20 April 2011

Acroynms and Abbreviations Explained

Here's a brief guide to some common legal acronyms and abbreviations used in family law matters.
A.C.J.: short for "Associate Chief Justice" in the superior courts or "Associate Chief Judge" in the Provincial Court

A.G.: the Attorney General

A.N.
: Administrative Notice, a procedural advisory to be read with the Supreme Court Family Rules

B.C.C.A.
: the British Columbia Court of Appeal

B.C.P.C.: the British Columbia Provincial Court

B.C.S.C.
: the British Columbia Supreme Court

c.: short for "chapter"

C.F.C.S.A.
: the Child, Family and Community Services Act

C.J.: short for "Chief Justice" in the superior courts or "Chief Judge" in the Provincial Court

C.R.A.: the Canada Revenue Agency

C.S.G.: the Child Support Guidelines, also referred to as "the Guidelines"

D.A.
: the Divorce Act

de minimus
: short for "de minimus non curat lex," a Latin phrase meaning that the law does not concern itself with trifles

df.: short for "defendant," or "respondent" under the new rules; also represented as Δ

et al.
: short for "et alii" (masculine) or "et alia" (feminine), a Latin phrase meaning "and others"

F.M.E.P.: the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program, the provincial program that enforces child support and spousal support obligations

F.M.P.: the Family Maintenance Program, the provincial program that obtains child support and spousal support orders on behalf of persons receiving social assistance

F.P.D.: Family Practice Direction, a procedural advisory to be read with the Supreme Court Family Rules

F.R.A.: the Family Relations Act

Hon.: short for "Honourable"

J.: short for "Justice," JJ. is the plural form and means "Justices"

L.O.L.: Lawyer on Ledge

M.A.G.: the Ministry of the Attorney General

M.C.F.D.
: the Ministry for Children and Family Development

O.I.C.: Order in Council

p.: short for "page," pp. is the plural form and means "pages"

para.: short for "paragraph," paras. is the plural form and means "paragraphs;" also represented as ¶ and ¶¶

P.C.F.R.: the Provincial Court (Family) Rules

P.D.: civil Practice Direction, a procedural advisory sometimes to be read with the Supreme Court Family Rules

pl.: short for "plaintiff," or "claimant" under the new rules; also represented as π

Q.C.: Queen's Counsel

reg.: short for "regulation"

R.S.B.C.: the Revised Statutes of British Columbia, refers to a consolidated collection of the current provincial laws

R.S.C.: the Revised Statutes of Canada, refers to a consolidated collection of the current federal laws

s.: short for "section," ss. is the plural form and means "sections" (s-s. means "subsection"); also represented as § and §§

S.B.C.: Statute of British Columbia

S.C.: Statute of Canada

S.C.C.: the Supreme Court of Canada

S.C.F.R.: the Supreme Court Family Rules

S.S.A.G.
: the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines, also referred to as "the Advisory Guidelines"

Supp.: short for "supplement"

v.: short for "versus"
Here's how you read references to legislation:
Family Relations Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 128, s. 35(2)
The law is the Family Relations Act, which is chapter 128 of the 1996 consolidated Revised Statutes of British Columbia, and the part of the law specifically referred to is subsection 2 of section 35. Here's another example:
Divorce Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. 3 (2nd Supp.), ss. 15.1, 16 and 17
The law is the Divorce Act, which is found in the second supplement to chapter 3 of the 1985 consolidated Revised Statutes of Canada, and the sections referred to are section 15.1, section 16 and section 17. This next example is too recent to belong to a Revised Statutes consolidation:
Civil Marriage Act, S.C. 2005, c. 33
The law is the Civil Marriage Act, which is chapter 33 of the federal laws passed in 2005.

Here's how you read references to newer court decisions:
Smith v. Jones, 2011 BCSC 345
This case is the case of Smith, the claimant, versus Jones, the respondent, and is the 345th decision of the BC Supreme Court released in 2011.

Plain-language definitions for several hundred common legal words and phrases are available in my website. If there any acronyms and abbreviations you'd like me to explain, please say so in a comment to this post.

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