For those of you who weren't able to attend the Edmonton Provincial Court Family Town Hall today, here is a summary of what was discussed:
1. LRCY is proposing modernizing guidelines for the role of children's counsel. They are conducting final consultations with counsel and invite comments (email@example.com).
2. The judges are asking that counsel file orders within a reasonable time, if a judge directs that they prepare the order. If the form of order cannot be agreed upon, then bring the matter back before the judge.
3. Counsel should be attending pre-trial conferences. Please come prepared. If possible, do not send an agent.
4. RCAS presented on the programs that they offer. Programs include:
a. Assessment Services (intake) b. Family Court Counsellors (mandatory for self-representatives filing FLA Claim for parenting, contact, or guardianship) c. Family Mediation (one party under $40,000 and child eligible for child support) d. Child Protection Mediation e. Brief Conflict Intervention f. Child Support Resolution (mandatory for most self-representatives filing child support application)
5. There were questions regarding CYFEA s.126 applications. It is currently taking months for the disclosure to be released. You might be able to get disclosure from other sources (e.g. police records). One lawyer suggested it would be a good topic for a CBA presentation.
6. The court does not bear the cost for interpreters in private family law cases, except in very rare circumstances. One creative solution is Language Line, which all Edmonton Courtrooms have access to. It may not work well, as one counsel indicated that it took 15 minutes to access the service and then the program didn't have someone to translate Spanish.