COVID-19 Update: The Supreme Court Expands Civil Matters with Applications by Written Submission

Pursuant to Ministerial Order No. M121, on April 22, 2020 the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General has dispensed with some of the procedural steps for applications under the Supreme Court Civil Rules, where the procedural steps cannot reasonably be taken because of the COVID-19 pandemic or are inconsistent with public health advisories.

Accordingly, effective April 27, 2020 until the conclusion of the state of emergency, the Chief Justice has ordered that the requirement in Rule 8-6 of the Supreme Court Civil Rules that an order must be made at a case planning conference before parties can make an application by written submissions does not apply to applications that meet the following criteria:

  • The matter is limited to one disputed issue; and
  • The issue can be addressed on the basis of one affidavit filed per party of no more than 10 pages in length inclusive of exhibits.

If the matter involves more than one disputed issue, a party may bring an application by way of written submissions in lieu of a hearing if:

  • The parties have reached consent on all but one issue, or the party bringing the application has identified all of the disputed issues and chosen one issue to proceed by written submissions; and
  • The issue can be addressed on the basis of one affidavit filed per party, no more than 10 pages in length, inclusive of exhibits.

However, the Court retains discretion to decide if the issue is appropriate for determination on the basis of written submissions.

For an outline of the process for making an application by written submissions please refer to Ministerial Order No. M121.

Read EKB’s most recent Updates about COVID-19, BC business, and the law.