3.1 Making chambers applications

Last Reviewed: June 2022 Reviewed by: JES

You may need to make certain applications to the court before your appeal comes up for hearing. Common types of applications are dealt with in section 3.2 of this guidebook.

These applications are made in chambers, usually before a single judge. In all chambers applications, evidence is given in the form of affidavits. Applications can be scheduled for any day on which the court sits in chambers, usually from Monday to Friday, excluding holidays.

How to make a chambers application

Read the Rules

Rules 52 – 54 tell you how to bring an application to court, in chambers.

Follow these steps:

  1. Obtain a hearing date from the registry. It is a good idea to communicate with the other parties first to find a date that works for everyone.
  2. Prepare a notice of application in Form 4 and indicate the type of order you are seeking. 
  3. If you intend to rely on facts at the hearing of the application, prepare an affidavit to set out those facts.
  4. (Optional) Prepare a written argument explaining why your application should be granted.
  5. At least 5 business days before the date set for hearing the application file the notice of application, affidavit (if any) and written argument (if any). If you file in paper you will need at least 4 copies of the notice of application and any other materials – 2 for use by the court, one for yourself, plus one for each of the other parties.
  6. Serve one filed copy of the application materials on each of the other parties at least 5 business days before the date set for the hearing of the application.

How to respond to a chambers application

Read the Rules

Rule 55 sets out what steps to follow if you receive a notice of application.

You can respond to another party’s application. Consult the paper or e-filing completion instructions for application response books. Follow these steps:

  1. Prepare an affidavit and/or a written argument to include in your response book.
  2. You must file and serve these materials at least 2 business days before the application hearing date. If you file in paper you will need at least 4 copies of the affidavit and/or written argument – 2 for use by the court, one for your own use, plus one for each of the other parties.
  3. Serve a filed copy of the response book on the appellant and any other respondent(s).

DIY Tools

Paper or e-filing instructions for application response books

What orders can a chambers judge make?

If you bring an application before a single justice in chambers, make sure that the judge can do what you are asking. In the Court of Appeal, some things require a division (three judges) to decide and some things can be decided by a single justice. Section 30 of the Court of Appeal Act tells you generally what the chambers judge can do:

  • Make an order incidental to the appeal that does not involve a decision of the appeal on the merits.
  • Make orders or give directions for the purpose of managing the conduct of the appeal.
  • Make an interim order to prevent prejudice to any person.
  • Limit hearings and require preparation of written arguments.
  • Refer any application to the court.
  • Make any order, if all parties to the appeal consent.
  • Extend or shorten the time limit set out in the Act or Rules.
  • When making an order, impose terms and conditions and give directions that they consider just.

A chambers judge can also:

  • Grant or refuse leave (permission) to appeal ( s.31 of the Act)
  • Extend or shorten time limits ( s.32 of the Act)
  • Order that the order you are appealing is stayed (stopped) while you wait for a decision on your appeal ( s.33 of the Act)
  • Order that a party pay money into court as security for costs if they lose the appeal ( s.34 of the Act)
  • Vary certain orders made by the Registrar or another chambers judges ( s.35 of the Act)
  • If a party fails to comply with the Act or Rules, a single judge in chambers may refuse to hear that party, impose terms and conditions (including payment or disallowance of costs) or, if the party is an appellant, dismiss the appeal as abandoned ( s.36 of the Act).
  • Dismiss an appeal that the Court of Appeal does not have jurisdiction (authority) to hear ( s.20 of the Act).
  • Refer an appeal to the court for determination without a full oral hearing (called a “summary determination”) if they believe the appeal is frivolous or vexatious or can otherwise be dismissed ( s.21 of the Act).

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