Chambers applications during COVID-19

Supreme Court

You can apply to have a chambers application heard by phone conference if you estimate your matter will take 2 hours or less, unless you’re in Vancouver.

The Supreme Court is rolling out a new procedure for hearing Supreme Court chambers applications in Vancouver. Starting October 26, 2020, applications that have been scheduled for hearing in Masters chambers (estimated at 2 hours or less) will be heard on Microsoft Teams. All other chambers applications in Vancouver will be by phone. This includes applications in Judges chambers and lengthy chambers applications.

The Supreme Court will announce the hearing of chambers applications using Microsoft Teams in locations outside of Vancouver at a later date.

Follow this process until further notice.

New application or response, or reset an adjourned application

If you are the applicant

  • Complete a Notice of Application (Form F31)
  • In the registry field on page 1 of the form, choose one of the following locations as the place of hearing.
    • Chilliwack
    • Kamloops
    • Kelowna
    • Nanaimo
    • New Westminster
    • Prince George
    • Vancouver
    • Vernon
    • Victoria
    • Williams Lake
  • If you are not in Vancouver, in the TAKE NOTICE field, type the name and address of the registry and “by telephone”.
  • If you are in Vancouver, in the TAKE NOTICE field, type the name and address of the registry and "by Microsoft Teams" (for Masters chambers applications of 2 hours or less).
  • Include your mailing address and an email address and telephone number where the registry can contact you to confirm telephone conferencing information (or a link by email to connect by Teams and alternate dial-in numbers, if applicable).
  • File the Notice of Application and every affidavit and other document that you will refer to at the hearing and that hasn't already been filed and served in the case.
  • Serve all the filed documents on the other person.

Court registry services during COVID-19

Supreme Court registries are open and accepting filings in person. The court still prefers that you e-file documents using Court Services Online, or file by email, mail, or fax (to fax filing registries). 

If you are the respondent and you want to respond

  • File an Application Response (Form F32)
  • Include your mailing address and an email address and telephone number where the registry can contact you to confirm telephone conferencing information (or a link by email to connect by Teams and alternate dial-in numbers, if applicable)..
  • File the modified Application Response and every affidavit and other document that will be referred to at the hearing and that hasn't already been filed and served in the case.
  • Serve all the filed documents on the other person.

Court registry services during COVID-19

Supreme Court registries are open and accepting filings in person. The court still prefers that you e-file documents using Court Services Online, or file by email, mail, or fax (to fax filing registries). 

If your application was adjourned and you want to reset it

If your application of less than two hours was set for hearing at one of the locations listed above, and that hearing was adjourned because of COVID-19, you can reset your application.

  • File a Requisition (Form F17) setting out the date and time of the hearing.
  • Serve a copy of the filed Requisition on the other person at least two business days before the date set for the hearing.
  • Include your mailing address and an email address and telephone number where the registry can contact you to confirm telephone conferencing information (or a link by email to connect by Teams and alternate dial-in numbers, if applicable).

Court registry services during COVID-19

Supreme Court registries are open and accepting filings in person. The court still prefers that you e-file documents using Court Services Online, or file by email, mail, or fax (to fax filing registries). 
You don't need to file a new Notice of Application or Application Response, but you must follow the procedures set out below.

Application record

  • If you are the applicant, make an application record, as described in Step 5 of the guide: Change a family order in Supreme Court if you can't both agree. Please note the following changes:
    • You may include copies of case law and other authorities that you will rely on at the hearing.
    • The external cover page must include contact information (email preferred) for you and the other person where the registry can contact you to confirm telephone conferencing information (or a link by email to connect by Teams and alternate dial-in numbers, if applicable).
    • If you submit a draft order in the application record, include a backing sheet with it. A backing sheet is a separate piece of paper that shows your name and mailing address so the court knows who to mail the signed order to.
  • File your application record at the registry, and serve the application record index on the other person, as described in Step 6 of the guide: Change a family order in Supreme Court if you can't both agree. Please note the following changes:
    • The court staff won’t return the application record to you after the hearing. They'll securely destroy it.
    • If your new hearing is adjourned, the registry will hold the application record for up to 10 business days. If you don't file a Requisition to reset the adjourned application within 10 business days, the court will securely destroy the application record.
If you don’t provide an application record to the registry within the specified time, the court will take your application off the chambers list. If you miss the deadline to file your application record, you must file a requisition to reset your hearing date.

Chambers hearings

If your application is being heard by telephone:

  • At least one day before the hearing date, the registry emails both of you to confirm the hearing date and time. This email includes instructions for how to join the telephone conference and what time you must check in with the court clerk.
  • Check in with the court clerk when you call in to the telephone conference. Check-in time begins at 9 am unless the hearing confirmation email says otherwise.
  • After you’ve spoken to the court clerk, mute your microphone and stay in the telephone conference until your matter is called and heard. Refer to the instructions provided in the hearing confirmation email.
The Policy on Use of Electronic Devices in Courtrooms applies to applications heard by telephone. You must not record your telephone conference.

If your application is being heard by Microsoft Teams:

  • At least one day before the hearing date, the registry emails both of you to confirm the hearing date and time. This email includes instructions for how to join the chambers conference using Teams by video and dial-in conferencing numbers. It also includes what time you must check in with the court clerk.
  • On the day of the hearing, dress in business attire.
  • Check in with the court clerk when you join the conference using Teams. You can do this by video or using the dial-in conferencing number. Check-in time begins at 9 am unless the hearing confirmation email says otherwise.
  • After you’ve spoken to the court clerk, mute your microphone or phone connection and keep your camera off until your matter is called and heard. Refer to the instructions provided in the hearing confirmation email.
  • Do your best to minimize noise and other disturbances.  
  • Make sure you’ve had a meal or a snack before the hearing as you can’t eat or drink anything (other than water) during the hearing.
  • During the hearing, stay on-screen. Ask for permission if you need to move off-screen.
  • You can sit while you address the court during the hearing. You don’t have to stand or bow when the Master enters or leaves the hearing.

The Policy on Use of Electronic Devices in Courtrooms applies to applications heard by Teams and telephone. You must not record your conference.

Don't go over the time estimate for your hearing. You may have to pay money to the court if you do.

If you have questions about Teams hearings in Vancouver, contact:
Scott Kinloch
236-889-9754
Scott.kinloch@gov.bc.ca