A

Affidavit

A statement written down and sworn or affirmed to be true. An affidavit must be signed before a notary public or commissioner of oaths. Click here to get Form 109 (Affidavit). Click here for more help and a sample affidavit.

Appeal

Examination by a higher court of the decision of a lower court or tribunal. The higher court may affirm, vary or reverse the original decision.

Appeal allowed

The Court has decided in favour of the appellant (the party bringing the appeal).

Appeal Book

Filed copies of the lower court exhibits and affidavits, bound in a volume.

Appeal dismissed

The Court has decided in favour of the respondent (the party against whom the appeal is brought) and against the appellant.

Appeal Record

Filed copies of the pleadings, order and reasons for judgment of the lower court, and the notice of appeal, bound in a volume.

Appellant

The person or party bringing the appeal to court.

Application

See Motion (or vice versa – we generally use “application”).

Application (Motion) for Leave to Appeal

The procedure for requesting the Court’s permission to hear an appeal.

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B

Book of Authorities

A list and photocopies of past legal cases that are relevant to the issues and are referred to in the factum.

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C

Chambers

A matter heard in a courtroom before a single judge of the Court of Appeal.

Civil Rules

Rules governing practices or procedures before the court that involve individuals, organizations or governments. Generally the Rules do not refer to criminal cases.

Civil Suit

A “civil” suit (case) is a court proceeding which involves legal issues between individuals, corporations or governments. (These are non-criminal issues.) A civil case is started when there is disagreement on a legal matter.

Constitutional Questions Act

If an appeal relates to the constitutional validity of any statute, this Act provides that the party contesting the validity of the statute must notify the Attorney General of Canada or the province of the appeal hearing so that the Attorney General (or a representative) may present argument to the Court of Appeal about the case.

Costs

Money spent to carry out or defend an appeal which a party is allowed to recover. The unsuccessful party is usually ordered to pay part of the expenses associated with the successful party’s litigation.

Cross-Appeal

An appeal filed by a respondent where the respondent wants to appeal something from the judgment of the lower court and the appellant has already commenced an appeal. For example, in a motor vehicle accident case, the Supreme Court judge may decide that the plaintiff and defendant were equally at fault for the accident, and the plaintiff may be awarded $50,000 for personal injuries suffered in the accident. The plaintiff may decide to appeal the decision on the ground that he suffered severe injuries and was entitled to a greater sum to compensate for his injuries. The defendant may also decide to appeal the decision on the ground that he was not at fault for any part of the accident.

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D

Division

The division of three or five judges of the court who will hear the appeal.

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E

Entering an order

Once an order has been pronounced, a document (order) is prepared that sets out the decision of the court or judge. This order must be filed with the Registry and distributed in accordance with the Rules.

Exhibits

Evidence that was relied upon by the lower court or tribunal.

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F

Factum

A bound volume filed with the court that is made up of the following parts: index, chronology, opening statement, statement of facts, issues on appeal, argument, and nature of the order sought.

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I

Interlocutory order

Interlocutory refers to a decision in a lawsuit that is not final. It is a temporary decision on a matter that arises between commencement of the proceeding and its conclusion. For example, the court may order an interlocutory order for child support until the trial has concluded.

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J

Judgment

Final decision by the Court in a legal proceeding. The terms “judgment” and “decision” are interchangeable. A judgment may be written or given orally in court.

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L

Leave

Permission of a judge in chambers or a division of judges to take a step, in certain types of cases, to proceed with the appeal (for example, “leave of the court” must be obtained to commence an appeal).

Limited Appeal Orders

These are orders that are prescribed in section 2.1 of the Court of Appeal Rules that require the Court’s permission to appeal.

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M

Motion

An application (request) to the Court for an order or judgment which occurs during the course of a court proceeding. Motions are very common occurrences and can be made for many purposes, including asking for extensions of time to file an appeal and seeking permission to argue an appeal. A motion must be brought by notice and include an affidavit giving details of the motion.

Motion (Application) for Leave to Appeal

The procedure for requesting the Court’s permission to hear an appeal.

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N

Notice of Appeal

The form completed by the appellant to start the appeal process.

Notice of Motion

The form completed by the appellant or respondent to begin a process in chambers.

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O

Order

A decision of a Court or other decision-making body. It may or may not be the final outcome of the matter.

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P

Party or Parties

The party who brings the proceeding to the Court of Appeal is called the appellant. The appellant appeals the decision of a lower court or tribunal. The party against whom an appeal is brought and who must respond to the appellant’s case is called the respondent.

Pleadings

Pleadings are the documents that the parties exchange to commence a lawsuit (e.g., the notice of civil claim, the notice of appeal, notice of motion, etc.), and filed in court. They set out the facts and circumstances of the case, which both parties will try to prove in court to support their claim or defence.

Pronouncement of an Order

When the Court gives a judgment (decision), it is referred to as being pronounced and becomes binding at that time. An appeal must be launched within 30 days of the date of pronouncement, whether an order has been filed with the Registry or not.

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Q

Quorum

The division of appeal judges before whom a case is/was heard.

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R

Record of Proceedings

The recording by the court staff of all appearances and/or proceedings and their outcomes before the Court.

Remedy

Remedies can be monetary, declaratory or injunctions. Monetary remedies (damages) are most common. The Court of Appeal “remedies” include affirming or reversing the original decision, varying in total or in part the judgment of the lower court, and in some cases, ordering a new trial.

Reserved Judgment

When a judge or judges do not immediately give their decision, but issue a written decision at a later date.

Respondent

The person who is in response to, or in opposition to the proceeding, following specific rules set out in the Rules (or any other applicable statute).

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S

Serve or Service of documents

The delivery of a document, which has been filed with the court, to another party to the proceeding. The Rules set out procedures that must be followed when serving documents, for example, the manner of the service (e.g. priority mail, personal by hand) and the time frame within which service should occur. Rule 39 gives you information about serving court documents. Note that only two documents have to be personally served on the respondent or served on the respondent’s solicitor of record in the court appealed from. These are:

  1. a notice of appeal; or
  2. a notice of application for leave to appeal.

After serving a notice of appeal or a notice of application for leave to appeal on the respondent, you must file an affidavit of service with the Court of Appeal registry within 10 days of service. This proves that you served the document. Alternatively, you can file an acknowledgement of receipt of the document by the respondent. In all other situations, you can “serve” your documents by delivering the document to the party’s address for service in BC. That address will be noted on previous documents that the party has filed. You can do this by delivering the document in person or by fax.

Statute

A law or Act enacted or passed into law by Parliament or a legislature.

Stay

To postpone the judgment or order pending a decision.

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T

Transcript

A typed record of the oral proceedings before the court or tribunal under appeal, including the evidence given by the witnesses who testified at the trial.

Tribunal

The name given to a decision-making body that has been established by statute which is not a court; for example the Labour Relations Board or the Workers’ Compensation Board.

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