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Family Justice

Family Law

 

CASE MANAGEMENT OF FAMILY MATTERS

Court of Queen's Bench (Family Division)
Winnipeg Centre

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What is Case Management?

Case Management is a court process that allows a judge to monitor and manage the progress of a court case as it moves through the system. As part of this process, individuals who are separating and divorcing have an opportunity to meet with a judge to try and resolve their issues together.

What are the goals of Case Management?

  • to reduce unnecessary delay in reaching a final determination of a case
  • to reduce the costs of those involved in the case
  • to encourage people involved in family law cases to have a direct part in finding mutually satisfactory solutions

How does Case Management work?

Once a Petition or Notice of Application is filed to start the legal separation process, the court starts to monitor the case. If a Notice of Motion is filed to request immediate temporary resolution of an issue, and a court date is requested, a case conference with a judge is automatically scheduled. If either party asks, a case conference is scheduled.

What if nothing happens after the first document is filed?

The court discourages unnecessary delay. If nothing has happened in the court process after 200 days, a Notice of Dismissal is issued. The notice indicates that the case will be dismissed unless one of the parties contacts the court to schedule a case conference or hearing, or files the necessary court documents to conclude the case within 30 days of the notice mailing date. To restart a case after a Dismissal Order has been made, a Notice of Motion must be filed.

What happens at a Case Conference?

A case conference is the informal meeting between the parties, their lawyers (if they are represented) and a judge.

A Case Management Information Statement must be filed telling the judge what issues have been resolved, what still needs to be resolved and what attempts have been made to do so.

All issues may be resolved at a case conference, or the judge may:

  • ask the parties for more information

  • refer the parties to mediation

  • refer the parties to a parent education program

  • schedule another case conference

The same judge assigned to your case may continue to work with you until all the issues are resolved or until it is decided the case must go to court for a contested hearing. At the hearing, a different judge hears evidence and arguments from both sides and makes binding decisions. Your case management judge will not oversee the contested hearing unless all parties agree. Nothing you say in case conferences can be used against you if you go to a contested hearing.

Do you need a lawyer? How do you get one?

It is best for all parties to get legal advice early in the process to find out what your rights and obligations are under the law.

To find the name of a lawyer, look in the Yellow Pages or contact the Community Legal Education Association for a referral. Phone 204-943-2305. If finances are a problem, you can also apply for Legal Aid. Phone 985-8550 or outside Winnipeg call toll-free at 1-800-766-2148.

If you decide not to use a lawyer, you will need to know the correct court procedures, forms and deadlines. Court staff can give you information on the case management process, but cannot tell you what information to put in your documents, explain your legal rights or predict the outcome of your case. If you do not use a lawyer, you are responsible for making sure you know and follow the rules of the court. The Case Management Rules are a part of the Queen's Bench Rules.

A copy of the Queen's Bench Rules can be found in the Law Library at the University of Manitoba. Phone 474-9995 or outside Winnipeg call toll-free at 1-800-432-1960. Or click on www.umanitoba.ca . They can also be purchased from the Government of Manitoba Statutory Publications. Phone 945-3101 or outside Winnipeg call toll-free at 1-800-321-1203. Or click on www.gov.mb.ca/laws.

For more information about case management:

The Law Courts
Main Floor - 408 York Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 0P9
Phone: 204-945-7853
Toll-free 1-800-282-8069 (ext. 7853)

Visit the Manitoba Justice website at:

www.gov.mb.ca/justice/family/index.html

 

 

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