Scheduling a Chambers Hearing
There are several steps to take in order to schedule your hearing.
Step 1 Availability: Discuss with the other parties when they are available. It is important that you do not try to schedule a hearing for a day when another party is not available. If you do so, it is likely that the matter will simply be adjourned (postponed) and rescheduled. You could potentially even have a costs award made against you for wasting time.
Step 2 Get a time estimate: Discuss with the other party how long they think the hearing will take. Once the other parties have told you how long they expect the matter to take, decide if you agree. How long you estimate your matter will take will impact what happens next.
If your matter is estimated to take:
- Less than 2 hours = You can set it down for any day that the Court will sit in Chambers
- More than 2 hours = You need to get Supreme Court Scheduling to reserve a date for you. The process for reserving court dates varies for each registry. You can find the rules that apply in the registry where your case is going forward in by checking here.
Dates for lengthy chambers hearings go extremely fast. For example, in Vancouver, new chambers dates come available on the first Tuesday of the month at 8:30 am. The chambers dates are for the month after the next calendar month. So, for example, on the first Tuesday in January, dates for March become available. They go extremely fast. Often you will have to call multiple times to not get a busy signal. The new dates are generally all gone within an hour or so.
While it is inconvenient to set matters down for more than two hours, if you estimate too little time for your matter the Court may refuse to hear it. If the Court does hear the matter and it goes well over the time estimate the judge or master may get very cross at everyone involved. If you are asking the Court to do something, the last thing you want is to annoy the decision maker. Estimate your time accurately.
Step 3 File the notice of application: Once you have a Court date, you can file your notice of application, which will set out the date of the hearing and the time estimate.
Step 4 Petition hearings – file notice of hearing: If your chambers matter is a petition to the Court, you will have already filed your notice of petition before setting a court date. You therefore need to file and serve on the other parties a notice of hearing in Form 68 to advise them of the Court date.
Resetting an Adjourned Application
If the application gets adjourned and a new hearing date is not scheduled, Rule 8-1 (21.1) tells how the applicant can reschedule the hearing. The applicant files a requisition (Form 17), setting out the date and time of the new hearing and serves a copy of the filed requisition on the application respondents at least 2 business days before the date set for the hearing.
A business day means a day on which the court registries are open for business.
If the applicant does not reset the application for hearing within a reasonable time after an application respondent has asked the applicant to do so, the applicant respondent may apply to the Court for directions on how to proceed, using a requisition in Form 17, and with 2 business days notice to the applicant (see Rule 8-1(22)). For more information on requisitions generally, see Requisitions.