Chambers applications during COVID-19

Supreme Court

All regular chambers applications (two hours or less) will continue to be heard by Teams Video until further notice. All long chambers applications (more than two hours) will be heard in-person at the courthouse. The registry will schedule the hearing for you. See Covid-19 Notice No. 42 [April 11, 2022]

Regular chambers hearing process

Regular chamber hearings will proceed by video using Microsoft Teams (Teams Video) unless the Court otherwise orders or directs. See COVID-19 Notice No. 42 [April 11, 2022].

For every Teams Video hearing, a dial-in conferencing number will also be provided so parties can participate by phone if they’re unable to do so by video or if their connections fails.

  • At approximately 5:30 on the evening before the hearing date, the registry emails both of you to confirm the hearing date and time. At approximately 8:45 am on the day of the hearing, parties will receive a second email with the Teams Video link. 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 Teams Video conference. Refer to the instructions provided in the hearing confirmation email. Check-in time begins at 9 am unless the hearing confirmation email says otherwise.
  • You must use your camera in the video hearing unless there's a technical reason why you're unable to do so. If you're not able to use video, you may dial using the conferencing numbers provided and participate by voice only.
  • 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 presider 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.

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

New application or response, or reset an adjourned application

If you are the applicant

  • Complete a Notice of Application (Form F31) (PDF)
  • 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
  • For regular matters two hours or less, 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).
  • For long matters more than two hours, in the TAKE NOTICE field, type the name and address of the registry and "in-person".
  • Include your mailing address and an email address and telephone number. If applicable, the registry will contact you to provide a link by email to connect by Teams Video, including alternate dial-in conferencing numbers to be used if you're unable to use video or your connection fails
  • 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) (PDF
  • Include your mailing address and an email address and telephone number. If applicable, the registry will contact you to provide a link by email to connect by Teams Video, including alternate dial-in conferencing numbers to be used if you're unable to use video or your connection fails.
  • File the 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.

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 provide a link by email to connect by Teams and alternate dial-in numbers, if applicable.

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 provide 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.
      • You can see a sample backing sheet on page 14 of the Supreme Court’s Guide to Preparing Your Affidavit.
      • 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.

      Long chambers applications (more than two hours)

      For any long chambers applications that the Court has ordered or directed will proceed by Teams video:

      • The Court may provide parties with instructions on how to upload their application record using the File Transfer Server (see COVID-19 Notice No. 44). In some situations, the Court may direct that a paper record is not required.
      • If the parties intend to rely on written arguments, they must also be included in the application record.