How Do I Reply to an Interim Application in a Family Law Matter in the Supreme Court?

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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:

  1. you should respond to any important statements in the applicant's affidavit that you disagree with or think are inaccurate, and
  2. 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 at least five business days after 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.

Application records

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 when you're referring to the materials in the Application Record.

The rules

  • 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 28, 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.
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