Are you looking for help with an application to Supreme Court in British Columbia?
Hello, I’m Alistair Vigier, the CEO of ClearWay Law. BC court applications can be confusing. Therefore, we put together this article to provide information about applications in the Supreme Court of British Columbia.
This article does not cover the provincial court and is not a substitute for legal advice from a lawyer. If you are looking for help with provincial court applications, see the link.
An application asks the court to make an order to resolve issues that come up before you go to trial. Most files do not make it all the way to trial. A trial is extremely expensive. It almost always costs more than $50,000.
It can also take years to get a trial. As such, applications are very important as they help move the issues along.
Chambers applications can be for family law, inheritance disputes, business law, or other areas of law. Let us know what you need help with. The lawyers and paralegals work on many applications to Supreme Court.
Going To Court In British Columbia
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All applications before trial are heard in chambers applications to the court. You might use an application to get someone added or removed from the litigation. Many small details can be dealt with by applications. Chamber applications are heard in open court and the hearings are audiotaped just like full trials. It is open to the public.
The judge or master usually wears a business suit instead of a robe. There will be a court clerk sitting in front of the judge. There are usually not sheriffs in the room. Evidence must be submitted in sworn written statements called affidavits. This is different from a trial where many forms of evidence are admissible.
Preparing Your Court Application
There are several things you can do to prepare for your court application. We strongly suggest watching chambers hearings in court so you can learn how it works. This will help reduce the anxiety of appearing before the court.
Again, the court is open to the public, so you can sit in the back of the court. During BC Court applications, it starts with a notice of application and the application response being filed with the court. Affidavits will also need to be filed by both parties.
Do not make the mistake of not preparing an application record. This is required. It helps the judge read along with your argument. Without it being filed, your court date might be cancelled, and you might have to pay $500 in costs. You can find out what kind of information to put in these documents by reading the guidebook on the Supreme Court website.
You can also hire a lawyer to do self-represented coaching. This will save you money by not having the lawyer represent you full time. We can connect you with attorneys that offer self-represented coaching for family law. It can be helpful to have a lawyer review your documents before going to court.
Costs are often threatened but are rarely granted in chambers. Normally costs are only awarded when one party doesn’t show up.
Delays In The Court During Chambers Applications
If there are a lot of applications, it is possible that you will have to sit for many hours. The longer the number of minutes you write that it will take, the more likely it is that the application will be bumped.
It is not uncommon to sit in court for the whole day, and your application doesn’t get heard. The court clerk will end up giving you back your application record (the binder.) You will have to speak to the opposing party and set new court days.
When you show up, you will be given a number. If you are number 1-5, chances are you will be heard first. But keep in mind it can jump around a bit. This can happen as people “stand down,” which means they no longer plan to argue their case at that time.
An application to the Supreme Court is not like the movies. You can’t just show up with a piece of paper and show the judge.
The Court List
Parties can also apply to be added to the chamber’s list last minute. Be very careful that the opposing party doesn’t add your case to the list last minute without telling you. It’s a good idea to make the opposing party email you with hearing times and dates. Otherwise, the opposing party might claim that they told you in person.
Sometimes the chamber’s list can move quickly. A lawyer from a bank might hear 10 matters back to back. This is normally for foreclosures. If the other party doesn’t show up, the order might be granted by the judge or master in minutes.
Try not to do an application to the Supreme Court by yourself. If you are up against a lawyer, you will probably lose.
BC Court Applications- What Is An Affidavit?
The affidavit is a sworn statement that lists the facts that support your position. It persuades the judge or master of why you were entitled to the order you are asking. It’s very important to remember that your affidavit must state only facts. It does not include your opinion about certain issues. The judge or master will only consider the facts that you provide in your affidavit. So, make sure to put a lot of effort into it and get self-represented coaching.
The affidavit must be relevant to the subject of your application. The same applies to exhibits that you attach to your affidavit exhibits. They support your application. For example, an affidavit should not contain legal arguments of law that supports your position. The affidavit should not include a discussion of case law or legislation.
The Application Record- BC Court Applications
The application record contains copies of all the documents that you’ve filled at the court registry. Collect and organize your documents. Imagine that you’re telling your story to the judge or master. You should be clear and logical and stick to the facts.
Think about the difference between facts and opinions. If you can put the words “I think” before your statement, it’s probably an opinion. Therefore, it should not be included in your material attached. The judge or master needs a reason to make the order that you are seeking. Therefore, be concise and keep your documents short. There is only a limited amount of time for hearing your case.
In the lobby of the courthouse, there will be a paper on the wall. It will tell you which court on your application is to be heard. In chambers, hearings start at 10 am. Therefore, you should arrive early so you can find the courtroom. When you get to the courtroom inform the court clerk that you are there.
BC Application To Supreme Court Hearings
Take a seat in the public area of the courtroom a wait for your case to be called. Stand when the judge or master enters the courtroom. Chambers applications are heard in open court which means that other people would be present.
Doing an application to the Supreme Court is hard, so get legal advice. Hire a law firm to help you.
Usually, the shortest applications are heard first. The court clerk will call out your case name when it is your turn to make an application. Go up to the front table and remain standing until you have introduced yourself.
The judge or master may have reviewed your file before the hearing. But they will have had limited time to review your materials. You will be given time to tell the judge or master what order you are seeking. You should refer to the highlights of your affidavit. There will not be time to read your affidavit out loud. That is why it’s important to prepare a summary in note form.
Information In Your Affidavits
This will cover what you want to say at the hearing so you can make your presentation in a clear and logical way. The goal is to make the judge or master comfortable in signing the court order.
Refer to your affidavits and summarize the information in them. Do not read them out loud. Help the judge your master understands why he or she should pay attention to the information that you have put in your affidavits.
Sit down after you’ve made your presentation and remain quiet. Never interrupt the other party when he or she is making their presentation. Do you feel that the other party has made some incorrect statements? Make a note of them and address them later when it is your turn.
Author: Alistair Vigier is the CEO of ClearWay Law