This Notice to the Profession regarding Civil and Family Matters should be read together with the Consolidated Provincial Practice Directions.
This Notice addresses:
- Changes to Regional Motions in Civil and Family matters in the Northwest Region;
- The process for obtaining an early resolution conference in Civil proceedings; and,
- Additional tips for using CaseLines that is more effective for the hearing judge.
I. Regional Motions (Civil and Family)
Commencing on November 3, 2022, all motions on the Thursday Regional Motions lists shall be uploaded to CaseLines no later than 4:00 pm of the Tuesday prior to the Regional Motions Day (ie) by 4:00 pm on November 1, 2022, for motions being heard on November 3, 2022).
As of November 3, 2022, no motions will be heard if they are not uploaded to CaseLines without obtaining advance (a minimum of 2 days) authorization from the hearing judge. Late filing, unless it is an emergency matter, will not be considered a valid reason for receiving authorization to proceed. If your motion is not uploaded to CaseLines as directed, the motion shall be automatically adjourned to the following Regional Motions Court unless a different date is provided.
As soon as possible after the filing of your Notice of Motion and paying the requisite fee, Court Services Division will provide you with a CaseLines invitation to upload your motion material to a Regional Motions Court bundle. They endeavour to do this within 3 days, however, that is not always possible, so you should bear this in mind when placing a matter on the Regional Motions Court list.
The court staff are working as hard as they can to process materials as they are filed and to provide access to the Regional Motions Court folder. However, there are times when it is impossible for the court staff to process all materials filed for a Regional Motions Court in time to provide adequate access to the CaseLines folder. Counsel are asked to be considerate of the court staff who are working as hard as they can. In an effort to ease the congestion of filings in advance of Regional Motions Court, it is strongly recommended that you serve and file your motion materials well in advance of the preferred Regional Motions Court date in order to avoid the motion from being adjourned because you were not able to upload your material to CaseLines.
Orders and Endorsements from Regional Motion’s Court
After the hearing of the motion, the endorsement or order from the presiding judge will be uploaded to the Regional Motions Court bundle and you will receive notice that the order or endorsement has been uploaded (you must have notifications enabled on CaseLines in order to receive the notice). The order or endorsement shall be available on CaseLines for a period of 2 weeks. The order or endorsement will be maintained on the actual court file with Court Services Division and will always be available from the court staff.
Please note that the Regional Motions Court bundle is not part of the CaseLines folder for an individual proceeding.
Because the Regional Motions Court bundles are not the same folder as the CaseLines folder for the main action or application, the Court is not able to provide access to your Regional Motion bundle indefinitely. If for some reason you are not able to locate your order or endorsement, you may request a copy from the appropriate court location at the following email addresses:
It is not sufficient to only file your confirmation form with the court it must also be uploaded to CaseLines whenever a confirmation form is required (it is always required for motions and for family conferences).
The court staff require confirmation forms to determine whether a matter is proceeding, and the time required for the event. The court staff do not upload the confirmation form to CaseLines nor do they forward the filed confirmation to the hearing judge.
Judges require the confirmation form to ascertain what issues are in dispute and which documents they should be reviewing. For example, if a motion is being placed on the Motion List as a consent motion, it is imperative for the judge to have this information in the confirmation form on the CaseLines bundle for the motion, otherwise, the judge will spend unnecessary time reviewing the entire file to consider the issues presumed to be in dispute.
When a special date has been provided for a long motion or other proceeding, the hearing date assigned may be adjourned or vacated if the confirmation form is not uploaded to CaseLines.
The judges in the Northwest Region are aware that there is an interest by the Bar to have chambers motions reinstated. Because most proceedings are now filed electronically, it is not possible to resume Chambers Motions in the same form as previously. However, we are working on a solution that would enable us to have a return to Chambers Motions and we hope to have more information for you soon.
II. Pre-Trials and Early Resolution Conferences in Civil Proceedings
Recent changes to the Rules of Civil Procedure require that:
- Prior to scheduling a pretrial, the parties must have received and served all their expert reports (Rule 53.03);
- Parties are to complete and file a Certificate of Readiness 30 days prior to a pretrial conference. The Certificate of Readiness relates to the calling of experts by a party and confirming that the expert reports have been obtained and served, and if not, why (Rule 50.03.1);
- Pretrial conferences will only be scheduled if the trial date is not more than 120 days and not less than 30 days after the pretrial conference, or on the first day of the sitting during which the trial is expected to be held, which in the Northwest would be the earliest available running list (Rule 50.02 (2.1));
- A judge on their own initiative or at a party’s request, at any time, may direct that a pretrial conference be held (Rule 50.02(3)); and,
- A judge may order costs to be immediately payable against a party where they determine a pretrial conference was unproductive for reasons relating to that party’s conduct (Rule 50.12).
In consultation with members of the Civil Bar (both plaintiff’s counsel and defence counsel), the Northwest Region will begin to immediately offer pre-resolution conferences after a trial record has been served and filed, either on the consent of the parties or by court order, should a judge determine that such a conference would be beneficial in narrowing the issues or resolving the litigation. Before a pre-resolution conference date will be provided to counsel, they must submit to the RSJ or designate, a summary of the issues they wish to address and why a pre-resolution conference would be beneficial.
In the Northwest Region, the pre-resolution conference shall proceed under Rule 50.02(3) of the Rules of Civil Procedure and the usual pretrial conference form shall be served and filed, with the additional information that the conference is proceeding as a pre-resolution conference.
Pretrial and pre-resolution conference briefs shall not exceed 15 pages. Any additional documents that counsel wish the pretrial judge to review must be hyperlinked. They must also be filed and uploaded to CaseLines. Even if hyperlinked, it is preferable that each additional document is uploaded to CaseLines individually. This enables the judge and opposing parties to quickly locate the material.
The Rules require that pretrial conference briefs are required to be filed 5 days in advance of the pretrial. This Rule also applies to pre-resolution conference briefs. Once your pretrial conference brief has been filed in the court file, an invitation will be sent to counsel to enable you to upload your materials to the relevant CaseLines bundle. At times there is a delay between filing the pretrial brief in the court and receiving the invitation to upload to CaseLines.
To minimize delays in uploading your material to CaseLines, counsel and parties are encouraged to file their briefs in the court more than 5 days prior to the scheduled pretrial. This will assist the court staff in processing your materials and providing the CaseLines invitation so that your materials may be uploaded to CaseLines in sufficient time for the assigned judge to prepare.
In the Northwest we are exploring whether we may be able to provide a CaseLines invitation for a pretrial or pre-resolution conference when the Trial Record is filed. Because these briefs are not kept on the physical file after the conclusion of the pretrial, there is some merit to providing access to CaseLines earlier. We will provide more information regarding this initiative in due course.
Trial Coordination Emails:
III. CaseLines Tips for Motions and other Proceedings:
- Please remember that the CaseLines folder is often the only access to the court file that the judge hearing your motion, pretrial or other proceeding has before them. It is imperative that you upload all material that is needed for the judge to properly assess your proceeding. For example, the pleadings should always be uploaded into a Pleadings bundle, even if your event is a long motion or a pretrial/or family conference. Judges rely on reviewing the pleadings to obtain a full picture of the nature of the proceeding before the court.
- Confirmation forms must be filed in the court file and uploaded to CaseLines. The confirmation form must include every document that the judge is expected to review. Confer with the other side means confer.
- Ensure that all prior orders and endorsements have been uploaded into the Orders and Endorsements bundle and if not, you must upload them. The court staff will endeavour to upload recent orders and endorsements; however, it is the lawyer’s responsibility to upload historical orders and endorsements. It is helpful when you are relying on a prior order or endorsement in your motion or other proceeding, that you include them as separate documents in the Motion (or other) bundle as well as ensuring they are in the Orders and Endorsements bundle.
- In addition to the tips and processes for CaseLines provided in the Provincial Notice to the Profession, the tips set out below are of specific importance to the judges in the Northwest Region.
- Turn on Notifications on your CaseLines account. By doing this, you will receive a notice every time a new document is filed by any party, or an Order or Endorsement is uploaded.
- Upload as separate numbered documents in the CaseLines bundle:
- Notice of Motion or Pretrial/Conference Brief;
- Every exhibit or other document being relied upon should be uploaded individually and properly described. In other words, as a document separate from the affidavit itself or the pretrial or conference brief (for example: as “Exhibit A – Consent dated xxx”, “Expert Report of Dr. X”);
- Financial Statements and Net Family Property Statements in Family proceedings should always be uploaded as separate items in motions and conference bundles;
- Affidavit(s) of Service do not have to be uploaded to CaseLines unless service is an issue;
- Facta must have hyperlinks to authorities and hyperlinks to source documents i.e.) paragraph of affidavit or specific exhibit.
- Cases in a compendium of authorities shall be hyperlinked in an Index;
- If not filing a factum, do not upload a case brief as a PDF. Instead, provide a compendium of the cases and statutes, with an index that is hyperlinked to the source and to the specific paragraph number of the case;
- Include your proposed Draft Order or Consent Order as a separate document (this is helpful for the judge to focus on the issues to be addressed and if uploaded separately, the draft may easily be downloaded by the judge and signed if approved);
- Responding material shall follow the same process as above.
- Adjournments: adjourned motions, pretrials and conferences will be automatically transferred to the adjourned date. You will not have to re-upload your material. However, a new confirmation form is required and uploaded along with any new documents.
Regional Senior Justice Bonnie Warkentin
Dated: October 25, 2022