Government of Canada / Gouvernement du Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada


Federal Courts Rules (SOR/98-106)

Full Document:  

Regulations are current to 2024-05-28 and last amended on 2022-01-13. Previous Versions

PART 3Rules Applicable to All Proceedings (continued)

Service of Documents (continued)

General (continued)

Marginal note:Validating service

 If a document has been served in a manner that is not authorized by these Rules or by an order of the Court, the Court may validate the service if it is satisfied that the document came to the notice of the person to be served or that it would have come to that person’s notice except for the person’s avoidance of service.

  • SOR/2015-21, s. 15

Marginal note:Where document does not reach person served

 On the motion of a party who did not have notice of a served document or did not obtain notice of it at the time of service, the Court may set aside the consequences of default or grant an extension of time or an adjournment, notwithstanding that the party was served with the document in accordance with these Rules.

Marginal note:Service — limited-scope representation

 If a party is represented by a solicitor who is providing limited-scope representation and who has agreed to accept the service of documents relating to their mandate, all documents relating to the mandate shall be served on the solicitor. All other documents shall be served on the party.


Marginal note:Payments into court

  •  (1) A person who pays money into court shall deliver to the Registry

    • (a) a certified cheque or other bill of exchange drawn on a bank, trust company, credit union or caisse populaire or any other bill of exchange authorized by order of the Court, payable to the order of the Receiver General; and

    • (b) three paper copies of a tender of payment into court in Form 149.

  • Marginal note:Effective date of payment

    (2) Payment into court by a certified cheque or other bill of exchange that is paid on presentation for payment is effective on the day on which it was delivered to the Registry.

  • Marginal note:Receipt for payment

    (3) When a certified cheque or other bill of exchange is paid, the Administrator shall endorse or acknowledge receipt on a copy of the tender of payment into court and return it to the person who made the payment.

  • SOR/2013-18, s. 4
  • SOR/2015-21, s. 16

Marginal note:Payment out of court

 Where an order has been made by the Court for payment out of court of money that is in the Consolidated Revenue Fund, a requisition shall be made by the Administrator to the Receiver General for an instrument for the amount to be paid out.

Filing of Confidential Material

Marginal note:Criminal proceeding under Competition Act

 Unless the Court orders otherwise, all documents that have been submitted for filing, filed or added to the annex to the Court file in relation to a criminal proceeding instituted under the Competition Act shall be treated as confidential before the trial of that proceeding.

Marginal note:Motion for order of confidentiality

  •  (1) On motion, the Court may order that material to be filed shall be treated as confidential.

  • Marginal note:Demonstrated need for confidentiality

    (2) Before making an order under subsection (1), the Court must be satisfied that the material should be treated as confidential, notwithstanding the public interest in open and accessible court proceedings.

Marginal note:Marking of confidential material

  •  (1) Where the material is required by law to be treated confidentially or where the Court orders that material be treated confidentially, a party who files the material shall separate and clearly mark it as confidential, identifying the legislative provision or the Court order under which it is required to be treated as confidential.

  • Marginal note:Access to confidential material

    (2) Unless otherwise ordered by the Court,

    • (a) only a solicitor of record, or a solicitor assisting in the proceeding, who is not a party is entitled to have access to confidential material;

    • (b) confidential material shall be given to a solicitor of record for a party only if the solicitor gives a written undertaking to the Court that he or she will

      • (i) not disclose its content except to solicitors assisting in the proceeding or to the Court in the course of argument,

      • (ii) not permit it to be reproduced in whole or in part, and

      • (iii) destroy the material and any notes on its content and file a certificate of their destruction or deliver the material and notes as ordered by the Court, when the material and notes are no longer required for the proceeding or the solicitor ceases to be solicitor of record;

    • (c) only one copy of any confidential material shall be given to the solicitor of record for each party; and

    • (d) no confidential material or any information derived therefrom shall be disclosed to the public.

  • Marginal note:Order to continue

    (3) An order made under subsection (1) continues in effect until the Court orders otherwise, including for the duration of any appeal of the proceeding and after final judgment.


Marginal note:Order for reference

  •  (1) The Court may, for the purpose of making an inquiry and report, refer any question of fact in a proceeding to a judge or other person designated by the Chief Justice of the court before which the proceeding is pending.

  • Marginal note:Directions on reference

    (2) Notwithstanding rules 155 to 160, the Court may at any time give directions regarding the conduct of a reference.

  • SOR/2004-283, s. 14

Marginal note:Stay of related proceedings

 Where a reference is made under rule 153, on motion, the Court may stay any proceeding related to the reference, including a proceeding that has previously been stayed, for a period of not more than six months.

Marginal note:Requisition to fix time and place of reference

  •  (1) On a reference made under rule 153, the referee shall, on the requisition of a party, fix a time and place for the hearing of the reference.

  • Marginal note:Documents to be provided to referee

    (2) A party who makes a requisition under subsection (1) shall provide the referee with a statement of the issues and copies of the pleadings and order of reference.

Marginal note:Conduct of reference

 Unless the Court orders otherwise, a referee shall adopt the simplest, least expensive and most expeditious manner of conducting the reference.

Marginal note:Order for examination or production

 A referee may order that parties be examined for discovery and order the production for inspection and copying by a party of any document or other material relevant to a matter in issue, at the time and place and in the manner set out in the order.

Marginal note:Attendance of witnesses

  •  (1) The attendance of witnesses to give evidence at a reference shall be enforced by subpoena.

  • Marginal note:Recording of evidence on reference

    (2) The testimony of a witness at a reference shall be recorded.

Marginal note:Powers of referee

  •  (1) Subject to subsection (2), a referee shall have the same power and authority in matters of practice and procedure as would a judge of the Court presiding at the trial of an action.

  • Marginal note:Limitation

    (2) A referee shall not commit a person to prison or enforce an order for attachment.

Marginal note:Referral of question to Court

  •  (1) A referee may, before the conclusion of a reference or by a report on the reference, submit any question for determination by the Court.

  • Marginal note:Response to referral

    (2) On receipt of a submission under subsection (1), the Court may

    • (a) require any explanations or reasons from the referee; or

    • (b) remit the matter, or any part thereof, for further inquiry to the same or another referee.

Marginal note:Referee’s report

  •  (1) The report of a referee shall include the findings of the referee in the same form as an order of the Court.

  • Marginal note:Filing of report

    (2) The report of a referee, the record of any evidence taken at the hearing of the reference and any exhibits or other documents provided to the referee shall be filed as soon as possible after the report is signed.

  • Marginal note:Notice of report

    (3) On the filing of a referee’s report, the Administrator shall send without delay a copy of it to all parties

    • (a) by registered mail;

    • (b) by electronic means, including facsimile and electronic mail; or

    • (c) by any other means, as directed by the Chief Justice, likely to bring the report to the attention of the party.

  • Marginal note:Proof of receipt

    (4) If a report is transmitted by electronic means, the Administrator shall confirm receipt by the party and place proof of that receipt on the Court file.

  • SOR/2010-177, s. 2

Marginal note:Report of referee who is a judge

 The report of a referee who is a judge is final and becomes a judgment of the Court when it is filed.

Marginal note:Appeal of referee’s findings

  •  (1) A party may appeal the findings of a report of a referee who is not a judge on motion to the court that ordered the reference.

  • Marginal note:Service of appeal

    (2) Notice of a motion under subsection (1) shall be served and filed within 30 days after filing of the report of a referee and at least 10 days before the day fixed for hearing of the motion.

  • Marginal note:Powers of Court on appeal

    (3) On an appeal under subsection (1), the Court may confirm, vary or reverse the findings of the report and deliver judgment or refer it back to the referee, or to another referee, for further inquiry and report.

  • SOR/2004-283, s. 15

Marginal note:Report final if not appealed

  •  (1) The report of a referee who is not a judge that is not appealed becomes final 30 days after it is filed.

  • Marginal note:Final report deemed judgment of Court

    (2) A report of a referee, once final, becomes a judgment of the Court.

Summary Disposition

Marginal note:Discontinuances

 A party may discontinue all or part of a proceeding by serving and filing a notice of discontinuance.

Marginal note:Notice of discontinuance

 A party shall file a declaration of settlement or a notice of discontinuance in Form 166 in a proceeding that has been concluded other than by a judgment or discontinuance on consent.

Marginal note:Dismissal for delay

 The Court may, at any time, on the motion of a party who is not in default of any requirement of these Rules, dismiss a proceeding or impose other sanctions on the ground that there has been undue delay by a plaintiff, applicant or appellant in prosecuting the proceeding.

Marginal note:Dismissal where continuation impossible

 Where following an order of the Court it is not possible to continue a proceeding, the Court may dismiss the proceeding.

PART 4Actions

Application of this Part

Marginal note:Application

 This Part applies to all proceedings that are not applications or appeals, including

  • (a) [Repealed, SOR/2021-151, s. 7]

  • (b) applications under subsection 33(1) of the Marine Liability Act; and

  • (c) any other proceedings required or permitted by or under an Act of Parliament to be brought as an action.

Marginal note:Rules applicable to counterclaims and third parties

 Except as provided in rules 189 to 199, the rules in this Part applicable to plaintiffs and defendants apply, with such modifications as are necessary, to parties bringing or defending counterclaims and third party claims.

Pleadings in an Action


Marginal note:Pleadings

 The following pleadings may be filed:

  • (a) in respect of an action,

    • (i) a statement of claim, in Form 171A,

    • (ii) a statement of defence, in Form 171B, and

    • (iii) a reply, in Form 171C;

  • (b) in respect of a counterclaim,

    • (i) a counterclaim, in Form 171D or 171E,,

    • (ii) a defence to counterclaim, in Form 171F, and

    • (iii) a reply to a defence to counterclaim, in Form 171G; and

  • (c) in respect of a third party claim,

    • (i) a third party claim, in Form 171H or 171I,

    • (ii) a third party defence, in Form 171J, and

    • (iii) a reply to a third party defence, in Form 171K.

Marginal note:Pleading after a reply

 No pleading may be filed after a reply without leave of the Court.

Marginal note:Form of pleadings

  •  (1) Pleadings shall be divided into consecutively numbered paragraphs.

  • Marginal note:Allegations set out separately

    (2) Every allegation in a pleading shall, as far as is practicable, be set out in a separate paragraph.

Marginal note:Material facts

 Every pleading shall contain a concise statement of the material facts on which the party relies, but shall not include evidence by which those facts are to be proved.


Date modified: