In many cases, before a trial, parties may need the court to make a decision related to their case. You may need to change a court date because you are unable to make it, to shorten or extend a deadline, to ask to be allowed alternative service if you are struggling to serve someone, to cancel a default order or to change a payment schedule. To do so, you file an application, which basically means you ask for a decision from the court. An application can be made by either defendant or claimant.
Most applications will either be an:
- Application without a hearing
- Application to a judge
Applications Without a Hearing
Some types of applications can be made without a hearing, meaning you can simply file a form at the registry and they will decide whether to grant the request or not. These are usually applications where there is no need to give notice or serve the other party. This includes applications for “consent” orders, where both parties agree to the order. The registry cannot grant any type of application that is not listed in Rule 16(1) or (2). If what you want is not listed under this rule, you’ll likely need to make an application to a judge.
Applications without a hearing include:
- Renew a claim
- Change the date of a settlement conference
- Permitting another method of service
- Permitting a hearing be by telephone
- All those listed in Rule 16(1) or (2)
Applications to a Judge
On the other hand, there are some types of applications which require you to appear in front of a judge. These usually require you to give notice to the other party. Rule 16(6) lists the types of applications that require a hearing.
Applications requiring a hearing include:
- Transferring the claim to BC Supreme Court
- Order for a medical examination
- Changing or cancelling the terms of a payment schedule
- Cancelling a default order
- Postponing or adjourning a trial
- All those listed in Rule 16(6)
How to File an Application to a Judge
- Fill out BC Small Claims Court Form 17 and file it with the registry. The registry staff will tell you when the application hearing will take place.
- You then must serve the filed application on the other party at least 7 days before the hearing date.
- Attend the hearing. The judge will make a decision whether to grant your application or not.
For guidance take a look at our Sample Application to a Judge