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Analysis of the draft PN2 circulated for consultation yesterday

Ken Proudman - view Arbitrator profile
BARR LLP (Alberta. Joined 2017)

On June 27, 2017, the Court of Queen's Bench posted a new draft Family Law Practice Note 2 for consultation. The Announcement can be viewed here, and the draft PN2 can be read here. The most significant change is that Reply Affidavits are back, but there are also many changes to filing deadlines, page limits, and other tweaks. I've compared the draft to the previous version, and some of the most notable changes follow:

  • Instead of morning and afternoon chambers, the terminology that will be used will be"Regular Family Chambers".

  • Para 6: the Applicant will be able to select a date for Specials if the opposing party isn't responding within a reasonable time or isn't being cooperative. No further details are provided, so I'm not sure if this means without a Justice making a direction, and what will be deemed a reasonable time.

  • Para 7: applications for retroactive child or spousal support exceeding 6 months won't be heard in Regular Chambers.

  • Para 10: it will be expressly codified that not more than 3 issues can be dealt with without leave of the court (which some clerks had been enforcing anyways). Ongoing support and arrears are distinct issues. The presiding justice will be able to adjourn issues to a separate date. This also applies to cross applications (para 19).

  • Para 14: matters adjourned sine die may be brought back onto the list by letter, but the letter must indicate which applications are being brought back onto the list.

  • Para 14: orders setting matters for Specials must indicate which issues will be determined in Specials, and whether or not a cross-application will be filed. This may mean having to determine whether or not there will be a cross application in advance.

  • Para 21: Reply Affidavits are coming back! The table below para 23 makes it look like there can be a Reply Affidavit filed by both the applicant to the initial application, and the respondent in relation to their cross-application.

  • Para 23: Affidavit page limits will be all over the map, ranging anywhere from 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, or 10 pages depending on the circumstances. The initial affidavit will be a maximum of 8 pages, but from there if your memory is anything like mine you'll need to check these tables every time...

  • Para 25: affidavits will need to have 1.5 line spacing.

  • Confirming Letters have been renamed "Concise Letters"

  • Para 36: where there is a cross application, concise letters will be a maximum of 8 pages (not 10). 5 pages in response to the application, 3 in response to the cross-application.

  • Para 37: concise letters will also be required to have 1.5 line spacing, 12-point Times New Roman or equivalent font.

  • Para 38: concise letters will need to include a concise summary of the calculations for any retroactive support amount being claimed.

  • Para 39/40: up-to-date financial information is no longer listed as one of the permissible items that may be included with the concise letter and not count towards the page limits, however a party may request "in a prominent place at the beginning of his/her Concise Letter" that an updated Disclosure Statement (identified by date sworn) be made available to the Justice along with the concise letter.

  • Para 41: the time to file will be before 3:30 pm on the relevant dates (no longer 4:30 pm). The Applicant's initial Affidavit will still be due on the 6th Friday before the hearing date, but because of the addition of Reply Affidavits, Affidavits will be due one week after each other (!!!), although the Applicant's Reply and Cross-Respondent's Affidavit will be due the same week. Update Statements (Supplementary Affidavits) will now have a deadline, they'll be due on the 2nd Friday before the hearing date.

  • Para 42: Judicial Centres outside of Edmonton and Calgary may direct an earlier date to file Concise Letters (eg in Red Deer the deadline is much earlier).

  • Para 51: instead of filing orders on green paper, orders may be filed with a green document corner.

  • Appendix C "Leading Family Law Cases" has been removed, meaning that the relevant excerpts of those cases must now be attached to the concise letter along with the other relevant case law.

Any thoughts?

0 5 years ago - edited 5 years ago

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