within 30 days, or such other period as the court may order, after service of the document in which the claim is made;

(b) if the disclosing party's obligation arises because of a claim made by another party and the disclosing party resides in Canada or the United States of America, the disclosing party must file and serve those documents within 30 days, or such other period as the court may order, after service of the document in which the claim is made;

(c) if the disclosing party's obligation arises because of a claim made by another party and the disclosing party resides in a country other than Canada or the United States of America, the disclosing party must file and serve those documents within 60 days, or such other period as the court may order, after service of the document in which the claim is made.

Assessment Notice

Assessment notice to be included

(12)If Part 3 of a Form F8 financial statement is to be served on a party under this rule, the party serving the Part 3 must, if that party owns or has an interest in real property, serve, with the Part 3, the most recent assessment notice prepared for that real property by an assessment authority unless that assessment notice has already been served.

Particulars of Form F8 Financial Statements

Particulars may be demanded

(13)If a Form F8 financial statement lacks sufficient information, the other party may demand particulars.

Court may order particulars

(14)If the party from whom particulars are demanded under subrule (13) fails to provide those particulars within 7 days after receipt of the demand, the court may, on terms it considers appropriate, make any order it considers will further the object of these Supreme Court Family Rules, including

(a) an order that particulars be served within a specified time, or

(b) an order that a new Form F8 financial statement be served within a specified time.

Changes in Financial Circumstances

Information must be kept current

(15)If information contained in a document filed and served under this rule is rendered inaccurate or incomplete by a material change in circumstances, the party who filed and served that document must, promptly after that material change, serve on all parties

(a) a written statement setting out the accurate and complete information, or

(b) a revised Form F8 financial statement containing the accurate and complete information.

Additional documents

(16)If the material change in circumstances referred to in subrule (15) is such that the party becomes obliged to file and serve documents under this rule that are additional to the documents previously filed and served under this rule by that party, the party must

(a) serve copies of those additional documents within 28 days after the material change, and

(b) comply with subrule (15) in relation to the previously served documents.

If written statement or particulars provided

(17)If a party provides particulars under subrule (13) or (14) (a) or serves a written statement under subrule (15) (a),

(a) the particulars or statement may be treated at a trial or hearing as forming part of the original Form F8 financial statement of the party, and

(b) the other party may, with leave of the court, require that the particulars or statement be

(i)   verified by an affidavit of the party providing the particulars or serving the statement, or

(ii)   the subject of further cross-examination.

Updated statements

(18)A party who has served a Form F8 financial statement more than 91 days before the start of the trial or hearing of an application to which a Form F8 is relevant must serve on all parties an updated Form F8 financial statement at least 28 days before but not more than 63 days before the start of the trial or hearing.

Disclosure of Business Interests

Production of documents

(19)If a party discloses business or corporate interests in a Form F8 financial statement served under this rule, the party receiving the Form F8 financial statement may, in writing, request the disclosing party to produce for inspection and copying specified documents or classes of documents in the disclosing party's possession or control that might reasonably be required to verify the valuation of the disclosing party's interest or to determine the disclosing party's income.

Responding to demand

(20)A party who receives a request under subrule (19) must, within 21 days after receipt, serve on the requesting party a notice stating

(a) a time and place, during normal business hours, at which the documents may be inspected, and

(b) the cost of copying the documents.

Request to corporation, partnership or proprietorship

(21)If a party who makes a request under subrule (19) is not satisfied with the reply to the request, the requesting party may serve on the corporation, partnership or proprietorship in which the disclosing party has disclosed an interest a written request to produce for inspection all documents that are relevant to the valuation of the interest or the determination of the disclosing party's income.

Production required

(22)A corporation, partnership or proprietorship that receives a request under subrule (21) must, within 21 days after receipt, provide a written statement to the requesting party

(a) detailing the documents in its possession or control that it is obliged to produce in response to the request,

(b) identifying those documents, if any, in respect of which the corporation, partnership or proprietorship intends to seek an exemption under subrule (24),

(c) specifying a time and place at which the documents for which an exemption is not being sought may be inspected, and

(d) specifying the cost of copying the documents for which an exemption is not being sought.

Application to court for directions

(23)A corporation, partnership or proprietorship or either of the parties may apply to the court at any time for directions respecting any request for production of documents under subrule (19) or (21), including directions respecting payment of the costs of copying the documents, and the court may give those directions accordingly.

Application to court for exemption

(24)A corporation, partnership or proprietorship may, within 21 days after the date a request is served on it under subrule (21), apply to the court for an order exempting it from the requirement to produce any document.

Application by person authorized

(25)An application under subrule (23) or (24) may be made on behalf of a corporation or partnership by a person who has been authorized by the corporation or partnership for that purpose.

Court may order exemption

(26)On an exemption application under subrule (24), the court may make an order exempting the applicant from the requirement to produce all or any of the requested documents if the court considers that

(a) the documents and information already received by the party who made the request under subrule (21) are sufficient for the purposes of the main application,

(b) the production of the documents is not necessary for the purposes of the main application,

(c) in the case of a corporation, the prejudice that is likely to be suffered by the corporation, or to its directors or shareholders, if the exemption is not granted outweighs the prejudice that is likely to be suffered by the person requesting the documents if the exemption is granted, or

(d) in the case of a partnership, the prejudice that is likely to be suffered by the partnership, or to its partners or associates, if the exemption is not granted outweighs the prejudice that is likely to be suffered by the person requesting the documents if the exemption is granted.

Costs

(27)The court may order that the costs of producing documents under subrule (20) or (22) and the costs of an application under subrule (23) or (24) be paid in favour of or against

(a) either of the parties to the family law case, or

(b) the corporation, the partnership or the owner of the proprietorship, as the case may be.

Enforcement of this Rule

Relief

(28)Without limiting Rule 21-5 and any other powers the court may have under the Family Law Act, if a party fails to comply with a requirement under this rule to file or serve a Form F8 financial statement or any applicable income document or fails to comply with an order under this rule to provide particulars, the court may do any or all of the following:

(a) order that the Form F8 financial statement, applicable income document or particulars, as the case may be, be filed or served or both on terms the court considers appropriate;

(b) dismiss all or part of that party's claim or application;

(c) strike out all or part of that party's response to family claim or response to counterclaim;

(d) proceed under Rule 21-7 to punish the party for contempt of court;

(e) impose a fine under section 213 (2) (d) (iii) of the Family Law Act;

(f) draw an adverse inference against the party;

(g) attribute income to that party in an amount the court considers appropriate;

(h) make an order as to costs.

[Rule 21-5 sets out what the court may do if parties fail to comply with these rules.]

[am. B.C. Reg. 133/2012, Sch. s. 7 (j) and (k).]

Confidentiality of Information

Confidentiality

(29)Any person who has access to documents obtained under this rule must keep the documents and any information contained in them in confidence and must not disclose the documents or information to anyone other than

(a) for the purposes of a valuation of an asset,

(b) for a determination of the disclosing party's income, or

(c) in the course of permitting the documents to be introduced into evidence during the family law case.

Sealing of financial information

(30)If the court considers that public disclosure of any information filed under this rule would be a hardship on the person in respect of whom the information is filed,

(a) the court may order that the whole or any part of the document in which the information is contained, and the whole or any part of the transcript of the cross-examination on the document, must promptly be sealed in an envelope, and

(b) if an order is made under paragraph (a), no person may search the sealed documents without an order of the court.

Conflict with Guidelines

Child support guidelines prevail

(31)If and to the extent that there is a conflict between any provision of this rule and a provision of the child support guidelines, the provision of the child support guidelines prevails.

No conflict

(32)For the purposes of subrule (31), it is not a conflict between the child support guidelines and this rule merely because this rule

(a) requires a person to provide information that is different from or additional to the information, if any, that that person would be obliged to provide under the child support guidelines,

(b) requires that certain information required by this rule but not by the child support guidelines be presented in a manner or form that is different from the manner or form in which information required under the child support guidelines is to be presented, or

(c) requires the provision, in one manner or form, of information some or all of which is required under the child support guidelines to be provided in a different manner or form.

Part 6 — Service

Rule 6-1 — Address for Service

Party must have address for service

(1)Each party to a family law case must,

(a) if the party is represented by a lawyer in the family law case, have, as the party's address for service, an accessible address that is the office address of that lawyer, or

(b) if the party is not represented by a lawyer in the family law case,

(i)   have, as the party's address for service, an accessible address within 30 kilometres of the registry, or

(ii)   if the party does not have an accessible address within 30 kilometres of the registry, have, as the party's addresses for service, both

(A)  an accessible address, and

(B)  a postal address in British Columbia, a fax number or an e-mail address.

Additional addresses for service

(2)A party may have, in addition to the address or addresses for service the party is required to have under subrule (1), one or more of the following as addresses for service:

(a) a postal address;

(b) a fax number;

(c) an e-mail address.

Change of address for service

(3)A party may change his or her address or addresses for service by filing and serving on the other parties a notice of address for service in Form F10 that shows, for the party,

(a) the address or addresses for service required under subrule (1), and

(b) any additional addresses for service referred to in subrule (2) that the party wishes to include.

Rule 6-2 — Ordinary Service

[See Rule 6-5 for rules on how service is effected outside British Columbia.]

Documents normally to be served by ordinary service

(1)Subject to Rule 6-3 (1) and unless the court otherwise orders, documents to be served by a party under these Supreme Court Family Rules may be served by ordinary service.

How to serve documents by ordinary service

(2)Unless the court otherwise orders, ordinary service of a document is to be effected

(a) on a person, other than the FMEP Director, in any of the following ways:

(i)   by leaving the document at the person's address for service;

(ii)   by mailing the document by ordinary mail to the person's address for service;

(iii)   subject to subrule (5) of this rule, if a fax number is provided as one of the person's addresses for service, by faxing the document to that fax number together with a fax cover sheet;

(iv)   if an e-mail address is provided as one of the person's addresses for service, by e-mailing the document to that e-mail address, or

(b) on the FMEP Director by

(i)   mailing it to the post office box number provided by the FMEP Director, or

(ii)   faxing it to the fax number provided by the FMEP Director.

When service by delivery is deemed to be completed

(3)A document served by leaving it at a person's address for service is deemed to be served on the person as follows:

(a) if the document is left at the address for service at or before 4 p.m. on a day that is not a Saturday or holiday, the document is deemed to be served on the day of service;

(b) if the document is left at the address for service on a Saturday or holiday or after 4 p.m. on any other day, the document is deemed to be served on the next day that is not a Saturday or holiday.

When service by mail is deemed to be completed

(4)A document sent for service by ordinary mail under this rule is deemed to be served one week later on the same day of the week as the day of mailing or, if that deemed day of service is a Saturday or holiday, on the next day that is not a Saturday or holiday.

When documents may be served by fax

(5)A document may be served by fax as follows:

(a) if the document, including the fax cover sheet, is less than 30 pages, the document may be served by fax at any time;

(b) if the document, including the fax cover sheet, is 30 pages or more, the document may be served by fax if it is transmitted

(i)   between 5 p.m. and the following 8 a.m., or

(ii)   at another time if the person receiving the document agreed to that time before service.

When service by fax or e-mail is deemed to be completed

(6)A document transmitted for service by fax or e-mail under this rule is deemed to be served as follows:

(a) if the document is transmitted before 4 p.m. on a day that is not a Saturday or holiday, the document is deemed to be served on the day of transmission;

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

[Sunday is a holiday for the purposes of this Rule.]

If no address for service given

(7)If, despite these Supreme Court Family Rules, a party on whom a document is to be served has no address for service, and if these Supreme Court Family Rules do not specify that the document must be served by personal service on the party,

(a) the document may be served by mailing a copy of the document by ordinary mail to

(i)   the lawyer acting for the party in the family law case, or

(ii)   if the party has no lawyer in the family law case, to the party's last known address, and

(b) subrule (4) applies.

Rule 6-3 — Personal Service

[See Rule 6-5 for rules on how service is effected outside British Columbia.]

When documents must be served by personal service

(1)Unless the court otherwise orders, the following documents must be served by personal service in accordance with subrule (2):

(a) a notice of family claim;

(b) a petition;

(c) a counterclaim if that counterclaim is being served on a person who has not yet filed a pleading in the family law case;

(d) a notice of withdrawal under Rule 2-2 (3) or 4-5 (3);

(e) a notice of application to

(i)   change, suspend or terminate an existing final order,

(ii)   set aside or replace the whole or any part of an agreement filed under Rule 2-1 (2), or

(iii)   change or set aside the determination of a parenting coordinator filed under Rule 2-1.1 (1),

and the accompanying documents referred to in Rule 10-6 (6);

(f) a summons to appear at a default hearing or show cause hearing under Rule 15-5 (1);

(g) a summons to appear at a committal hearing under Rule 15-5 (2);

(h) a notice of application under Rule 21-7 for an order for contempt;

(i) a subpoena to a witness who is not a party;

(j) a subpoena to a debtor;

(k) Repealed. [B.C. Reg. 133/2012, Sch. s. 8 (b).]

(l) any document not mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (k) of this subrule that is to be served on a person who is not a party to the family law case or who has not provided an address for service in the family law case under Rule 10-6 (10).

[am. B.C. Reg. 133/2012, Sch. s. 8.]

How to serve documents by personal service

(2)Unless the court otherwise orders, personal service of a document is to be effected,

(a) if the document is to be served on an individual, by having a person who is not a party and who is at least 19 years of age leave the document with the individual to be served,

(b) if the document is to be served on the FMEP Director, by

(i)   mailing it to the post office box number provided by the FMEP Director, or

(ii)   faxing it to the fax number provided by the FMEP Director,

(c) if the document is to be served on a corporation,

(i)   by leaving a copy of the document with the president, chair, mayor or other chief officer of the corporation,

(ii)   by leaving a copy of the document with the city clerk or municipal clerk,

(iii)   by leaving a copy of the document with the manager, cashier, superintendent, treasurer, secretary, clerk or agent of the corporation or of any branch or agency of the corporation in British Columbia, or

(iv)   in the manner provided by the Business Corporations Act or any enactment relating to the service of court documents,

and, for the purpose of this paragraph, if the chief place of business of the corporation is outside British Columbia, every person who, within British Columbia, transacts or carries on any of the business of, or any business for, that corporation is deemed to be an agent of the corporation,

(d) if the document is to be served on an unincorporated association, other than a trade union, by leaving a copy of the document with any officer of the association,

(e) if the document is to be served on a trade union, by leaving a copy of the document with any officer of the trade union or with a business agent,

(f) if the document is to be served on an infant, in the manner provided by the Infants Act,

(g) if the document is to be served on a mentally incompetent person, by leaving a copy of the document

(i)   with the person's committee or, if there is no committee, with the person with whom the mentally incompetent person resides or in whose care he or she is or with the person appointed by the court to be served in the mentally incompetent person's place, and

(ii)   with the Public Guardian and Trustee,

and in no case is it necessary to show the original document,

(h) if the document is to be served on a principal referred to in subrule (3), in accordance with subrules (3) to (5), or

(i) if the document is to be served on the Attorney General, in accordance with subrule (6).

Service on Attorney General

(3)A document to be served on the Attorney General must be served at the Ministry of Justice in the City of Victoria, and is sufficiently served if it is left during office hours with any lawyer on the staff of the Attorney General at Victoria or mailed by registered mail to the Deputy Attorney General at Victoria.

[am. B.C. Reg. 27/2013, Sch. 2, s. 15.]

When personal service is deemed to be completed

(4)A document served by personal service is deemed to be served as follows:

(a) if the document is served before 4 p.m. on a day that is not a Saturday or holiday, the document is deemed to be served on the day of service;

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

[Sunday is a holiday for the purposes of this subrule.]

Date of deemed service

(5)If a notice of family claim, counterclaim or petition has not been served on a person, but the person files a response to family claim, response to counterclaim or response to petition or attends at the trial or hearing, the notice of family claim, counterclaim or petition is deemed to have been served on that person on the date the person files or attends.

Rule 6-4 — Alternative Methods of Service

Alternative service methods

(1)If it is impracticable to serve a document by personal service or if the person to be served by personal service

(a) cannot be found after a diligent search, or

(b) is evading service of the documents,

the court may, on application without notice, make an order for substituted service granting permission to use an alternative method of service.

[am. B.C. Reg. 119/2010, Sch. B, s. 3 (a).]

If an alternative service method is permitted

(2)If a document is to be served by an alternative method permitted under subrule (1), a copy of the entered substituted service order that granted permission to use that alternative method must be served with the document unless

(a) the court otherwise orders, or

(b) the alternative method of service permitted under subrule (1) is service by advertisement.

[am. B.C. Reg. 119/2010, Sch. B, s. 3 (b).]

Service by advertisement

(3)If, under subrule (1), the court permits a document to be served by advertisement, the advertisement must be in Form F11.

Rule 6-5 — Service Outside British Columbia

Service outside British Columbia without leave

(1)A notice of family claim, counterclaim, petition or other document in a family law case may be served on a person outside British Columbia without leave if the court has jurisdiction in relation to the family law case under section 10 of the Court Jurisdiction and Proceedings Transfer Act, section 74 of the Family Law Act or section 3 or 4 of the Divorce Act.

[am. B.C. Reg. 133/2012, Sch. s. 9.]

Application for leave to serve outside the jurisdiction

(2)In any case not provided for in subrule (1), leave of the court must be obtained before a notice of family claim, counterclaim, petition or other document may be served outside British Columbia, and the court may grant such leave on an application referred to in subrule (3).

Applications may be made without notice

(3)An application for leave to serve a person outside British Columbia

(a) may be made without notice in accordance with Rule 10-5 (1) (c), and

(b) must be supported by an affidavit or other evidence showing

(i)   in what place or country that person is or probably may be found, and

(ii)   the grounds on which the application is made.

Service of order and related documents

(4)If an order is made granting leave to serve a notice of family claim, counterclaim, petition or other document outside British Columbia, the following documents must be served with that notice of family claim, counterclaim, petition or other document:

(a) a copy of the filed notice of application, or requisition, for leave to serve;

(b) a copy of all filed affidavits in support of the application;

(c) a copy of the entered order granting leave to serve.

If service without leave valid

(5)This rule does not invalidate service of a document outside British Columbia without leave of the court if the document could have been validly served apart from this rule.

Contract containing terms for service

(6)Despite this rule, the parties to a contract may agree

(a) that the court will have jurisdiction to hear a family law case in respect of the contract, and

(b) that a document in the family law case may be served

(i)   at any place, within or outside British Columbia,

(ii)   on any party,

(iii)   on any person on behalf of any party, or

(iv)   in any manner

specified in the contract.

Contract does not invalidate effective service

(7)Service of a document in accordance with a contract referred to in subrule (6) is effective service, but no contractual stipulation as to service of a document invalidates service that would otherwise be effective under these Supreme Court Family Rules.

Definition

(8)In subrules (9) to (12), "Convention" means the Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters, signed at the Hague on November 15, 1965.

Manner of service abroad

(9)A document may be served outside British Columbia

(a) in a manner provided by these Supreme Court Family Rules for service in British Columbia,

(b) in a manner provided by the law of the place where service is made if, by that manner of service, the document could reasonably be expected to come to the notice of the person to be served, or

(c) in a state that is a contracting state under the Convention, in a manner provided by or permitted under the Convention.

Proof of service abroad

(10)Service of a document outside British Columbia may be proved

(a) in a manner provided by these Supreme Court Family Rules for proof of service in British Columbia,

(b) in the manner provided for proof of service by the law of the place where service was made regardless of the manner under subrule (9) by which service was effected, or

(c) in accordance with the Convention, if service was effected under subrule (9) (c).

Forms

(11)If service is to be made in accordance with Article 5 of the Convention, Forms F12 and F13 must be used.

Certificate

(12)If an authority has, in accordance with Article 6 of the Convention, completed a certificate in Form F14, the certificate is evidence of the facts stated in it.

Rule 6-6 — Proving Service

Proof of service

(1)Service of a document is proved as follows:

(a) service of a notice of family claim on a person is proved

(i)   by filing an affidavit of personal service in Form F15, or

(ii)   by the person filing a response to family claim;

(b) service of a counterclaim on a person who has not filed a pleading is proved

(i)   by filing an affidavit of personal service in Form F15, or

(ii)   by the person filing a response to counterclaim;

(c) service of a petition on a person is proved

(i)   by filing an affidavit of personal service in Form F15, or

(ii)   by the person filing a response to petition;

(d) service of any other document served by personal service is proved by filing an affidavit of personal service in Form F15;

(e) service of any document that is served by ordinary service is proved

(i)   by filing an affidavit of ordinary service in Form F16, or

(ii)   by filing a requisition in Form F17 to which is attached a written acknowledgment of receipt signed by the party or lawyer on whom the document was served.

Proof of service by sheriff

(2)Service of a document by a sheriff may be proved by a certificate in Form F18 endorsed on a copy of the document.

Service on member of Canadian Armed Forces

(3)If a member of the Canadian Armed Forces has been served with a document by an officer of the Canadian Armed Forces, proof of the service in the form of a certificate annexed to a copy of the document served, signed by the officer and stating his or her rank and when, where and how service was effected, may be filed as proof of service.

Admissibility of other evidence of service

(4)Nothing in subrule (1) or (2) restricts the court from considering any other evidence of service that the court considers appropriate in the circumstances.

Rule 6-7 — Relief

If service is alleged to be ineffective

(1)If a document has been served in accordance with this Part but a person can show that the document

(a) did not come to his or her notice,

(b) came to his or her notice later than when it was served, or

(c) was incomplete or illegible,

the court may set aside an order, extend time, order an adjournment or make such other order as it considers will further the object of these Supreme Court Family Rules.

Part 7 — Conferences

Rule 7-1 — Judicial Case Conference

Requirement for Judicial Case Conference

Requesting a judicial case conference

(1)A party may request a judicial case conference at any time, whether or not one or more judicial case conferences have already been held in the family law case.

Requirement to hold judicial case conference

(2)Subject to subrules (3) and (4), unless a judicial case conference has been conducted in a family law case, a party to the family law case must not serve on another party a notice of application or an affidavit in support.

Exceptions

Applications that may be brought before a judicial case conference

(3)A party to a family law case may file and serve a notice of application and supporting affidavits in respect of any of the following applications even though a judicial case conference has not been conducted in the family law case:

(a) Repealed. [B.C. Reg. 133/2012, Sch. s. 10 (a).]

(b) an application for an order under section 91 of the Family Law Act restraining the disposition of any property at issue;

(c) an application for a consent order;

(d) an application without notice;

(e) an application to change, suspend or terminate a final order;

(f) an application to set aside or replace the whole or any part of an agreement;

(g) an application to change or set aside the determination of a parenting coordinator.

[am. B.C. Reg. 133/2012, Sch. s. 10 (a) to (c).]

Court may relieve party from requirement of subrule (2)

(4)On application by a party, the court may relieve a party from the requirement of subrule (2) if

(a) it is premature to require the parties to attend a judicial case conference,

(b) it is impracticable or unfair to require the party to comply with the requirements of subrule (2),

(c) the application referred to in subrule (2) is urgent,

(d) delaying the application referred to in subrule (2) or requiring the party to attend a judicial case conference is or might be dangerous to the health or safety of any person, or

(e) the court considers it appropriate that the party be relieved from that requirement.

How to apply for relief

(5)To bring an application for relief under subrule (4), a party must file

(a) a requisition in Form F17, and

(b) a letter signed by the party or his or her lawyer setting out the reasons why the relief is sought.

Powers of the court

(6)On an application for relief under subrule (4), the court may do one or more of the following:

(a) require that further material be provided;

(b) require that the party or lawyer appear in person to speak to the application;

(c) make the order without requiring the party or lawyer to appear to speak to the application;

(d) refuse to make the order;

(e) make any order the court considers will further the object of these Supreme Court Family Rules.

Arranging the Judicial Case Conference

How to request a judicial case conference

(7)To request a judicial case conference, a party must file a notice of judicial case conference in Form F19.

What must be served if judicial case conference is requested

(8)The party requesting a judicial case conference must serve on all parties, at least 30 days before the date set for the judicial case conference,

(a) a copy of the filed notice of judicial case conference, and

(b) a copy of the Form F8 financial statement, if any, required under Rule 5-1, along with the applicable income documents referred to in section B of Part 1 of the Form F8 financial statement.

Court may require a judicial case conference

(9)At any stage of a family law case, the court may direct that a judicial case conference take place and may order a party to

(a) file a notice of judicial case conference, and

(b) serve a copy of the filed notice of judicial case conference along with any financial documents required under subrule (8) (b) in accordance with subrule (8).

Form F8 financial statement must be filed before judicial case conference

(10)A party serving a notice of judicial case conference in accordance with subrule (8) or (9) must, at least 7 days before the date set for the judicial case conference, file the original of the Form F8 financial statement, if any, required under Rule 5-1 along with the applicable income documents referred to in section B of Part 1 of the Form F8 financial statement.

Other parties must file and serve Form F8 financial statement

(11)At least 7 days before the date set for a judicial case conference, a party who has been served with a notice of judicial case conference in accordance with subrule (8) or (9) must

(a) serve on the party who served the notice of judicial case conference and on every other party a copy of the Form F8 financial statement, if any, required under Rule 5-1 along with the applicable income documents referred to in section B of Part 1 of the Form F8 financial statement, and

(b) file the original Form F8 financial statement along with the applicable income documents referred to in section B of Part 1 of the Form F8 financial statement.

Conduct of Judicial Case Conference

Judicial case conference must be conducted by judge or master

(12)A judicial case conference must be conducted by a judge or master.

Who must attend the judicial case conference

(13)Unless the court otherwise orders, if a judicial case conference is held, each of the parties and his or her lawyer must attend that judicial case conference.

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

(14)If the court orders that a party need not attend a judicial case conference, the party must be readily available and immediately accessible for consultation during the judicial case conference, either in person or by telephone.

What happens at the judicial case conference

(15)The court may do one or more of the following at a judicial case conference:

(a) identify the issues that are in dispute and those that are not in dispute and explore ways in which the issues in dispute may be resolved without recourse to trial;

(b) make orders to which all the parties consent;

(c) mediate any of the issues in dispute;

(d) with the consent of the parties, refer the parties to a family dispute resolution professional, within the meaning of the Family Law Act, other than a family justice counsellor;

(e) refer the parties to a family justice counsellor, or to a person designated by the Attorney General to provide specialized support assistance, if the court has received written advice from the regional manager that the family justice counsellor or designated person is readily available to the parties;

(f) direct a party to attend the Parenting after Separation program operated by the Family Justice Services Division (Justice Services Branch), Ministry of Justice;

(g) make orders respecting amendment of a pleading, petition or response to petition within a fixed time;

(h) make orders requiring that particulars be provided in relation to any matter raised in a pleading;

(i) make orders respecting discovery of documents;

(j) make orders respecting examinations for discovery;

(k) direct that any or all applications must be made within a specified time;

(l) reserve a trial date for the family law case or reserve a date for a trial that is restricted to issues defined by the parties;

(m) set a date for a trial management conference under Rule 14-3;

(n) make any orders that may be made at a trial management conference under Rule 14-3 (9);

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

(p) without limiting any other orders respecting timing that may be made under this subrule, make orders respecting timing of events;

(q) adjourn the judicial case conference;

(r) direct the parties to attend a further judicial case conference at a specified date and time;

(s) make any procedural order or give any direction that the court considers will further the object of these Supreme Court Family Rules.

[am. B.C. Regs. 133/2012, Sch. s. 10 (d); 27/2013, Sch. 2, s. 15.]

Non-attendance at judicial case conference

(16)Without limiting any other power of the court under these Supreme Court Family Rules, if a party fails to appear at a judicial case conference, the court may

(a) proceed in the absence of the party who failed to appear,

(b) exercise any of the powers of the court under subrule (15) of this rule, and

(c) order that the party who failed to appear pay costs to the other party.

Judge or master may be seized of further applications

(17)At a judicial case conference, or at any other time, a judge or master may order that all applications in the family law case be heard by that judge or master.

Other judges or masters may hear applications

(18)A judge or master who has made an order under subrule (17) may at any time direct that any or all applications in the family law case may be heard by another judge or master.

Proceedings must be recorded

(19)Proceedings at a judicial case conference must be recorded, but no part of that recording may be made available to or used by any person without court order.

[en. B.C. Reg. 95/2011, Sch. B, s. 1.]

Rule 7-2 — Settlement Conferences

Settlement conference

(1)If, at any stage of a family law case, the parties jointly request a settlement conference by filing a requisition in Form F17 or a judge or master directs the parties to attend a settlement conference, the parties must attend before a judge or master who must, in private and without hearing witnesses, explore all possibilities of settlement of the issues that are outstanding.

Proceedings must be recorded

(2)Proceedings at a settlement conference must be recorded, but no part of that recording may be made available to or used by any person without court order.

When judge must not preside

(3)A judge who has presided at a settlement conference must not preside at the trial, unless all parties consent.

Part 8 — Amendment of Documents and Change of Parties

Rule 8-1 — Amendment of Pleadings

When pleading may be amended

(1)Subject to Rules 8-2 (7) and (9) and 9-6 (5), a party may amend the whole or any part of, including any Schedule to, a pleading filed by the party

(a) once without leave of the court, at any time before service of the notice of trial, or

(b) after a notice of trial is served, only with

(i)   leave of the court, or

(ii)   written consent of the parties.

[am. B.C. Reg. 119/2010, Sch. B, s. 4.]

How amendments made

(2)Unless the court otherwise orders, to amend a pleading under subrule (1), a party must

(a) amend the pleading in accordance with subrule (3),

(b) indicate on the amended pleading the date on which the original version of the pleading was filed, and

(c) file the amended pleading.

Identifying amendments

(3)Unless the court otherwise orders, an amendment to a pleading under this rule must be dated, identified and underlined.

Service of amended pleadings

(4)Unless the court otherwise orders, if a party amends a pleading under this rule, the party must do both of the following:

(a) within 7 days after filing the amended pleading, serve, by ordinary service, a copy of the filed amended pleading on each party;

(b) if the amended pleading is a notice of family claim or a counterclaim, promptly after filing the amended pleading and before taking any further step in the family law case, serve, by personal service, a copy of the filed amended pleading on any person who

(i)   was served with a copy of the filed original version of the pleading, and

(ii)   has not filed a response to family claim or response to counterclaim, as the case may be, to the original version of the pleading.

Response of a party to amended pleading

(5)If a pleading (in this subrule and in subrule (6) called the "primary pleading") is amended under this rule and the amended pleading is served on a party under subrule(4) (a), that party

(a) may amend, under this rule, any pleading he or she had filed in response to the original version of the primary pleading but only with respect to any matter raised by the amendments to the primary pleading, and

(b) in that event, must, within 14 days after being served with the amended pleading, serve a copy of the filed amended responding pleading on all parties.

Failure to serve amended responding pleading

(6)If a party on whom an amended pleading is served under subrule (4) (a) does not serve an amended responding pleading as provided in subrule (5), the pleading he or she filed in response to the original version of the primary pleading is deemed to be the pleading he or she filed in response to the amended pleading.

Responding to amended pleading

(7)If a notice of family claim or a counterclaim is amended under this rule and served under subrule (4)(b) on a person who is not yet a party, the person must, within 30 days after being served with the amended notice of family claim or counterclaim, file a response to family claim or response to counterclaim and Rule 4-3 (2) or 4-4 (6), as the case may be, applies.

Amendment at trial

(8)Unless the court otherwise orders, if an amendment is granted during a trial or hearing, an order need not be taken out and the amended pleading need not be filed or served.

Rule 8-2 — Change of Parties

Change of Party Status or Interest

Party ceasing to exist

(1)If a party dies or becomes bankrupt, or a corporate party is wound up or otherwise ceases to exist, but the claim survives, the family law case may continue in spite of the death or bankruptcy or the corporate party having been wound up or ceasing to exist.

Effect of death

(2)Whether or not the claim survives, a family law case may continue in spite of either party dying between the verdict or finding on the issues of fact and the entry of judgment, but judgment may be entered despite the death.

Assignment or conveyance of interest

(3)If, by assignment, conveyance or death, an estate, interest or title devolves or is transferred, a family law case relating to that estate, interest or title may be continued by or against the person on whom or to whom that estate, interest or title has devolved or to whom that estate, interest or title has been transferred.

Change or transmission of interest or liability

(4)If, after the start of a family law case,

(a) a change or transmission of interest or liability of a party takes place or a person interested comes into existence, and

(b) it becomes necessary or desirable that

(i)   a person not already a party should be named as a party, or

(ii)   a person already a party should be named as a party in another capacity,

the court may order that the family law case be continued between the continuing parties and the new party.

Prosecution of family law case if claimant or petitioner dies

(5)If a claimant or petitioner has died and the family law case may be continued, a respondent may apply to the court for an order that the person entitled to proceed do proceed within the time that the court orders and that, in default, the proceeding be dismissed for want of prosecution.

Costs on dismissal

(6)If a family law case is dismissed under subrule (5), an order for payment of costs may be made and enforced against the assets of the deceased's estate.

Change of Parties

Adding, removing or substituting parties by order

(7)At any stage of a family law case, the court, on application by any person, may, subject to subrule(9),

(a) order that a person cease to be named as a party if it is not appropriate or necessary for that person to be named as a party,

(b) order that a person be named as an additional party or be named as a party in substitution for another named party if

(i)   that person ought to have been named as a party, or

(ii)   that person's participation in the family law case is necessary to ensure that all matters in the family law case may be adjudicated on, and

(c) order that a person be named as an additional party if there may exist, between the person and any other person who is named as a party to the family law case, a question or issue relating to or connected with

(i)   any relief claimed in the family law case, or

(ii)   the subject matter of the family law case

that, in the opinion of the court, it would be just and convenient to determine as between the person and the other person who is named as a party.

Procedure if person added, removed or substituted as named party by order

(8)Unless the court otherwise orders, if an order is made under subrule (7) adding, removing or substituting a person as a named party,

(a) the notice of family claim must be amended in accordance with Rule 8-1 (2) and (3), a reference to the order must be endorsed on that amended notice of family claim and Rule 8-1 (4) to (7) applies, and

(b) if a person is named as an additional party or is named as a party in substitution for another named party,

(i)   a copy of the entered order must be served on the person along with a copy of the filed amended document served under Rule 8-1 (4),

(ii)   the person may apply to the court to change or set aside the order within 21 days after the date on which the order is served on the person under subparagraph (i) of this paragraph, and

(iii)   unless the court orders, in an application under subparagraph (ii) or otherwise, that the person not be named as a party, these Supreme Court Family Rules apply in relation to that newly named party as if the amended notice of family claim were a new notice of family claim.

[am. B.C. Reg. 133/2012, Sch. s. 11.]

Consent required

(9)A person must not be named as a claimant or petitioner without the person's consent.

Effect of order

(10)Unless the court otherwise orders, if a person is named as a party in substitution for a former party, all things done in the family law case before the person was named as a party have the same effect in relation to that person as they had in relation to the former party, but the person named as a party in substitution for a former party must file a notice of address for service in Form F10.

Part 9 — Procedures for Obtaining Information and Documents

Rule 9-1 — Discovery and Inspection of Documents

List of documents

(1)Unless all parties consent or the court otherwise orders, each party to a family law case must

(a) prepare a list of documents in Form F20 that lists

(i)   all documents that are or have been in the party's possession or control and that could, if available, be used by any party at trial to prove or disprove a material fact, and

(ii)   all other documents to which the party intends to refer at trial, and

(b) serve the list of documents as follows:

(i)   a person who files a notice of family claim must serve his or her list of documents on a party within 35 days after being served with that party's response to family claim or response to counterclaim;

(ii)   a person who files a response to family claim must serve his or her list of documents on a party within 35 days after serving his or her response to family claim on that party;

(iii)   a person who files a response to counterclaim must serve his or her list of documents on a party within 35 days after serving his or her response to counterclaim on that party unless that list of documents has already been served on that party.

Documents to be enumerated

(2)Subject to subrules (3) and (4), each party's list of documents must include a brief description of each listed document.

Claim for privilege

(3)If it is claimed that a document is privileged from production, the claim must be made in the list of documents with a statement of the grounds of the privilege.

Nature of privileged documents to be described

(4)The nature of any document for which privilege from production is claimed must be described in a manner that, without revealing information that is privileged, will enable other parties to assess the validity of the claim of privilege.

Affidavit verifying list of documents

(5)The court may order a party to serve an affidavit verifying a list of documents.

Amending the list of documents

(6)If, after a list of documents has been served under this rule,

(a) it comes to the attention of the party serving it that the list is inaccurate or incomplete, or

(b) there comes into the party's possession or control a document that could be used by any party at trial to prove or disprove a material fact or any other document to which the party intends to refer at trial,

the party must promptly amend the list of documents and serve the amended list of documents on the other parties.

[am. B.C. Reg. 119/2010, Sch. B, s. 5 (a).]

Party may demand documents required under this rule

(7)If a party who has received a list of documents believes that the list omits documents or a class of documents that should have been disclosed under subrule (1) or (6), the party may, by written demand, require the party who prepared the list to

(a) amend the list of documents,

(b) serve on the demanding party the amended list of documents, and

(c) make the originals of the newly listed documents available for inspection and copying in accordance with subrules (12) and (13).

[am. B.C. Reg. 119/2010, Sch. B, s. 5 (b) and (c).]

Party may demand additional documents

(8)If a party who has received a list of documents believes that the list should include documents or classes of documents that

(a) are within the listing party's possession, power or control,

(b) relate to any or all matters in question in the family law case, and

(c) are additional to the documents or classes of documents required under subrule (1) or (6),

the party, by written demand that identifies the additional documents or classes of documents with reasonable specificity and that indicates the reason why such additional documents or classes of documents should be disclosed, may require the party who prepared the list to

(d) amend the list of documents,

(e) serve on the demanding party the amended list of documents, and

(f) make the originals of the newly listed documents available for inspection and copying in accordance with subrules (12) and (13).

[en. B.C. Reg. 119/2010, Sch. B, s. 5 (d).]

Response to demand for documents

(9)A party who receives a demand under subrule (7) or (8) must, within 35 days after receipt, do one of the following:

(a) comply with the demand in relation to all of the demanded documents;

(b) comply with the demand in relation to those of the demanded documents that the party is prepared to list, and indicate, in relation to the balance of the demanded documents,

(i)   why a supplementary list of documents that includes those documents is not being prepared and served, and

(ii)   why those documents are not being made available;

(c) indicate, in relation to the demanded documents,

(i)   why a supplementary list of documents that includes those documents is not being prepared and served, and

(ii)   why those documents are not being made available.

Application for production of documents

(10)If a party who receives a demand under subrule (7) or (8) does not, within 35 days after receipt, comply with the demand in relation to all of the demanded documents, the demanding party may apply for an order requiring the listing party to comply with the demand.

Court may alter requirements

(11)On an application under subrule (10) or otherwise, the court may

(a) order that a party be excused from compliance with subrule (1), (3), (12) or (13) or with a demand under subrule (7) or (8), either generally or in respect of one or more documents or classes of documents, or

(b) order a party to

(i)   amend the list of documents to list additional documents that are or have been in the party's possession, power or control relating to any or all matters in question in the family law case,

(ii)   serve the amended list of documents on all parties, and

(iii)   make the originals of the newly listed documents available for inspection and copying in accordance with subrules (12) and (13).

[am. B.C. Reg. 119/2010, Sch. B, s. 5 (b), (c) and (e).]

Inspection of documents

(12)A party who has served a list of documents on any other party must allow the other party to inspect and copy, during normal business hours and at the location specified in the list of documents, the listed documents except those documents that the listing party objects to producing.

[am. B.C. Reg. 119/2010, Sch. B, s. 5 (f).]

Copies of documents

(13)If a party is entitled to inspect listed documents under subrule (12), the listing party must, on the request of the party entitled to inspection and on receiving payment in advance of the cost of reproduction and service, serve on the requesting party copies of the documents, if reproducible, for which a request has been made.

[am. B.C. Reg. 119/2010, Sch. B, s. 5 (g).]

Order to produce document

(14)The court may order the production of a document for inspection and copying by any party or by the court at a time and place and in the manner it considers appropriate.

Documents not in possession of party

(15)If a document is in the possession or control of a person who is not a party, the court, on an application under Part 10 brought on notice to the person and the parties, may make an order for one or both of the following:

(a) production, inspection and copying of the document;

(b) preparation of a certified copy that may be used instead of the original.

Order by consent

(16)An order under subrule (15) may be made by consent if that order is endorsed with an acknowledgment by the person in possession or control of the document that the person has no objection to the terms of the proposed order.

Inspection of document by court

(17)If, on an application for production of a document, production is objected to on the grounds of privilege, the court may inspect the document for the purpose of deciding the validity of the objection.

Party may not use document

(18)Unless the court otherwise orders, if a party fails to make discovery of or produce for inspection or copying a document as required by this rule, the party may not put the document in evidence in the family law case or use it for the purpose of examination or cross-examination.

Determination of issue before discovery

(19)If the party from whom discovery, inspection or copying of a document is sought objects to that discovery, inspection or copying, the court may, if satisfied that for any reason it is desirable that an issue or question in dispute should be determined before deciding on the right to discovery, inspection or copying, order that the issue or question be determined first and reserve the question of discovery, inspection or copying.

Rule 9-2 — Examinations for Discovery

Examination of parties

(1)Subject to subrule (2), each party to a family law case must

(a) make himself or herself available, or

(b) if any of subrules (5) to (9) apply, make a person referred to in that subrule available,

for examinations for discovery by the parties to the family law case who are adverse in interest to the party subject to examination.

Limitations

(2)Unless the court otherwise orders, the examinations for discovery, including all examinations under subrules (16), (18) and (20), conducted under this rule of a party, including any such examinations conducted of a person referred to in subrule (1) (b) who is examined in relation to that party, by any other party who is adverse in interest must not, in total, exceed in duration

(a) 5 hours, or

(b) any greater period to which the person to be examined consents.

Considerations of the court

(3)In an application under subrule (2) to extend the examination for discovery period, the court must consider the following:

(a) the conduct of a person who has been or is to be examined, including

(i)   the person's unresponsiveness in any examination for discovery held in the family law case,

(ii)   the person's failure to provide complete answers to questions, or

(iii)   the person's provision of answers that are evasive, irrelevant, unresponsive or unduly lengthy;

(b) any denial or refusal to admit, by a person who has been or is to be examined, anything that should have been admitted;

(c) the conduct of the examining party;

(d) whether or not it is reasonably practicable to complete the examinations for discovery within the period provided under subrule (2);

(e) the number of parties and examinations for discovery and the proximity of the various interests of those parties.

Oral examination on oath

(4)An examination for discovery is an oral examination on oath.

Examination of party that is not an individual

(5)Unless the court otherwise orders, if a party to be examined for discovery is not an individual,

(a) the examining party may examine one representative of the party to be examined,

(b) the party to be examined must nominate as its representative an individual, who is knowledgeable concerning the matters in question in the family law case, to be examined on behalf of that party, and

(c) the examining party may examine

(i)   the representative nominated under paragraph (b), or

(ii)   any other person the examining party considers appropriate and who is or has been a director, officer, employee, agent or external auditor of the party to be examined.

Examination of person for whose benefit family law case brought

(6)Subject to subrule (8), a person for whose immediate benefit a family law case is brought or defended may be examined for discovery.

Examination of guardian and infants

(7)Unless the court otherwise orders, if a party to be examined for discovery is an infant, the infant, his or her guardian and his or her litigation guardian may be examined for discovery.

[am. B.C. Reg. 119/2010, Sch. B, s. 6.]

Examination of mentally incompetent person

(8)If a party to be examined for discovery is a mentally incompetent person, his or her litigation guardian and his or her committee may be examined for discovery, but the mentally incompetent person must not be examined without leave of the court.

Examination of bankrupt

(9)If a party to be examined for discovery is a trustee in bankruptcy, the bankrupt may be examined for discovery.

Place

(10)Unless the court otherwise orders or the parties to the examination for discovery otherwise agree, an examination for discovery must take place at a location within 30 kilometres of the registry that is nearest to the place where the person to be examined resides.

Examination before reporter

(11)An examination for discovery must be conducted before an official reporter who is empowered to administer the oath.

Service of notice

(12)Before conducting an examination for discovery under this rule, the party wishing to conduct that examination for discovery must do the following:

(a) if the person to be examined is a party to, and has a lawyer in, the family law case, ensure that, at least 7 days before the examination for discovery,

(i)   an appointment in Form F21 is served on that lawyer, and

(ii)   witness fees in the amount required under Schedule 3 of Appendix C are tendered to that lawyer;

(b) in any other case, ensure that, at least 7 days before the examination for discovery,

(i)   an appointment in Form F21 is served on the person to be examined, and

(ii)   witness fees in the amount required under Schedule 3 of Appendix C are tendered to the person to be examined;

(c) at least 7 days before the examination for discovery, serve a copy of the appointment on all parties.

[am. B.C. Reg. 112/2012, Sch. B, s. 1.]

Person must attend examination

(13)A person to be examined for discovery must attend and submit to examination for discovery if the party wishing to conduct that examination for discovery has complied with subrule (12) (a) or (b), as the case may be.

Fees must not be attached

(14)If a lawyer receives witness fees under subrule (12) (a), those fees must not be attached.

Production of documents

(15)Unless the court otherwise orders, if the person to be examined for discovery is a person referred to in subrule (6), (7), (8) or (9), the person must produce for inspection on the examination for discovery all documents in his or her possession or control, not privileged, relating to the matters in question in the family law case.

Examination and re-examination

(16)The examination for discovery of a person is in the nature of a cross-examination, and the person examined for discovery may be re-examined on his or her own behalf or on behalf of a party not adverse in interest to him or her in relation to any matter respecting which he or she has been examined.

Scope of examination

(17)Unless the court otherwise orders, a person being examined for discovery

(a) must answer any question within his or her knowledge or means of knowledge regarding any matter, not privileged, relating to a matter in question in the family law case, and

(b) is compellable to give the names and addresses of all persons who reasonably might be expected to have knowledge relating to any matter in question in the family law case.

Person must inform self

(18)In order to comply with subrule (17), a person being examined for discovery may be required to inform himself or herself and the examination may be adjourned for that purpose.

Response may be provided by letter

(19)If a person is required to inform himself or herself under subrule (18) in order to respond to one or more questions posed on the examination for discovery, the examining party may request the person to provide the responses by letter.

If letter provided

(20)If the examining party receives a letter under subrule (19),

(a) the questions set out in the letter and the answers given in response to those questions are deemed for all purposes to be questions asked and answers given under oath in the examination for discovery, and

(b) the examining party may, subject to subrule (2), continue the examination for discovery.

Objections

(21)If a person under examination objects to answering a question put to him or her, the question and the objection must be taken down by the official reporter and the court may

(a) decide the validity of the objection, and

(b) order the person to submit to further examination and set a maximum duration for that further examination.

How recorded

(22)An examination for discovery is to be taken down in the form of question and answer, and copies of the transcript may be obtained on payment of the proper fee by

(a) any party,

(b) the person examined, or

(c) any other person as the court for special reason may permit.

Application to persons outside British Columbia

(23)So far as is practicable, this rule applies to a person residing outside British Columbia, and the court, on application on notice to the person, may order the examination for discovery of the person at a place and in the manner the court considers appropriate.

Service of order and notice

(24)Unless the court otherwise orders, if an order is made under subrule (23) for the examination for discovery of a person,

(a) the order and the notice of appointment may be served on, and

(b) the witness fees referred to in subrule (12) may be paid to

the lawyer for the person.

Rule 9-3 — Discovery by Interrogatories

Party may serve interrogatories by consent or with leave

(1)A party to a family law case may serve interrogatories in Form F22 on any other party, or on a director, officer, partner, agent, employee or external auditor of a party, if

(a) the party to be examined consents, or

(b) the court grants leave.

If a party is a body of persons

(2)If a party to a family law case is a body of persons, corporate or unincorporate, that is empowered to sue or to be sued in its own name or in the name of an officer or other person, another party may, with leave of the court granted at an application, serve interrogatories on the officer or member of the body specified in the order.

Powers of court

(3)In an order granting leave under subrule (1) (b) or (2), the court may set terms and conditions on the interrogatories, including terms and conditions respecting

(a) the number or length of the interrogatories,

(b) the matters the interrogatories are to cover,

(c) the timing of any response to the interrogatories, and

(d) the notification, if any, to be given to the other parties respecting the interrogatories.

Timing of answer to interrogatories

(4)A person to whom interrogatories are directed must, within 21 days or such other period as the court may order under subrule (3), serve an answer on affidavit to the interrogatories.

If more than one person to answer interrogatories

(5)If interrogatories are required to be answered by more than one officer, director, partner, agent or employee of a party, the interrogatories must state which of the interrogatories each person is required to answer.

Objection to answer interrogatory

(6)If a person objects to answering an interrogatory on the grounds of privilege or on the grounds that it does not relate to a matter in question in the family law case, the person may make the objection in an affidavit in answer.

Insufficient answer to interrogatory

(7)If a person to whom interrogatories have been directed answers any of them insufficiently, the court may require the person to make a further answer either by affidavit or on oral examination.

Application to strike out interrogatory

(8)If a party objects to an interrogatory on the grounds that it will not further the object of these Supreme Court Family Rules,

(a) the party may apply to the court to strike out the interrogatory, and

(b) the court must take into account any offer by the party to make admissions, to produce documents or to give oral discovery.

Service of interrogatories on lawyer

(9)A party may, instead of serving interrogatories under subrule (1) or (2), serve the interrogatories on the lawyer of the person to whom the interrogatories are directed.

Lawyer must inform

(10)If a lawyer receives interrogatories under subrule (9), the lawyer must promptly inform the person to whom the interrogatories are directed.

Continuing obligation to answer

(11)If a person who has given an answer to an interrogatory later learns that the answer is inaccurate or incomplete, the person must promptly serve on the party who served the interrogatory an affidavit deposing to an accurate or complete answer.

Rule 9-4 — Pre-trial Examination of Witness

Order for examination

(1)If a person who is not a party to a family law case may have material evidence relating to a matter in question in the family law case, the court may

(a) order that the person be examined on oath on the matters in question in the family law case, and

(b) either before or after the examination, order that the examining party pay reasonable lawyer's costs of the person relating to the application and the examination.

Expert

(2)An expert retained or specially employed by another party in anticipation of litigation or preparation for trial may not be examined under this rule unless the party seeking the examination is unable to obtain facts and opinions on the same subject by other means.

Affidavit in support of application

(3)An application for an order under subrule (1) must be supported by affidavit setting out

(a) the matter in question in the family law case to which the applicant believes that the evidence of the proposed witness may be material,

(b) if the proposed witness is an expert retained or specially employed by another party in anticipation of litigation or preparation for trial, that the applicant is unable to obtain facts and opinions on the same subject by other means, and

(c) that the proposed witness

(i)   has refused or neglected on request by the applicant to give a responsive statement, either orally or in writing, relating to the witness' knowledge of the matters in question, or

(ii)   has given conflicting statements.

Application procedure

(4)An applicant for an order under subrule (1) must comply with Part 10 and, without limiting this, the applicant must serve the application materials on the proposed witness and Part 10 applies to the witness as if he or she were a party.

Subpoena

(5)If the court makes an order under subrule (1) entitling a party to examine a person under this rule, the party may, by serving on the person to be examined a subpoena in Form F23, require the person to bring to the examination

(a) any document in the person's possession or control relating to the matters in question in the family law case, and

(b) any physical object in the person's possession or control that the party contemplates introducing at the trial as an exhibit.

Identification of documents and objects

(6)A subpoena referred to in subrule (5)

(a) need not identify any document referred to in subrule (5) (a), and

(b) must identify any object referred to in subrule (5) (b).

Notice of examination

(7)The examining party must give notice of an examination under this rule by serving copies of the subpoena referred to in subrule (5) on all parties at least 7 days before the date appointed for the examination.

Mode of examination

(8)The proposed witness must be cross-examined by the party who obtained the order, then may be cross-examined by any other party, and then may be further cross-examined by the party who obtained the order.

Time for examination

(9)Unless the court otherwise orders, examinations conducted of a person under this rule by all parties must not, in total, exceed 3 hours in duration.

Application of examination for discovery rules

(10)Rule 9-2 (11), (15), (17), (18) and (21) to (24) applies to an examination under this rule.

Rule 9-5 — Physical Examination and Inspection

Order for medical examination

(1)If the physical or mental condition of a person is in issue in a family law case, the court may order that the person submit to examination by a medical practitioner or other qualified person, and if the court makes an order under this subrule, the court may also make

(a) an order respecting any expenses connected with the examination, and

(b) an order that the result of the examination be put in writing and that copies be made available to interested parties.

Subsequent examinations

(2)The court may order a further examination under this rule.

Questions by examiner

(3)A person who is making an examination under this rule may ask any relevant question concerning the medical condition or history of the person being examined.

Order for inspection and preservation of property

(4)If the court considers it necessary or expedient for the purpose of obtaining full information or evidence, it may

(a) order the production, inspection and preservation of any property, and

(b) authorize

(i)   samples to be taken or observations to be made of the property, or

(ii)   experiments to be conducted on or with the property.

Entry on land or building

(5)For the purpose of enabling an order under this rule to be carried out, the court may authorize a person to enter on any land or building.

Application to persons outside British Columbia

(6)Rule 9-2 (23) and (24) applies to examinations and inspections ordered under this rule.

Rule 9-6 — Admissions

Notice to admit

(1)In a family law case in which a response to family claim has been filed, a party may, by service of a notice to admit in Form F24, request any party to admit, for the purposes of the family law case only, the truth of a fact or the authenticity of a document specified in the notice.

Effect of notice to admit

(2)Unless the court otherwise orders, the truth of a fact or the authenticity of a document specified in a notice to admit is deemed to be admitted, for the purposes of the family law case only, unless, within 14 days after service of the notice to admit, the party receiving the notice to admit serves on the party serving the notice to admit a written statement that

(a) specifically denies the truth of the fact or the authenticity of the document,

(b) sets out in detail the reasons why the party cannot make the admission, or

(c) states that the refusal to admit the truth of the fact or the authenticity of the document is made on the grounds of privilege or irrelevancy or that the request is otherwise improper, and sets out in detail the reasons for the refusal.

Copy of document to be attached

(3)Unless the court otherwise orders or the demanding party and the responding party consent, a copy of a document specified in a notice to admit must be attached to the notice to admit when it is served.

Unreasonable refusal to admit

(4)If a responding party unreasonably denies or refuses to admit the truth of a fact or the authenticity of a document specified in a notice to admit, the court may order the party to pay the costs of proving the truth of the fact or the authenticity of the document and may award as a penalty additional costs, or deprive a party of costs, as the court considers appropriate.

Withdrawal of admission

(5)A party is not entitled to withdraw

(a) an admission made in response to a notice to admit,

(b) a deemed admission under subrule (2), or

(c) an admission made in a pleading, petition or response to petition

except by consent or with leave of the court.

Application for order on admissions

(6)An application for judgment or any other application may be made to the court using as evidence

(a) admissions of the truth of a fact or the authenticity of a document made

(i)   in an affidavit or pleading filed by a party,

(ii)   in an examination for discovery of a party or a person examined for discovery on behalf of a party, or

(iii)   in response to a notice to admit, or

(b) admissions of the truth of a fact or the authenticity of a document deemed to be made under subrule (2)

and the court, without waiting for the determination of any other question between the parties, may make any order it considers will further the object of these Supreme Court Family Rules.

Rule 9-7 — Depositions

Examination of person

(1)By consent of the parties or by order of the court, a person may be examined on oath before or during trial in order that the record of the examination may be available to be introduced as evidence at the trial.

Examination of person

(2)An examination under subrule (1) may be conducted before an official reporter or any other person as the court may direct.

Grounds for order

(3)In determining whether to exercise its discretion to order an examination under subrule (1), the court must take into account

(a) the convenience of the person sought to be examined,

(b) the possibility that the person may be unavailable to testify at the trial by reason of death, infirmity, sickness or absence,

(c) the possibility that the person will be beyond the jurisdiction of the court at the time of the trial,

(d) the possibility and desirability of having the person testify at trial by video conferencing or other electronic means, and

(e) the expense of bringing the person to the trial.

Time limits

(4)In an order under subrule (1), the court may impose limits on the duration of the direct examination or cross-examination of a person under this rule.

Subpoena

(5)If the court makes an order under subrule (1) entitling a party to examine a person under this rule, the party may, by serving on the person to be examined a subpoena in Form F23, require the person to bring to the examination,

(a) if the person to be examined is not a party or a representative of a party, any document in the person's possession or control relating to the matters in question in the family law case, and

(b) any physical object in the person's possession or control that the examining party contemplates introducing at the trial as an exhibit.

Identification of documents and objects

(6)A subpoena referred to in subrule (5)

(a) need not identify any document referred to in subrule (5) (a), and

(b) must identify any object referred to in subrule (5) (b).

Place of examination

(7)Unless the court otherwise orders or the parties to the examination consent, an examination under this rule must take place at a location within 30 kilometres of the registry that is nearest to the place where the person to be examined resides.

Application of rule outside British Columbia

(8)So far as is practicable, this rule applies to the examination of a person residing outside British Columbia, and the court may order the examination of a person in the place and the manner the court considers appropriate.

If person willing to testify

(9)If the person whose examination is ordered under subrule (8) is willing to testify, the order under subrule (8) must be in Form F25 and the instructions to the examiner appointed in the order must be in Form F26.

If person not willing to testify

(10)If the person whose examination is ordered under subrule (8) is unwilling to testify, or if for any other reason the assistance of a foreign court is necessary, the order under subrule (8) must be in Form F27 and the letter of request referred to in the order must be in Form F28.

Letter of request

(11)If an order referred to in subrule (10) is made, the letter of request must be sent by the party obtaining the order to the Under Secretary of State for External Affairs of Canada (or, if the evidence is to be taken in Canada, to the Deputy Attorney General for the Province of British Columbia), and must have attached to it

(a) any interrogatories to be put to the witness,

(b) a list of the names, addresses and telephone numbers of the lawyers or agents of the parties, both in British Columbia and in the other jurisdiction, and

(c) a copy of the letter of request and any interrogatories

(i)   translated into the appropriate official language of the jurisdiction where the examination is to take place, and

(ii)   bearing the certificate of the translator that it is a true translation and giving the translator's full name and address.

Filing of undertaking

(12)The lawyer for the party obtaining the order referred to in subrule (10) must file with the Under Secretary of State for External Affairs of Canada (or the Deputy Attorney General for the Province of British Columbia, as the case may be) the lawyer's undertaking to be personally responsible for all the charges and expenses incurred by the Under Secretary (or the Deputy Attorney General, as the case may be) in respect of the letter of request and to pay those charges and expenses on receiving notification of the amount.

Notice of examination

(13)The examining party must give notice of an examination under this rule by serving copies of the subpoena referred to in subrule (5) on all parties at least 7 days before the date appointed for the examination.

Mode of examination

(14)The examining party must conduct a direct examination of the witness and the witness is subject to cross-examination and re-examination.

Objection to question

(15)If an objection is made to a question put to a witness in an examination under this rule,

(a) the question and the objection must be taken down by the official reporter,

(b) the validity of the objection may, on application, be decided by the court, and

(c) the court may, on an application referred to in paragraph (b), order the witness to submit to further examination.

Recording of deposition evidence

(16)Unless otherwise ordered, an examination under this rule must be recorded by the person authorized under subrule (2) to conduct the examination

(a) in the form of questions and answers, or

(b) on a video recording.

Preserving testimony

(17)If a person alleges that

(a) circumstances exist that entitle the person to receive an estate or interest in property on the happening of a future event, and

(b) the right or claim to that estate or interest cannot be brought to trial or hearing by the person before the happening of the event,

the person may apply by petition or by requisition in Form F29 for an order to preserve, by examination under this rule, any testimony that may be material for establishing the right or claim.

Contents  |  Parts 1 to 9  |  Parts 10 to 14  |  Parts 15 to 23  |  Appendix A  |  Appendix B  |  Appendix C