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Questions About the New Supreme Court Rules

  • Civil Litigation

We’re getting a steady stream of questions at the library about the new court rules and forms for BC Supreme Court cases.

Where can I find the new court rules and forms for Supreme Court cases?

There are two new sets of rules that came into effect on July 1, 2010: 

Also of note is that the Supreme Court has issued a new collection of Practice Directions and Administrative Notices to coincide with the coming in to effect of the new court rules:

Can I fill in the new court forms online?

Yes. There are fillable PDF versions of the court forms under the new rules. The forms can be completed on the computer and saved, printed, or filed electronically. (Note that you will need the free Adobe Reader to use these fillable forms.)

You can access the fillable court forms at:

My Supreme Court case started before July 1, 2010. Will the new rules affect me?

Yes. The new Supreme Court rules apply to cases started before July 1, 2010. From July 1 on, you must follow the new court rules.

There is an exception. Under the new civil rules:

Rule 24-1(14) If a step in a proceeding is taken before July 1, 2010, the former Supreme Court Rules apply to any right or obligation arising out of or relating to that step if and to the extent that that right or obligation is to have effect before September 1, 2010.

For a case that is not a family law case, the guidebook Transition to New Rules in the Supreme Court, developed by Justice Education Society, outlines how the new court rules will affect a case started before July 1, 2010. 

For a family law case, Questions about the new Supreme Court Family Rules coming into effect July 1, 2010, a fact sheet from Legal Services Society, provides some questions and answers about the new rules in family law cases.

I’m trying to figure out what new rule (or form) matches this old rule number (or form number)

For family law cases:

For all other cases:

I'm trying to prepare a case under the new Supreme Court rules

For civil cases, an excellent starting is the Supreme Court Self-Help Guidebook series, developed by the Justice Education Society and available through Clicklaw. The series includes over 20 guidebooks written in plain language for those who are representing themselves in BC Supreme Court. The guidebooks have been updated for the new court rules and include court forms with annotations explaining key parts of each form.

For family law cases, good starting points include:

In our courthouse libraries, we have copies of Carswell's Guide to Civil Litigation, updated for the new rules and forms. The Guide features detailed annotations for each form, explaining what needs to be completed and done with the form. 

Our libraries also have copies of the Civil Rules Transition Guide, from the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC. As well, several of our CLE practice manuals have now received updated contents incorporating the new rules and forms, including the BC Family Practice Manual, the BC Probate and Estate Administration Practice Manual, and Discovery Practice in BC.

DREW JACKSON

Drew Jackson is the Director of Client Services at Courthouse Libraries BC.

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