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

From Clicklaw Wikibooks

Only the claimant to a Supreme Court proceeding can stop the court proceeding without the proceeding going to trial or being settled.

No one can stop a court proceeding for the claimant or force the claimant to stop a proceeding.

While it often happens that a proceeding is abandoned, typically when no one does anything in the action for a long time, that doesn't stop the court proceeding altogether or cancel any orders that have already been made.

To bring everything to a halt, the claimant must file a Notice of Discontinuance in Form F39, and deliver a copy of the filed notice to everyone else named in the proceeding. If the claimant does this too late, after a court proceeding has already been set for trial, the claimant can only stop everything with the consent of the other parties or a court order.

While there is no fee charged to file a Notice of Discontinuance, Rule 11-4(4) says that the respondent may be entitled to claim their court costs of the proceeding up to the date it is discontinued.

More information[edit]

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


This information applies to British Columbia, Canada. Last reviewed for legal accuracy by Thomas Wallwork, May 9, 2017.


Creativecommonssmall.png JP Boyd on Family Law © John-Paul Boyd and Courthouse Libraries BC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada Licence.

Normally referred to as the "Supreme Court of British Columbia," this court hears most court proceedings in this province. The Supreme Court is a court of inherent jurisdiction and is subject to no limits on the sorts of claims it can hear or on the sorts of orders it can make. Decisions of the Provincial Court are appealed to the Supreme Court; decisions of the Supreme Court are appealed to the Court of Appeal. See "Court of Appeal," "jurisdiction," "Provincial Court" and "Supreme Court of Canada."

A 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. It is, however, the most accessible of the two trial courts and no fees are charged to begin or defend a court proceeding. 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."

The person who starts a court proceeding seeking an order for specific remedy or relief against another person, the respondent. See "action" and "respondent."

In 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."

A 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.

The testing of the claims at issue in a court proceeding at a formal hearing before a judge with the jurisdiction to hear the proceeding. The parties present their evidence and arguments to the judge, who then makes a determination of the parties' claims against one another that is final and binding on the parties unless appealed. See "action," "appeal," "argument," "claim," "evidence" and "jurisdiction."

A 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.

A 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."

The person against whom a claim has been brought by Notice of Family Claim. See “application” and “Notice of Family Claim."

The assertion of a legal right to an order or to a thing; the remedy or relief sought by a party to a court proceeding.

A 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."

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