How Do I Stop Defending a Family Law Action in the Supreme Court?

From Clicklaw Wikibooks

If you are a respondentThe person against whom a claim has been brought by Notice of Family Claim. See “application” and “Notice of Family Claim.", you may want to end your defenceA reply, a rebuttal, an answer to a court proceeding or an application; a statement as to why a particular claim or application should not succeed. to 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.. If you have filed a CounterclaimA legal document required by the Supreme Court Family Rules in which a respondent sets out a claim for a specific remedy or relief against a claimant. See "Notice of Family Claim" and "Response to Family Claim.", you may want to stop that claimThe assertion of a legal right to an order or to a thing; the remedy or relief sought by a party to a court proceeding. as well.

This often happens where a settlementA resolution of one or more issues 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 conclusion of trial. See "action," "consent order," "family law agreements" and "offer." has been reached.

To stop defending a court proceeding, you must file a Notice of Withdrawal in Form F40, and deliver a copy of the filed form to everyone else named in the actionA court proceeding in which one party sues another for a specific remedy or relief, also called a "lawsuit" or a "case." An action for divorce, for example, is a court proceeding in which the claimant sues the respondent for the relief of a divorce order.. This will allow the claimantThe person who starts a court proceeding seeking an order for specific remedy or relief against another person, the respondent. See "action" and "respondent." to proceed as if no Response to Family ClaimA legal document required by the Supreme Court Family Rules in which the respondent to a court proceeding sets out their reply to the claimant's claim and the grounds for their reply. See "action," claim," "Notice of Family Claim" and "pleadings." had ever been filed, and possibly apply for a default judgmentA judgment obtained by a claimant following the respondent's failure to reply to the claimant's claim within the proper time from service. In the Supreme Court, a respondent who has been properly served with a Notice of Family Claim has 30 days to file a Response to Family Claim. Once those 30 days have elapsed without the response being served on the claimant, the claimant may apply to the court for a judgment in default. This is the basis for divorce orders made under the desk order divorce process. See "desk order divorce" and "Response to Family Claim.".

To stop a claim against a claimant and completely abandon an action, you must file a Notice of Discontinuance in Form F39, and deliver a copy of the filed form to everyone else named in the action.

The forms are available online. See the Supreme Court Forms section.

While there is no fee charged to file a Notice of Discontinuance or Notice of Withdrawal, Rule 11-4(4) says that the claimant may be entitled to claim their court costsA calculation of the allowable legal expenses of a party to a court proceeding, as determined by the Supreme Court Family Rules. The party who is most successful in a court proceeding is usually awarded their "costs" of the proceeding. See "account, "bill of costs," "certificate of costs," and "lawyer's fees." of the action up to the date of withdrawal or discontinuanceThe termination of a claim by the claimant or the termination of a counterclaim by a respondent. The discontinuance of a claim indicates the party's intention not to proceed with their claim. See "action" and "Counterclaim.".

For more information

You can find more information about Supreme Court procedure in the chapter Resolving Family Law Problems in Court within the section Replying to a Court Proceeding in a Family Matter.


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