This section of the Guidebook should be read along with Information Package #2 - Appeal from a Master, Registrar or Special Referee, which provides helpful .doc versions of some relevant Court forms.
Many applications are decided by a Master or Registrar of the BC Supreme Court. For more information on applications, see Chambers. Registrars often hear matters relating to costs awards. For more information on costs, see Costs.
Sometimes one or more parties will not be happy with a decision of a Master or Registrar. They can bring an appeal to a judge of the British Columbia Supreme Court. Generally, it is difficult to overturn a decision of a Master or Registrar. The Court ordinarily will not interfere with an order of a Master or Registrar unless convinced that the Master or Registrar was “clearly wrong”. However, if the order is “vital to a final issue” in the case, then the judge will rehear the matter (that is, make their own fresh decision).
If a matter is decided by a Master or Registrar of the Court, then their order can be appealed to a judge of the British Columbia Supreme Court. These appeals are governed by Rules 23-6 (8.1) – 23-6 (8.10).
Further, if you are bringing an appeal, you must within 14 days of the order at issue, order a transcript of the reasons for decision of the master or registrar (if oral reasons were given), as well as a transcript of any evidence led at the Master or Registrar hearing (Rule 23-6(8.5) and (8.6)).
Both the notice of appeal and the Notice of Argument must be served on the all of the other parties within seven days of the notice of appeal being filed (Rule 23-6(8.2)).
A party who wishes to oppose the appeal must file a notice of interest, in Form 70, and prepare a Respondent’s Statement of Argument in Form 121.2. The Respondent’s Statement of Argument sets out the reason for opposing the appeal.
Both the notice of interest and the Respondent’s Statement of Argument must be served on all the other parties within 14 days of receiving the Notice of Appeal and Notice of Argument.
The matter must be set for hearing. If the time estimate is less than 2 hours it can be heard in ordinary Chambers. If it will take longer than 2 hours then a hearing date must be fixed by Supreme Court Scheduling. For more information on setting matters in chambers, see Chambers Applications.
The appellant must file an Appeal Record with the Court by 4 p.m. one full business day before the hearing. The appeal record must be in secure binding (like a 3 ring binder) and contain:
- A title page
- An index
- A copy of the notice of appeal
- A copy of the order of the master or decision of the registrar or special referee that is subject to the appeal
- A copy of the written reasons for judgment of the master, or reasons for decision of the registrar or special referee, or, if the reasons were given orally, a transcript of the reasons
- A copy of the notice of application and application response, and for registrars' appeals, a copy of the appointment
- Copies of any affidavits that were before the master, registrar, or special referee that will be relied on for the appeal
- A transcript of any oral evidence heard by the master, registrar, or special referee to be relied on for the appeal
- The appellant's statement of argument, not to exceed 10 pages, and
- The respondent's statement of argument, not to exceed 10 pages