How Do I Schedule a Family Case Conference for Hearing?

From Clicklaw Wikibooks

A family case conference (FCC) is a special type of hearingIn law, any proceeding before a judicial official to determine questions of law and questions of fact, including the hearing of an application and the hearing of a trial. See "decision" and "evidence." in the Provincial CourtA court established and staffed by the provincial government, which includes Small Claims Court, Youth Court and Family Court. The Provincial Court is the lowest level of court in British Columbia and is restricted in the sorts of matters it can deal with. Small Claims Court, for example, cannot deal with claims larger than $25,000, and Family Court cannot deal with the division of family property or matters under the ''Divorce Act''. See "judge" and "jurisdiction." involving the parties, their lawyers and a judgeA person appointed by the federal or provincial governments to manage and decide court proceedings in an impartial manner, independent of influence by the parties, the government or agents of the government. The decisions of a judge are binding upon the parties to the proceeding, and are subject to appeal., that is intended to explore the issues in a court proceedingA legal proceeding in which one party sues another for a specific remedy or relief, also called an "action," a "lawsuit" or a "case." A court proceeding for divorce, for example, is a proceeding in which the claimant sues the respondent for the relief of a divorce order. with the hope of finding a way to settle all or part of the proceedingIn law, the whole of the conduct of a court proceeding, from beginning to end, and the steps in between; may also be used to refer to a specific hearing or trial. See "action.". FCCs are private and held off the record.

FCCs can be very helpful, especially if the judge is prepared to be pushy with the parties and their lawyers. It's fairly common for proceedings to settle at FCCs, and where a settlementA resolution of one or more matters at issue in a court proceeding or legal dispute with the agreement of the parties to the proceeding or dispute, usually recorded in a written agreement or in an order that all parties agree the court should make. A court proceeding can be settled at any time before the trial. See "action," "consent order," "family law agreements" and "offer." is reached the judge will make a consent orderAn order resolving all or part of a court proceeding, on an interim or final basis, that the parties agree the court should make. on the spot, at the end of the hearing.

If you think a FCC will help, you can:

  • ask that a FCC be scheduled at your first appearance, or
  • if you've already had your first appearance, ask the judicial case manager to set a FCC for hearing.

If, for some reason, you have trouble scheduling a FCC, you can apply for an orderA mandatory direction of the court, binding and enforceable upon the parties to a court proceeding. An "interim order" is a temporary order made following the hearing of an interim application. A "final order" is a permanent order, made following the trial of the court proceeding or the parties' settlement, following which the only recourse open to a dissatisfied party is to appeal. See "appeal," "consent order," "decision" and "declaration." that a FCC be scheduled under Rule 7(1).

There is more information about family case conferences in the chapter, Resolving Family Law Problems in Court within the section Case Conferences in a Family Law Matter.


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