Common QuestionsI'm trying to prepare a Supreme Court case
If your case is not a family or criminal law case, an excellent starting point is the Supreme Court Self-Help Guidebook series. Developed by the Justice Education Society, this series includes over 20 guidebooks written in plain language for those who are representing themselves in BC Supreme Court. The guidebooks fully incorporate the court rules that took effect in 2010, and include court forms with annotations explaining key parts of each form.
As you get started with your case:
- The guidebook Overview of the Civil Litigation Process in Supreme Court gives an overview of the steps involved in going to court, sometimes referred to as "litigation".
- Choosing Small Claims Court or Fast Track Litigation in Supreme Court explains the options available when deciding whether to start your lawsuit in Supreme Court as a "fast track" case or in small claims court.
Most cases are started with a notice of civil claim, but some types of cases must be started with a document called a petition:
- The guidebook Starting an Action by Notice of Civil Claim in Supreme Court provides information about how to start your lawsuit with a form called a notice of civil claim. This guidebook highlights the time limits* that apply, covers how to prepare, file, and serve your court documents, and features annotated forms.
- Starting a Proceeding by Petition in Supreme Court covers whether to start your proceeding with a petition or a notice of civil claim, important time limits, and how to prepare, file, and serve your court documents. It includes an annotated petition and other forms.
Next steps in your case may include starting the discovery process, choosing fast track litigation, preparing for a case planning conference, or preparing affidavit evidence:
- The guidebook The Discovery Process in Supreme Court explains discovery, the process that you (and the other party) use to determine what happened in your case.
- Fast Track Litigation in Supreme Court describes fast track litigation, which allows you to shorten the entire litigation process if the amount in issue is $100,000 or less or the trial can be completed within three days.
- The Case Planning Conference describes the case planning conference, which brings the parties together early in the litigation to talk about how the case will proceed.
- A Guide to Preparing Your Affidavit describes how to prepare an affidavit, which is a written statement used to present evidence to the court.
As well, there are guidebooks for defending a lawsuit, both defending an action started by notice of civil claim and defending a proceeding started by petition.
Also see:Overview of the Limitation Act" from the BC Ministry of Justice for more information.
See our related common questions:
- court rules, court forms, filling out court forms, starting a lawsuit, Supreme Court Self-Help Guidebook series