What can I expect in court?

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Going to court can be a nerve-wracking experience, and even a frightening one, but knowing what to expect can make it a little less painful. To help you prepare to go to court, BC Provincial Court judges and judicial justices have written a series of articles describing what happens at various types of proceedings in Provincial Court and offering suggestions on how to prepare for them.

Now, to make it even easier to find this information, we’ve created a new “What can I expect in court?” web page listing all those articles and providing links to them.

These articles provide detailed and practical information on different proceedings in family, small claims and traffic court. They were originally released as eNews, the weekly news and information articles published on the Provincial Court’s website. Written for people without legal training, they use plain language and answer common questions. Some of them are among our most popular eNews articles, receiving thousands of page-views each year.

Small Claims information
There are articles covering Small Claims proceedings from start to finish – from the parties’ first meeting with a judge at a settlement conference, through a pre-trial conference and trial to enforcement of a judgment at a payment or default hearing.

Family Court information
For the Provincial Court’s family law work, there are articles explaining what to expect at a case conference and trial, as well as at specific hearings under laws like the Family Maintenance Enforcement Act and the Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act. You’ll also find articles on how to prepare for a Family Court trial generally, and how to prepare financial documents for Family Court. The articles contain links to necessary forms, laws and other helpful resources

Traffic Court
The articles describing procedures for traffic and other types of tickets explain how to dispute a ticket, ask for a lower fine, prepare for and conduct a trial. They include practical tips like arriving early because parking may be limited and bringing someone to sit with children if you’re not able to get childcare. But they also explain how to obtain information about your case from a police officer, and what a voir dire is.

New web page
Check out our new web page at What can I expect in court?. Send us suggestions for topics that might be added to the series, as well as feedback on how to make the articles better by faxing (604) 660-1108.

But please note that the articles are provided for information only. They cannot be used as legal advice or authority in court or other legal proceedings.