|B.C. Reg. 221/90||effective September 1, 1990|
Court Rules Act
Citation, Application and Interpretation
(1) These rules may be cited as the Rules of Court.
(2) A group of rules having the same unbracketed numeral may be cited as "Rule" followed by the numeral, for example, "Rule 1" means Rule 1 (1) to 1 (15), inclusive.
(3) A rule or part of a rule may be cited as "Rule" followed by the number, subrule, paragraph or clause of the rule cited, for example, "Rule 15 (5) (a) (i)" means clause (i) of paragraph (a) of subrule (5) of Rule 15.
(4) These rules govern every proceeding in the Supreme Court except where an enactment otherwise provides.
(5) The object of these rules is to secure the just, speedy and inexpensive determination of every proceeding on its merits.
(6) Except where a contrary intention appears, the Interpretation Act and the interpretation section of the Supreme Court Act apply to these rules.
(7) The titles and headings of these rules are for convenience only and are not intended as a guide to construction.
(8) In these rules, unless the context otherwise requires,
"Act" means the Supreme Court Act;
"action" means a proceeding commenced by writ of summons;
"court" means the Supreme Court of British Columbia and, where a master has jurisdiction, includes a master of the Supreme Court;
"defendant" includes a defendant by way of counterclaim;
"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;
"file" means file in the registry;
"matrimonial action" means an action under the Divorce and Matrimonial Causes Act reprinted as chapter 118, R.S.B.C. 1960, or under the Family Relations Act;
"order" includes a judgment and a decree;
"originating application" means a proceeding commenced by petition or praecipe;
"originating process" means a writ of summons, petition, third party notice or any document which commences a proceeding or adds a new party to a proceeding;
"parties of record" means all parties who have commenced proceedings or have appeared thereto or filed a statement of defence to a third party notice or filed an answer or answer and counter-petition in a divorce proceeding;
"petition" includes a counter-petition, but does not include a petition for divorce;
"petitioner" means a person who commences a proceeding by petition or a petition for divorce;
"plaintiff" means a person who commences an action and includes a plaintiff by way of counterclaim;
"pleading" includes a statement of claim, statement of defence, reply, counterclaim, statement of defence to counterclaim, third party notice, statement of defence to third party notice, and in a divorce proceeding, includes a petition for divorce, an answer and an answer and counter-petition;
"proceeding" means an action, suit, cause, matter, appeal or originating application and includes a proceeding under the Divorce Act, 1985 (Canada);
"receiver" includes receiver-manager;
"registrar" includes the District Registrar or Deputy District Registrar in whose registry the proceeding was commenced or is pending;
"registry" means the office of the court in which the proceeding was commenced or is pending;
"respondent" means a person who is required by these rules to be served with a petition;
"special referee" means any person, other than a master or registrar, appointed by the court under these rules or under an enactment to hold an assessment, inquiry or accounting;
"writ of execution" includes a writ of seizure and sale, sequestration, possession or delivery and any subsequent writ that issues to give effect to these writs, and also includes a warrant or other process of execution issued out of any court in the Province having jurisdiction to grant and issue that process.
(9) Unless the court otherwise orders, all proceedings, whenever commenced, shall be governed by these rules.
(10) The court may order that a proceeding, or a step in a proceeding, be continued and concluded under the rules in force at the time of its commencement.
(11) Upon application and if all parties to a proceeding agree, the court may order that any provision of these rules does not apply to the proceeding.
(12) When making an order under these rules the court may impose terms and conditions and give directions as it thinks just.
(13) Where an enactment authorizes an application to the court or to a judge of the court, and, whether or not the enactment provides for the mode of application, the application shall be
(a) by originating application under Rule 10, or
(b) if the application is interlocutory, by interlocutory application under Rule 44.
(14) Subrule (13) does not apply where a particular mode of application is required by an enactment of Canada.
(15) Where an enactment provides that another enactment applies, it applies with the necessary changes and so far as it is applicable.
Effect of Non-Compliance
(1) Unless the court otherwise orders, a failure to comply with these rules shall be treated as an irregularity and does not nullify a proceeding, a step taken or any document or order made in the proceeding.
(2) Subject to subrules (3) and (41, where there has been a failure to comply with these rules, the court may
(a) set aside a proceeding, either wholly or in part,
(b) set aside any step taken in the proceeding, or a document or order made in the proceeding,
(c) allow an amendment to be made under Rule 24,
(d) dismiss the proceeding or strike out the statement of defence and grant judgment, or
(e) make any other order it thinks just.
(3) The court shall not wholly set aside a proceeding on the ground that it was required to be commenced by an originating process other than the one employed.
(4) An application for an order under subrule (2) (a), (b) or (d) shall not be granted unless it is made within a reasonable time, and the application is made before the party applying has taken a fresh step after knowledge of the irregularity.
(5) Where a person, contrary to these rules and without lawful excuse,
(a) refuses or neglects to obey a subpoena or to attend at the time and place appointed for his or her examination for discovery,
(b) refuses to be sworn or to affirm or to answer any question put to him or her,
(c) refuses or neglects to produce or permit to be inspected any document or other property,
(d) refuses or neglects to answer interrogatories or to make discovery of documents, or
(e) refuses or neglects to appear for or submit to a medical examination,
(f) where the person is the plaintiff, petitioner or a present officer of a corporate plaintiff or petitioner, or a partner in or manager of a partnership plaintiff or petitioner, the court may dismiss the proceeding, and
(g) where the person is the defendant, respondent or a third party, or a present officer of a corporate defendant, respondent or third party, or a partner in or manager of a partnership defendant, respondent or third party, the court may order the proceeding to continue as if no appearance had been entered or no defence had been filed.
(6) Where a person, without lawful excuse, refuses or neglects to comply with a direction of the court, the court may make an order under subrule (5) (f) or (g).
(7) If upon application by a party it appears to the court that there is want of prosecution in a proceeding, the court may order that the proceeding be dismissed.
(1) Unless a contrary intention otherwise appears, the computation of time under these rules or in an order of the court is governed by the following provisions:
(a) if a period of less than 7 days is prescribed by these rules or the order, holidays shall not be counted;
(b) service or delivery of documents effected after 4 o'clock in the afternoon shall be deemed to have been effected on the next day that is not a holiday.
(2) The court may extend or shorten any period of time provided for in these rules or in an order of the court, notwithstanding that the application for the extension or the order granting the extension is made after the period of time has expired.
(3) The period fixed by these rules or an order for serving, delivering, filing or amending a pleading or other document may be extended by consent.
(4) In a proceeding where judgment has not been obtained and no step has been taken for one year, no party shall proceed until
(a) the expiration of 28 days after service of notice of that party's intention to proceed on all other parties of record, and
(b) a copy of the notice and proof of its service has been filed.
(5) Notwithstanding this rule, a defendant or respondent may apply to have a proceeding dismissed for want of prosecution without serving notice of intention to proceed.
(6) Attendance on an appointment before a master, registrar, official reporter or special referee within 1/2 hour following the time fixed for the appointment is a sufficient attendance.
Forms and Documents
(1) The forms in Appendix A shall be used where applicable with variations as the circumstances of the proceeding require.
(2) Unless the nature of the document renders it impractical, every document prepared for use in the court shall be in the English language, legibly printed, typewritten, written or reproduced on 8 1/2 inch x 11 inch durable white paper or durable off-white recycled paper.
(3) Transcripts of oral evidence shall conform to subrule (2).
(4) A document prepared for use in a proceeding shall be headed with the style and number of the proceeding, but in a document, other than an order or a document that commences a proceeding, where there is more than one party in a class, the style of proceeding may be abbreviated to show the name of the first party in that class, followed by the words "and others".
(5) A document prepared for use in a proceeding shall be signed and dated by the party, or by or for the party's solicitor.
Multiple Claims and Parties
(1) Subject to subrule (6), a person, whether claiming in the same or different capacities, may join several claims in the same proceeding.
(2) Subject to subrule (6), a proceeding may be commenced by or against 2 or more persons where
(a) if separate proceedings were brought by or against each of them, a common question of law or fact would arise in all the proceedings, or
(b) a right to relief claimed in the proceedings, whether it is joint, several or alternative, is in respect of or arises out of the same transaction or series of transactions, or
(c) the court grants leave to do so.
(3) Subject to any enactment or these rules or unless the court otherwise orders, a plaintiff or petitioner who claims relief to which any other person is jointly entitled shall join as parties to the proceeding all persons so entitled, and any of them who do not consent to be joined as a plaintiff or petitioner shall be made a defendant or respondent.
(4) Where relief is claimed against a person who is jointly liable with some other person, the other person need not be made a party to the proceeding; but where persons may be jointly, but not severally, liable and relief is claimed against some but not all of these persons in a proceeding, the court may stay the proceeding until the other persons who may be liable are added as parties.
(5) It is not necessary that every party be interested in all the relief sought in a proceeding, but the court may order that a party be compensated for being required to attend, or be relieved from attending, a part of a trial or hearing in which that party has no interest.
(6) Where a joinder of several claims or parties in a proceeding may unduly complicate or delay the trial or hearing of the proceeding or is otherwise inconvenient, the court may order separate trials or hearings or make any other order it thinks just.
(7) Where a counterclaim or a third party proceeding ought to be disposed of by a separate proceeding, the court may so order.
(8) Proceedings may be consolidated at any time by order of the court or may be ordered to be tried at the same time or on the same day.
(9) No proceeding shall be defeated by reason of the misjoinder or nonjoinder of a party and the court may deal with the matter in controversy so far as it affects the rights and interests of the parties before it.
(10) In an action under the Carriage by Air Act (Canada) and the convention set out in that Act, a high contracting party to the convention who, for the purposes of that action and by virtue of that Act, is deemed to have submitted to the jurisdiction of the court, may be made a defendant subject to these rules.
(11) Where numerous persons have the same interest in a proceeding, other than a proceeding referred to in subrule (17), the proceeding may be commenced and, unless the court otherwise orders, continued by or against one or more of them as representing all or as representing one or more of them.
(12) At any stage of a proceeding under subrule (11), the court, on the application of a party, may appoint one or more of the defendants or respondents or another person to represent one or more of the persons having the same interest in the proceeding, and where the court appoints a person not named as a defendant or respondent, it shall make an order under Rule 15 adding that person as a defendant or respondent.
(13) (a) An order made in a proceeding under subrule (11) is binding on all the persons represented in the proceeding as parties, but shall not be enforced against a person not a party to the proceeding except with leave of the court.
(b) An application for leave shall be served on the person against whom the applicant seeks to enforce the order, and that person may dispute liability to have the order enforced against him.
(c) On the application, the court may order that the question of whether the order is enforceable against that person be determined in the manner it thinks just.
(14) In a proceeding concerning
(a) the administration of the estate of a deceased person,
(b) property subject to a trust, or
(c) the construction of a written instrument, including an enactment,
the court may appoint one or more persons to represent a person, including an unborn or unascertained person, or the members of a class of persons who have a present, future, contingent or unascertained interest in, or who may be affected by the proceeding, and who, or some of whom, cannot readily be ascertained or found.
(15) If an appointment is made under subrule (14), an order in the proceeding is binding upon a person or class so represented.
(16) Where, in a proceeding referred to in subrule (14), a compromise is proposed and a person or member of a class interested in the compromise is not a party to the proceeding, but
(a) there is another person with the same interest who is a party and who assents to the compromise, or
(b) the absent person or member of the class is represented by a person appointed under subrule (14) who so assents,
the court, if satisfied that the compromise will be for the benefit of the absent person or member of the class and that it is expedient, may approve the compromise and order that it is binding on the absent person or member of the class and, unless the order has been obtained by fraud or non-disclosure of material facts, the person or member of the class is bound accordingly.
(17) A proceeding may be brought by or against trustees or personal representatives without joining a person having a beneficial interest in the trust or estate and, unless the court otherwise orders on the ground that the trustees or personal representatives could not or did not represent the interest of that person, an order granted or made in the proceeding is binding on that person.
(18) Subrule (17) does not limit the power of the court to order a person having an interest to be made a party or to make an order under subrule (14).
(19) Where the estate of a deceased person has an interest in a matter in question in a proceeding, but there is no personal representative, the court may proceed in the absence of a person representing the estate of the deceased person or may appoint a person to represent the estate for the purposes of the proceeding, and an order made or granted in the proceeding binds the estate to the same extent as it would have been bound had a personal representative of the deceased person been a party to the proceeding.
(20) Before making an order under subrule (19), the court may require notice of the application to be given to a person having an interest in the estate.
(21) Before the name of a person is used in a proceeding as a relator, that person shall give a written authorization to his or her solicitor to use the person's name and the authorization shall be filed.
(22) No proceeding shall be open to objection on the ground that only a declaratory order is sought, and the court may make binding declarations of right whether or not consequential relief is or could be claimed.
(23) The court may give the conduct of a proceeding to any person it thinks just.
Persons Under Disability
(1) In this rule "committee" means the committee of the estate of a patient appointed under the Patients Property Act.
(2) A person under legal disability shall commence or defend a proceeding by his or her guardian ad litem.
(3) Unless a rule otherwise provides, anything that is required or authorized by the rules to be done by or invoked against a party under disability shall
(a) be done on his or her behalf by his guardian ad litem, or
(b) be invoked against him or her by invoking the same against his or her guardian ad litem.
(4) A guardian ad litem shall act by a solicitor unless the guardian ad litem is the Public Trustee.
(5) Unless the court otherwise orders or an enactment otherwise provides, a person ordinarily resident in the Province may be a guardian ad litem of a person under disability without being appointed by the court.
(6) Where a person is appointed committee, that person shall be the guardian ad litem of the patient in any proceeding unless the court otherwise orders.
(7) Before the name of a person is used in a proceeding as a guardian ad litem that person's consent, signed by the person or his or her solicitor, shall be filed, unless the person has been appointed by the court.
(8) Unless a committee has been appointed, the solicitor for a person under disability, before acting in a proceeding, shall file a certificate that he or she knows or believes
(a) the person to whom the certificate relates is an infant or mentally incompetent person, giving the grounds of that knowledge or belief, and if a mentally incompetent person, that a committee has not been appointed for the person, and
(b) the proposed guardian ad litem of the person under disability has no interest in the proceeding adverse to that person.
(9) Where a party becomes a mentally incompetent person and a committee has not been appointed for that party, the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem for him or her.
(10) If it is in the interest of a party who is under disability, the court may remove, appoint or substitute a guardian ad litem.
(11) A party shall not take a step in default against a person under disability without leave of the court.
(12) Unless the court otherwise orders, notice of the application for leave shall be served on the person under disability 10 days before the hearing of the application, in the manner provided by Rule 11.
(13) If no appearance has been entered to an originating process on behalf of a person under disability, the person who commenced the proceeding, before continuing the proceeding against the person under disability, shall obtain an order from the court appointing a guardian ad litem for him or her.
(14) Unless an enactment otherwise provides, where a claim is made by or on behalf of a person under disability, no settlement, compromise, payment or acceptance of money paid into court, whenever entered into or made, so far as it relates to that person's claim, is binding without the approval of the court.
(15) Where, before a proceeding is commenced, an agreement is reached for the settlement or compromise of a claim of a person under disability, whether alone or with others, and it is desired to obtain the court's approval, application may be made by an originating application, and the court may make any order as it thinks just.
(1) Two or more persons claiming to be entitled, or alleged to be liable, as partners may sue or be sued in the name of the firm in which they were partners at the time when the alleged right or liability arose.
(2) Service is effected upon a firm by leaving a copy of the document to be served either with a person who was a partner at the time the alleged right or liability arose or with a person at a place of business of the firm who appears to manage or control the partnership business there.
(3) An appearance by a partnership shall be in the name of the firm, but a partner or a person served as a partner may appear and defend in the person's own name, whether or not named in the originating process.
(4) Where a partnership is a party to a proceeding, any other party may deliver a notice requiring one of the partners to deliver within 10 days an affidavit setting out the names and addresses of all persons who were partners when the alleged right or liability arose.
(5) Where the affidavit requested under subrule (4) is not delivered, the court may order delivery.
(6) Where an order is made against a firm, execution to enforce the order may issue against any property of the firm.
(7) Subject to subrule (8), where an order is made against a firm, execution to enforce the order may issue against any person who
(a) entered an appearance in the person's own name in the proceeding as a partner,
(b) having been served with the originating process as a partner, failed to enter an appearance in the proceeding,
(c) admitted in a pleading or affidavit that the person is a partner, or
(d) was adjudged to be a partner.
(8) Where a party who has obtained an order against a firm claims that a person, who is not a person described in subrule (7), is liable to satisfy the order as being a member of the firm, the party may apply to the court for leave to issue execution against that person.
(9) Where the person against whom an application under subrule (8) is made disputes liability, the court may order that the liability of the person be determined in any manner in which an issue or question in an action may be determined.
(10) A person carrying on business in a name or style other than the person's own name may be sued in that name or style as if it were the name of a firm, and this rule applies as though the person were a partner and the name in which the person carries on business were the name of that firm.
Form and Commencement of Proceedings
(1) Except where otherwise authorized by an enactment or these rules, every proceeding in the court shall be commenced by issuing a writ of summons.
(2) A writ of summons shall be endorsed either with a statement of claim or with a concise statement of the nature of the claim made and the relief or remedy required in the action.
(3) A writ of summons shall be in Form 1.
(4) Subject to Rule 13, a writ of summons may be served within or outside British Columbia.
(5) If the plaintiff sues or a defendant is sued in a representative capacity, the endorsement shall show in what capacity the plaintiff or defendant sues or is sued.
(6) A writ of summons shall state the address of the plaintiff and the office address of the plaintiff's solicitor, if the plaintiff has a solicitor, and shall state an address for delivery which, unless it is the office address of the solicitor, shall be within 10 miles of the registry.
(7) For the purpose of subrule (6), a place that is within 10 miles of the registry in the City of Vancouver shall be deemed to be also within 10 miles of the registry in the City of New Westminster, and a place within 10 miles of the registry in the City of New Westminster shall be deemed to be also within 10 miles of the registry in the City of Vancouver.
(8) A writ of summons shall be signed by the plaintiff or by or for the plaintiff's solicitor and may be issued out of any registry of the court.
(9) A writ of summons shall be sealed and dated by the registrar and shall thereupon be deemed to be issued.
(10) The plaintiff or the plaintiff's solicitor shall leave the original writ with the registrar.
(11) (a) The registry shall file the writ, number the action commenced by the writ and enter the names of the parties in an index.
(b) The registrar shall return to the plaintiff or the plaintiff's solicitor as many copies of the issued writ as are requested.
(12) If a writ of summons has been lost, the court, on being satisfied of the loss and the correctness of a copy of the writ, may order that the copy be sealed and stand in place of the original writ.
(13) A proceeding under section 2 of the Wills Variation Act shall be commenced by a writ of summons.
(14) The surviving spouse and children of the testator, all beneficiaries under the testator's will whose interest may be affected by the order sought, and the executor of the will shall be parties to the proceeding, but the court may order that any other person be joined as a party.
(15) In a statement of defence a defendant may raise a claim under section 2 of the Wills Variation Act on his or her own behalf, and any other party may deliver a reply.
(16) A proceeding under the Wills Variation Act is governed by these rules.
(17) A proceeding under Part 3 of the Family Relations Act may be commenced by writ of summons.
(18) Subrules (4) to (12) apply to a petition.
Renewal of Writ
(1) No original writ of summons shall be in force for more than 12 months, but where a defendant named in the writ has not been served, the court, on the application of the plaintiff made before or after the expiration of the 12 months, may order that the original writ of summons be renewed for a period of not more than 12 months which, unless otherwise ordered, shall commence on the date of the order.
(2) If a renewed writ of summons has not been served on a defendant named in the writ, the court, on the application of the plaintiff made during the currency of the renewed writ, may order the renewal of the writ for a further period of not more than 12 months which, unless otherwise ordered, shall commence on the date of the order.
(3) A renewed writ of summons shall be endorsed by the registrar with the date of the order granting renewal or the date of renewal referred to in the order, and the renewed writ shall remain in force and be available to prevent the operation of any statutory limitation and for all other purposes.
(4) The production of a writ of summons endorsed by the registrar in accordance with subrule (3) shall be sufficient evidence for all purposes of its having been renewed and of the commencement of the action on the date of the original writ.
(5) This rule applies to a petition.
(1) An application, other than an interlocutory application or an application in the nature of an appeal, may be made by originating application where
(a) an application is authorized to be made to the court,
(b) the sole or principal question at issue is alleged to be one of construction of an enactment, will, deed, oral or written contract, or other document,
(c) the applicant is the only person who is interested in the relief claimed, or there is no person against whom relief is sought,
(d) the relief, advice or direction sought relates to a question arising in the administration of an estate of a deceased person or the execution of a trust, or the performance of an act by a person in the person's capacity as executor, administrator or trustee, or the determination of the persons entitled as creditors or otherwise to the estate or trust property,
(e) the relief, advice or direction sought relates to the maintenance, guardianship or property of infants or other persons under disability,
(f) the relief sought is for payment of funds into or out of court,
(g) the relief sought relates to land and is for
(i) a declaration of a beneficial interest in or a charge on land and of the character and extent of the interest or charge,
(ii) a declaration settling the priority between interests or charges,
(iii) an order cancelling a certificate of title or making a title subject to an interest or charge, or
(iv) an order of partition or sale, or
(h) the relief, advice or direction sought relates to the determination of a claim of solicitor and client privilege.
(2) Where the nature of an application or the circumstances of a case are such that notice need not be given, an originating application may be made by filing in any registry
(a) a praecipe in Form 2 specifying any rule or other enactment relied on and attaching a draft of the order requested, and
(b) the material on which the application is founded,
and on being satisfied that the application is appropriate for proceeding under this rule, the court may make the order without the application being spoken to.
(3) Subject to subrule (2) an originating application must
(a) be commenced by petition in Form 3 and may be issued out of any registry,
(b) specify any rule or other enactment relied on, and
(c) set out briefly in numbered paragraphs the facts on which the application is based.
(4) A petition shall be supported by affidavit as to all the facts on which the application is based and shall specify those affidavits.
(5) The petition and copies of all affidavits in support shall be served on all persons whose interests may be affected by the order sought.
(6) In case of urgency the court may make an order ex parte and give directions for service of the order.
(7) Unless the court otherwise orders, the person serving an ex parte order, at the time of service, shall also serve a copy of the petition and each affidavit on which the order was granted.
(8) On the application of a person affected by an ex parte order the court may set it aside or vary it as the court thinks just.
(9) A respondent who has entered an appearance to a petition may file an affidavit for use at the hearing of the application.
(10) A respondent who files an affidavit referred to in subrule (9) shall deliver a copy to all other parties of record at least 2 days before the date set for the hearing.
(11) Where no respondent has entered an appearance to a petition within the time allowed, the petitioner may set the matter down for hearing in chambers by submitting a praecipe to the registry and filing proof of service.
(12) Where a respondent has entered an appearance to a petition, the petitioner or that respondent may set the matter down for hearing in chambers by filing a notice in Form 4 in the registry and delivering a copy of the notice to all parties of record.
(13) Unless otherwise ordered, there shall be at least 3 days between the delivery of a notice of hearing and the day named in the notice for hearing the application.
(14) A petitioner may serve a notice of hearing with the petition, but no time limit shall be abridged by doing so.
(15) A proceeding for the opinion, advice or direction of a judge under the Trustee Act shall be commenced by petition supported by affidavit.
(16) The opinion, advice or direction of a judge shall be entered and remain as of record in the same manner as an order of the court and shall be termed as a "judicial opinion", "judicial advice" or "judicial direction", as the case may require.
| Rules 1-10 | Rules 11-19 | Rules 20-29 | Rules 30-37 | Rules 38-42 | Rules 42A-55 | Rules 56-60B | Rules 61-64 | Appendices |
Copyright (c) 2005: Queen's Printer, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada