Practice Direction re New Family Division Case Flow Model

On June 28, 2019, the Court of Queen’s Bench issued a practice direction to assist lawyers in transitioning to the Family Division Case Flow Model.

The New Family Division Case Flow Model (New FD Model) was designed so that pre-February 1, 2019 cases were transitioned into the new case flow with ease. The transition of these existing “old system” cases has, for the most part, gone relatively smoothly. However, there has been some confusion among judges, court staff, the Family Bar and the public on transitional issues. This memorandum has been prepared to offer some further guidance on best practices in transitional cases.

The full memorandum is available here.

New Practice Direction – Scheduling of Civil Motions

Effective immediately, the Civil Motion Coordinator (Cheryl Laniuk) is to be contacted (phone number – 204-945-3043) regarding the scheduling of all civil motions, including those returnable on the civil uncontested list, contested motions and seized motions.

Coming into effect

This Practice Direction comes into effect immediately.

Original notice available here.

Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench Notices

The Court has recently issued the following Practice Direction and Notice:

Practice Direction

Comprehensive Amendments to Court of Queen’s Bench Rules (Family) Effective February 1, 2019

The Court of Queen’s Bench will be introducing a new model for scheduling and case  flow management in respect of non-child protection family proceedings. The implementation date is February 1, 2019. The model is designed to enhance the capacity of all Manitobans to better access justice in the area of family law within a system that will be significantly less complex, less slow and less expensive. The New Model for Scheduling and Case Flow (New FD Model) is expected to achieve that goal by ensuring that those cases that can be resolved will be resolved at the earliest point possible. Where otherwise contested matters cannot be resolved, the New FD Model will ensure that those matters are adjudicated within a predictable and finite period of time, mindful of what will be stable and consistent reference points or “meaningful events”, which events will themselves be governed by clear, identifiable and predictable timelines. (Download full Practice Direction here.) 

Notice

Practice Direction: New Model for Scheduling and Case Flow Management of Non-Child Protection Family Division Matters

The Practice Direction regarding the New Model for Scheduling and Case Flow Management of Non-Child Protection Family Division Matters will come into force effective immediately.

Both  notices are dated December 17, 2018. 

Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench Practice Direction

The Chief Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench has issued the following practice direction regarding pre-trial briefs in civil actions: 

When the Queen’s Bench Rules were most recently amended, the requirement to file a responding pre-trial brief was changed to the following:

Responding pre-trial brief

50.02(6) Any party to the action that wishes to file a responding pre-trial brief at the first pre-trial conference must file the brief with the court and serve it on all other parties at least seven days before the pre-trial conference.

The impetus for this amendment was to reconcile the issue of the responding party filing a pre-trial brief with the introduction of the screening function provided in Rule 50.04, wherein it was considered disproportionate to require the filing of a responding pre-trial brief if it was the responding party’s position that the pre-trial conference ought not to proceed. There has been an increasing number of pre-trial conferences where there is no suggestion that the pre-trial conference ought not to proceed, but the responding party has not filed a responding pre-trial brief on the basis of Rule 50.02(6). It was always anticipated that prudent practice would dictate that where an action is properly at a pre-trial conference, the responding party would file a pre-trial brief.

Given the potential disruption to the pre-trial conference process of not having responding pre-trial briefs, pending review of a related rule amendment by the Statutory Rules Committee, it is now directed that the responding party to a scheduled pre-trial conference file a pre-trial brief with the court and serve it on all other parties at least seven days before the pre-trial conference. Where it is the responding party’s position that the pre-trial conference ought not to proceed, the responding party, in the pre-trial brief, may indicate this position, along with its reasons. Where the responding party does not object to the pre-trial conference proceeding, the responding party’s brief must respond to the pre-trial brief of the party who sought the pre-trial conference, 2 including a response to the statement of the factual and legal issues in the action and the estimated duration of the trial. The responding party’s pre-trial brief should also address any pre-trial orders or directions that may be sought from the pre-trial judge.

Coming into effect

This Practice Direction comes into effect immediately.

New Practice Direction re Judge-Alone Trials

The Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench has issued the following new practice direction:

Beginning in February 2018, as a one-year pilot project, all pre-trial conferences for judge-alone trials in the case of new criminal matters will be managed by one of approximately eight judges. A first group of four of these pre-trial judges will be assigned to this project for the first six months of the year and a second group of four pre-trial judges will be assigned to this project for the second six months of the year. Each new criminal matter proceeding by judge-alone will be assigned to one of these pre-trial judges.

Please read the practice direction in full.