Deadlines For Filing In BC Supreme Court

Deadlines For Filing In BC Supreme Court

General Law
Stephanie Pesth
Stephanie Pesth

Deadlines for Filing in BC Supreme Court

If you are representing yourself in the Supreme Court of British Columbia it is important to know how to calculate the deadlines set out in the Supreme Court Civil Rules and the Supreme Court Family Rules. Failure to meet deadlines set out in the Court Rules, or set out in Court Orders, can have serious consequences for your case. These might include costs being awarded against you, or even having your claims dismissed.

Clear Days

Generally speaking, there are two kinds of days in the Supreme Court Civil Rules and the Supreme Court Family Rules when calculating time limits – clear days, and regular days.

Within the Court Rules, clear days are stated as being “at least” or “not less than” a certain number of days. For example, the deadline to file a Trial Record is at least14 days before the scheduled trial date. This language means you will need to count clear days.  

How to Count Clear Days?

If you are counting a certain number of clear days, do not count either the first or the last date. I like to think of clear days as having bookends.  

For example, let’s pretend you have a hearing on Friday the 5th and you have been ordered to provide your responding materials at least 3 days before the hearing. Your deadline would be Monday the 1st.

The clear days are “bookended” by the deadline and the hearing date.

Regular Days

Within the Court Rules, regular days are often stated as being “within” a certain number of days. For example, a Response to Family Claim must be filed and served within 30 days of service of the Notice of Family Claim. The word “within” means you need to count regular days.

How to Count Regular Days?

To calculate a certain number of regular days, do not count the first day, but do count the last day.  For example, let’s pretend that you were served with a document on Tuesday the 2nd and must respond within3 days.  Your deadline would be Friday, the 5th.

Other Rules

1.  When a time limit falls on a holiday, the time limit is extended to the next day that is not a holiday. Pursuant to s. 29 of the Interpretation Act, holidays include:

a) Sunday, Christmas Day, Good Friday and Easter Monday,

b) Canada Day, Victoria Day, British Columbia Day, Labour Day, National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Remembrance Day, Family Day and New Year's Day,

c) December 26, and

d) a day set by the Parliament of Canada or by the Legislature, or appointed by proclamation of the Governor General or the Lieutenant Governor, to be observed as a day of general prayer or mourning, a day of public rejoicing or thanksgiving, a day for celebrating the birthday of the reigning Sovereign, or as a public holiday.

2.  When a time limit is less than 7 days, do not count holidays (note that Sunday is considered a holiday, but Saturday is not)

3.  When a document is served after 4:00 pm, it is considered to be served on the next day that is not a Saturday or holiday.

4.  A “business day” means a day on which the court registries are open for business.

Some examples:

1.  Your trial is starting on December 13, and your trial record is due at least 14 days before (clear days). The deadline for filing is the 28th.

2.  On February 12 you were ordered to provide a List of Documents within7 days (regular days). The deadline is February 20 because you are not able to “land” on February 19 (a holiday).

This article is intended to provide some basic information on how to calculate time limits which will arise over the course of your litigation. This article does not replace legal advice. If you would like to speak to a lawyer about your case, please contact our office.

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