Understanding Judicial Case Conferences (JCC) in Family Law
Updated: Feb 13
A judicial case conference (JCC) is a meeting held in the Supreme Court of British Columbia between the parties involved in a court case and a judge.
The purpose of a JCC is to help resolve disputes and move the case forward in a more efficient and timely manner.During a JCC, the judge will meet with the parties and their lawyers to discuss the issues in the case, review any evidence that has been presented, and explore potential solutions or settlement options. The judge will also provide guidance on how to proceed with the case and set deadlines for any further steps that need to be taken.
It is important that you complete your financial statement (if relevant) and file and serve it to the other party before attending the JCC.
A JCC is a mandatory step in the Supreme Court Family Rules before you can proceed to making any other application, unless you seek an exemption. It is typically held early in the court process, before a trial or hearing, and can be an effective way to resolve disputes without the need for a full trial.
One of the key benefits of JCCs is that they allow the parties to have direct communication with the judge and receive guidance on how to proceed with the case. This can help to narrow the issues in dispute and potentially avoid the need for a full trial. Additionally, JCCs can save time and money for all parties involved by resolving disputes more efficiently.
During a Judicial Case Conference (JCC) in family law in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, a judge can make a variety of different types of orders, such as:
Interim Orders made by consent between the parties: These are temporary orders that are put in place while the case is ongoing. They can include orders for child custody, child support, spousal support, or exclusive possession of a family home.
Case Management Orders: These orders are designed to help manage the case and move it forward. They can include deadlines for the filing of documents, dates for future court appearances, or other procedural requirements.
Disclosure Orders: These orders require one or both parties to disclose certain information or documents to the other party. This can include financial documents, such as tax returns or bank statements, or other relevant information.
Settlement Conferences: These are meetings that are held to try to resolve the dispute through negotiation and mediation. The judge will facilitate the process and try to help the parties reach an agreement.
Trial Management Orders: These orders are made in preparation for a trial, including scheduling, deadlines for the exchange of evidence, and other requirements. Final Orders: These are permanent orders that are made at the end of the case. They can include orders for child custody, child support, spousal support, and division of property.
In addition to the above, if agreed by the parties by consent, the judge may also order a views of the child report, a section 211 report or a psychological assessment, or a social worker or other professional's report, to help evaluate the best interests of the children in the case.
It is important to note that the judge's authority to make these orders is limited to either consent orders between the parties or ordering procedural orders to facilitate the litigation process and take you on the next steps.
Interim orders made at a JCC are usually not final and can be modified in the future.
Overall, judicial case conferences are an important tool in the Supreme Court of British Columbia for resolving disputes and moving cases forward in a timely and efficient manner.
They provide an opportunity for the parties to have direct communication with the judge and receive guidance on how to proceed with the case, which can help to narrow the issues in dispute and potentially avoid the need for a full trial.
If you have a judicial case conference coming up and want to make sure you all well prepared, reach out to one of our Surrey family law trial lawyers at SiLaw Group Family Lawyers and we can assist you.