03 August 2010

Rules on Chambers Applications Amended

By now most people involved in the family law justice system are aware that the new Supreme Court Family Rules which came into effect on 1 July 2010 have one particularly important flaw: the timelines for chambers application procedures in Rule 10-6 don't work. On 29 July 2010 an Order in Council was passed which ought to correct the timelines. Here are the key changes.

Calculation of Time:
Time is now calculated as "business days," meaning days when the court is open for business. Weekends and statutory holidays are no longer counted.

Notice of Application:
The length of this form is now capped at 10 pages. Changes are made to the text of the form to reflect the new timelines.

Time for Serving Notice of Application: Filed copies of the Notice of Application and new supporting affidavits must be served on the application respondent:
  1. for interim applications, at least 8 business days before the date picked for the hearing;
  2. for summary trials, at least 12 business days before the hearing date; and,
  3. for applications to vary a final order, at least 21 business days before the hearing date.
Responding to an Application: The application respondent must now serve two copies of his or her Application Response and new affidavits on the applicant. A new subrule, (8.1), says that these materials must be filed in court and served on the applicant:
  1. for interim applications, at least 5 business days after service of the Notice of Application;
  2. for summary trials, at least 8 business days after service; and,
  3. for applications to vary a final order, at least 14 business days after service.
This replaces the rule which allowed an application respondent to delay delivering his or her responding materials until two days before the hearing regardless of when they were available.

Responding to a Response: The applicant is required to file and serve copies of any new affidavits prepared in reply to the application respondent's materials by 4:00pm on the day that is one business day before the hearing date.

Application Records and Application Record Indices: The applicant is required to both file an Application Record in court and serve a copy of the index on the application respondent by 4:00pm on the day that is one business day before the hearing date.

These changes, including the change to the Notice of Application, have now been incorporated on my website into the chapters New Rules 101 and The Legal System > Interim Applications.


  1. The OIC is now Reg. 241/2010, which we've posted on the Courthouse Libraries website:


    It's a long link, but it should do the trick!

  2. What happens when court rules are not observed. what are the consequenses for intentionally breaking these rules??

  3. The consequences are set out in Rule 21-5 and include the court striking a claim or a defence, allowing a claim, setting aside a step taken, making a costs order, or making "any other order it considers will further the object" of the rules.

  4. Has the recent changes to the Family Law Act changed your recommendation that unmarried couples living together NOT get a co hab agreement? Thanks JP

  5. IF the proposed changes get made then yes, my views will change, because the laws about the division of property that apply to married couples will now also apply to unmarried common-law couples.

  6. My ex husband is trying to vary his spousal support order and is not providing his income tax statements with his application. Isnt it a rule of Supreme Court that he has to disclose that with his application? It is part of our existing court order that he provide me with income tax information each year and hasnt. He is claiming on his Application he has I can prove otherwise.

  7. Judge has told me to seek to have the family trial reopened if I believe that I had new evidence that would change her decision in regards to the decision that she made. I have evidence that the other party and his wife are neglecting and emotionally abusing the children in their care the time they have them. What would you consider the grounds for this? would it be a petition or motion? your help is appreciated!

  8. I don't disagree with these changes however I find it rather appalling what lengths a so called professional will go to to make it next to impossible to complete a response in time. The tactics are disgustingly prevalent.