How Do I Reply to an Interim Application in a Family Law Matter in the Supreme Court?
Notice of the application
You will be entitled to notice of almost every application the other side, the applicant, intends to bring to court. The most common exceptions to this general rule are when:
- the applicant makes an application without notice to you when the application is urgent (called an ex parte or without notice application),
- the applicant is applying for permission to compress the usual timelines for the hearing of their application (called a short leave application),
- the applicant is asking to be exempted from the requirement that a judicial case conference be held before the first interim application, or
- you are the respondent and you haven't filed your defence to the applicant's Notice of Family Claim.
When the applicant is required to give you notice of their application, the applicant will send you a copy of their Notice of Application and any new affidavits the applicant will rely on at the hearing. These documents are to be sent to your address for service, which may include your fax number for service or your email address for service if you've given one, at least eight business days before the date of the hearing.
The Notice of Application will tell you:
- the orders that the applicant will be asking the court to make,
- the facts the applicant says support the application,
- a summary of the applicant's argument in favour of the application,
- the rules, acts, or regulations the applicant will be relying on, and
- the affidavits the applicant will be using to argue the application.
The affidavit ought to tell you why the applicant wants the court to make the orders they are asking for and state the facts that support the making of those orders.
Replying to the application
In most cases, to reply to an application you will prepare and file an Application Response in Form F32 and at least one new affidavit. The forms are online. See the Supreme Court Forms section.
Your Application Response tells the applicant and the court:
- the orders that you agree to the court making,
- the orders that you intend to oppose,
- the orders that you might agree to if certain conditions are met,
- your understanding of the facts that relate to the application,
- a summary of your argument against the application,
- the rules, acts or regulations you'll be relying on, and
- the affidavits that you will be relying on at the hearing of the application.
You should do two things in any new affidavit you prepare in replying to an application:
- you should respond to any important statements in the applicant's affidavit that you disagree with or think are inaccurate, and
- you should tell the court about the facts that support your position on the application.
You must send two copies of your filed materials to the applicant within at least five business days from the time you were served with the application materials.
The applicant's reply
The applicant may decide to prepare a new affidavit to reply to something you've said in your affidavit. The applicant must give you a copy of any new affidavits by 4:00pm on the business day that is one full business day before the hearing.
You do not have an automatic right to serve an affidavit of your own in reply to this new affidavit. You can prepare another affidavit if you want, but be prepared for the judge or master hearing the application to refuse to admit your affidavit.
The Application Record is a three-ring binder that contains all of the application materials, with an index and separated by tabs, that is assembled by the applicant. The Application Record is prepared for the benefit of the judge or master hearing the application.
The applicant will give you their index to the Application Record by 4:00pm on the business day that is one full business day before the hearing. Make up your own Application Record using the applicant's index. This will make sure that you, the applicant, and the judge are all on the same page, literally, when you're referring to the materials in the Application Record.
- Rule 6-2: How to serve documents by ordinary service
- Rule 7-1: The JCC rules
- Rule 10-4: The rule about affidavits
- Rule 10-5: Directions for bringing interim applications
- Rule 10-6: The usual application procedure
For more information
You can find a more complete discussion of the interim application process and the different timelines and deadlines in the chapter Resolving Family Law Problems in Court within the section Interim Applications in Family Matters.
|This information applies to British Columbia, Canada. Last reviewed for legal accuracy by Samantha Simpson, June 11, 2019.|
|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 family court proceeding. The Family Court of the Provincial Court cannot deal with the division of family property or matters under the Divorce Act. See "judge" and "jurisdiction."
A request to the court that it make a specific order, usually on an interim or temporary basis, also called a "chambers application" or a "motion." See also "interim application" and "relief."
A party who brings an application to the court for a specific order or remedy. Usually refers to the party making an interim application, but in the Provincial Court it also means the person who starts a court proceeding. See also "court proceeding," "application respondent," and "interim application."
In 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."
An application, also called an "interlocutory application," made after the start of a court proceeding but before its conclusion, usually for temporary relief pending the final resolution of the proceeding at trial or by settlement. In family law, interim applications are useful to determine issues like where the children will live, who will pay child support, and whether spousal support should be paid on a rough and ready basis. See "application" and "interim order."
The person against whom a claim has been brought by Notice of Family Claim. See “application” and “Notice of Family Claim."
A 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.
A legal document required by the Supreme Court Family Rules to begin a court proceeding, setting out the relief claimed by the claimant and the grounds on which that relief is claimed. See "action," "claim," "claimant," "pleadings" and "relief."
A legal document required by the Supreme Court Family Rules to bring an interim application, setting out the relief claimed by the applicant, the grounds on which that relief is claimed, and the date on which the application will be heard. See "applicant," "grounds," "interim application," and "relief."
The address at which a party to a court proceeding agrees to accept delivery of legal documents. An address for service must be a proper street address within British Columbia; additional addresses for service may include postal addresses, fax numbers, and email addresses.
A method of calculating time under which the days for a legal deadline are determined based on when the court is open for business, excluding weekends and holidays. See "calendar days" and "clear days."
In law, an attempt to persuade by logical reasoning. Usually refers to oral or written argument presented to a judge following the presentation of evidence, or to a written summary of argument.
A kind of legislation that provides supplemental rules for a particular act. Regulations are created and amended by the government, not by the legislature, and as a result the legislature has no right to a say in how or what regulations are imposed by government. See "act."
In law, an answer or rebuttal to a claim made or a defence raised by the other party to a court proceeding or legal dispute. See "action," "claim," "defence," and "rebut."
A legal document required by the Supreme Court Family Rules to reply to a Notice of Application, which sets out the relief agreed to and opposed by the application respondent and the facts in support of that position. See "interim application."
A legal document in which a person provides evidence of certain facts and events in writing. The person making the affidavit, the deponent, must confirm the affidavit evidence is true by oath or affirmation. Affidavits must be signed in front of a lawyer, a notary public or a commissioner for taking oaths, who takes the oath or affirmation of the deponent. Affidavits are used as evidence, just as if the person making the affidavit had made the statements as a witness. See "deponent", "affirm" and "witness."
A person appointed by the federal or provincial government 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, subject to appeal.
A provincially-appointed judicial official with limited jurisdiction, usually charged with making decisions before and after final judgment in a court proceeding, including the hearing of interim applications, the assessment of lawyers' bills, and the settling of bills of cost. See "interim application," "judge," and "jurisdiction."
Sending legal documents to a party at that party's "address for service," usually by mail, fax, or email. Certain documents, like a Notice of Family Claim, must be served on the other party by personal service. Most other documents may be served by ordinary service. See also "address for service" and "personal service."