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Old 04-05-2016, 03:05 PM
Kinso Kinso is offline
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There is some confusion here.

Rule 20 does cover questioning of witnesses and disclosure. But responding to a Form 20 is only compulsory in child protection matters.

Form 20 is only for child protection matters (as stated in Rule 20(3)). The lawyers are correct when they respond stating this.

However, the Family Law Rules do require full and frank disclosure pursuant to Rule 13. What 'full and frank' mean depends on your circumstances. Some disclosure is almost universally required (Notices of Assessment, T1s..etc), other documents might be appropriate in the circumstances (historical bank statements, partnership agreements).

The difference is that in child protection proceedings disclosure is 'as of right', whereas in other proceedings, disclosure beyond what is required in the rules and guidelines is more subjective.

The content written on your Form 20 might be appropriate in the circumstances, but using the form doesn't compel the other party to reply (unless it is a child protection proceeding). However, if a party doesn't provide the disclosure requested AND on a motion the court finds the disclosure requested is reasonable in the circumstance, then costs could flow from the withholding party to the requesting party.

In short, by using a Form 20 in a non-child protection matter there is no obligation for the other side to provide the documents requested. However, if what you've requested on that form is reasonable (and within the scope of full and frank disclosure under Rule 13), then failing to answer could have negative cost consequences.

For a case that confirms Form 20 only have authority in Child Protection Proceedings, see Robertson v. Quinn (http://canlii.ca/t/fss7x) - at paragraph 5.
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