This is an official version.
Copyright © 2006: Queens Printer,
Consolidated Newfoundland Regulation 1996
of the Unified Family Court
Under the authority of section 9 of the Unified Family Court Act and the Subordinate Legislation Revision and Consolidation Act, the Lieutenant‑Governor in Council makes the following rules.
1. Short title
4. Title of proceedings
5. Commencement of proceeding
6. Certificate of marriage required
7. Persons involved in matrimonial offence
8. Service of documents
9. Particulars of service
10. Unilateral application
11. Change of hearing date
12. Method of service
13. Address for service
14. Documents in the proceeding
15. Claims against multiple parties
16. Minors, incompetent persons
17. Custody, access
18. Interested persons
19. Death of party
20. Change of person acting
22. Joinder of causes
25. Amendment of claims
26. Interlocutory proceedings
27. Unilateral applications
28. Interim orders
29. Financial statements
30. Disclosure of facts
31. Investigation and report
32. Meeting of parties
33. Postponed or adjourned hearings
34. Granting of adjournment
35. Offer to settle
36. Clerk's record
37. Query re reconciliation attempts
38. Method to try issues
39. Trial of joined issues
40. Absence of party
41. Consent order
42. Other orders
44. Issuing and serving divorce decrees
45. Financial statements in custody orders
46. Clerk of the court
47. Powers and duties of clerk
48. Order enforced pending appeal
49. Showing cause after decree nisi
51. Security for costs
52. Fixed amount
53. Solicitor's fees and disbursements
54. Orders for payment of costs
55. Queries re adultery
56. Exception to affidavit requirement
57. Construction of rules
58. Non‑compliance with rules
59. Other directions may be made
60. Counting time
62. Arrest of witness
63. Proceeding not proceeding pending report
64. Expert witnesses
65. Forms re Divorce Act (
66. Style of cause
67. Particular expressions
68. Contempt process
69. Powers as Justice of the Peace
1. These rules may be cited as the Rules of the Unified Family Court.
2. In these rules,
(a) "Act" means the Unified Family Court Act;
(b) "clerk" means the clerk of the court;
(c) "court" means the Unified Family Court established under the Unified Family Court Act;
(d) "file" means file in the office of the clerk;
(e) "party" means a party to a proceeding; and
(f) "proceeding" means a proceeding in court or in chambers and includes an action, cause, matter, motion, petition or application;
3. (1) Unless otherwise provided in the Act or these rules, the Rules of the Supreme Court shall apply, with the necessary changes, to the practice and procedure in the Unified Family Court.
(2) In cases not provided for in the Act, the Rules of the Supreme Court or by the provisions of another Act that are not inconsistent with the Act, the pleading, practice and procedure of the High Court of Justice in England are, where they are applicable, the pleading, practice and procedure of the Supreme Court.
(3) Where the practice and procedure in a particular cause or matter cannot be ascertained under subsection (1), the court may adopt the practice and procedure that is necessary to permit the cause or matter to be proceeded with.
(4) The procedures set out in a statute under which the court has jurisdiction shall apply except as modified or otherwise provided by the Act and these rules.
Title of proceedings
4. All proceedings commenced in the province over which the Unified Family Court has jurisdiction under sections 5 and 6 of the Act shall be commenced "in the Unified Family Court".
Commencement of proceeding
5. (1) A proceeding shall be signed and sealed by the clerk and shall then be considered to be issued and shall bear the date on which it was issued and a true copy of it shall be filed with the registrar.
(2) Upon issuance, the clerk shall fix and insert in the proceeding the date for the hearing of the matters raised by it.
(3) A proceeding may contain a claim against more than one respondent and may contain more than one claim against a respondent.
(4) Where the applicant claims financial support for himself or herself or a child or custody of a child, the applicant shall file a financial statement with the application.
Certificate of marriage required
6. A certificate of the marriage shall be filed at the time of issuance of the proceeding in respect of a divorce action unless the clerk or a judge otherwise directs.
Persons involved in matrimonial offence
7. (1) The name of a person alleged to be involved in a matrimonial offence shall be contained in the proceeding if the name of the person is known to the applicant.
(2) A person, other than a respondent spouse who is named in a proceeding or counterclaim and alleged to be involved in a matrimonial offence, may file a statement in reply taking issue with an allegation made against him or her and he or she shall be entitled to appear and contest the allegation as if he or she was a party but there shall be no reference to that person in the title of the proceeding.
(3) A defendant or respondent shall enter his or her appearance by delivering to the proper officer in the records office for filing and entry a memorandum in writing dated on the day of delivering it and containing the name and address of that person's solicitor or stating that he or she defends in person.
(4) A party suing or defending by a solicitor shall be at liberty to change his or her solicitor in a cause or matter without an order for that purpose upon notice of the change being filed in the records office with the proper officer.
Service of documents
8. (1) A proceeding shall be served not later than
(a) where the proceeding is served in the province, 20 days before the day set for hearing;
(b) where the proceeding is served elsewhere in Canada or in the United States of America, 25 days before the day set for hearing; or
(c) where the proceeding is served outside
(2) Where a proceeding has not been served before the date set for the hearing,
(a) the clerk may, upon the request of the applicant, set a new date for the hearing;
(b) the applicant shall cause the new date to be endorsed on the original proceeding and on all copies to be served;
(c) the clerk shall endorse the new date on the copy filed at the office of the clerk; and
(d) if the applicant seeks a further new date, he or she shall apply to the court.
(3) The clerk may, in his or her absolute discretion, require that the original proceeding be returned so that the new date may be endorsed on it before the proceeding is served.
(4) Where a solicitor accepts service, service upon a party shall not be required unless otherwise ordered.
(5) A document may be served out of the jurisdiction without leave.
Particulars of service
9. (1) A document may be served personally upon a party and may be served by a person other than a party to the proceedings.
(2) A document other than a subpoena may be served upon a party by ordinary mail, postage prepaid, if the postal address of the party is known and it is likely that the party will receive the document without undue delay and the document shall be considered to have been served on the fourth day following mailing, provided that a judge may direct further or other service.
(3) Proof of service by mail may be made provided that a judge may require further or other proof of service.
(4) A judge, if satisfied that a party did not receive the document, may set aside, vary or suspend the operation of an order upon those conditions that he or she considers fair and reasonable or may make another order that is considered just.
10. Upon unilateral application, a judge of the court may dispense with service or make an order for the substitution for service in the manner and upon the terms the court considers proper in the circumstances.
Change of hearing date
11. (1) Where there are 2 or more respondents and the proceeding has been served on one or more of them but has not been served on all parties who should be served, the clerk shall, upon request of the applicant, set a new date for the hearing and adjourn the hearing to the new date and the applicant shall give notice to the parties already served.
(2) The clerk may set a new date for the hearing until the time that all parties have been served or the clerk considers it advisable that the proceeding be taken before the court on the date last set for the hearing.
Method of service
12. (1) Service of a proceeding, other than a proceeding for the annulment of a marriage, and service of an answer on a party added under subsection 7(2) may be made in or out of the province by leaving a copy with the person to be served or, where more than one attempt to do so has been unsuccessful, by
(a) leaving a copy with a person apparently 16 years old or over at the place where the person to be served is residing; and
(b) sending a copy immediately after that by prepaid ordinary mail in an envelope bearing the return address of the sender and addressed to the person to be served at the place where he or she is residing.
(2) Service of a proceeding for annulment of a marriage or a notice of motion to issue a warrant for arrest or to find a person in contempt of court may be made in or out of the province by leaving a copy with the person to be served.
(3) Service of an order of the court shall be made, unless the court orders otherwise, by sending a copy by prepaid ordinary mail addressed to the person to be served at his or her address for service shown on the latest document filed by that person in the proceeding.
(4) Service of a document in a proceeding other than a document referred to in subsection (1), (2) or (3) may be made in or out of the province,
(a) by leaving a copy with the person to be served;
(b) by leaving a copy with a person apparently 16 years old or over at the place where the person to be served is residing;
(c) by leaving a copy at the address for service shown on the latest document filed by the person to be served in the same or another proceeding in the court;
(d) by sending a copy by prepaid ordinary mail addressed to the person to be served at that person's address for service shown on the latest document filed by him or her in the same or another proceeding in the court;
(e) by sending a copy by prepaid ordinary mail to the solicitor acting for the person to be served; or
(f) by sending a copy by prepaid ordinary mail addressed to the person to be served at the address at which he or she was last known to reside.
(5) Service of a document in a proceeding other than a document referred to in subsection (2) is not required where a solicitor accepts service on behalf of the person to be served.
(6) Where service of a document on a company is to be made, the copy may be left at the business address of the company or the copy may be left with an officer, director or agent of the company.
(7) Where a copy of a document has been mailed by prepaid ordinary mail, the document, unless the contrary is shown, shall be presumed to have been served on the fourth day following the day on which it was mailed.
(8) Notwithstanding that a document in a proceeding has been served under subsections (1), (3), (4) and (5), the court may order that the document be served by leaving a copy with the person to be served.
(9) Where a document is served by leaving a copy with the person to be served, the person serving the document shall request the person to be served to produce identification and to complete and sign an acknowledgment of service and the affidavit of service shall state the response of the person to be served to these requests in any circumstance in which the person does not complete and sign the acknowledgement.
Address for service
13. (1) An address for service shall contain
(a) the name, address and telephone number of the solicitor acting for a party in the proceedings; or
(b) where a party is not represented by a solicitor, the full name, street address, post office box number, postal code and telephone number of that party.
(2) Every proceeding shall show the address for service of the applicant.
(3) A person who has been served with a proceeding and who fails to appear at the date and time stated in the proceeding or fails to serve and file an address for service shall not be entitled to notice of subsequent proceedings in the matter.
(4) A person who wishes to be represented by a solicitor but does not necessarily oppose the proceeding
(a) may serve and file a Demand for Notice which shall contain an address for service;
(b) the solicitor shall be served with notice of all steps in the proceeding; and
(c) service on the solicitor shall be considered to be service on that person.
(5) Where a party is represented by a solicitor, the full name, address and telephone number
(a) of an applicant shall be shown in the proceeding or by separate statement filed with the clerk; and
(b) of another party shall be shown in the Demand for Notice or by separate statement filed with the clerk.
Documents in the proceeding
14. Unless the court otherwise orders,
(a) documents in the proceeding may be served at the address for service;
(b) documents in the proceedings may be served by prepaid ordinary mail at the address for service.
Claims against multiple parties
15. A proceeding may contain a claim against more than one person.
Minors, incompetent persons
16. Where the court is satisfied that the interests of a minor or a person who may be of unsound mind are involved in a proceeding, the court may give those directions for the representation of the minor or person that it considers proper.
17. Where custody of or access to a child is in issue, a statement showing all persons who may have a sufficient interest in the custody, care and upbringing of a child shall be filed by the applicant upon the issuance of the proceeding and where the person is not already a party or has not been served, the court may order that each person be served with notice of the proceedings with or without adding that person as a party.
18. The court may order that a person who may have an interest in the matters in issue shall be served with notice of the proceedings with or without adding that person as a party as the court may direct.
Death of party
19. (1) Where a party dies after the commencement of a proceeding, the court may substitute the legal representative of the deceased party as a party in place of the deceased party.
(2) Where it appears to the court that there is no legal representative of the deceased party, the court may appoint a person to act as the representative of the deceased party in the proceeding.
Change of person acting
20. (1) A party acting by a solicitor may change his or her solicitor or may act in person by filing a notice of change of solicitor.
(2) A party acting in person may appoint a solicitor by filing a notice of appointment.
(3) A notice filed under subsection (1) or (2) shall be served on every other party.
21. (1) A proceeding may contain more than one claim and may include claims in the alternative and for interim relief.
(2) Claims shall state the statute and provisions of it under which the claim is made and the relief sought.
Joinder of causes
22. (1) Where it is not inconsistent with the Act or another Act under the jurisdiction of the court, a motion or an application shall, unless the court determines otherwise, have the effect of raising all issues concerning or relating to the matters for which relief is specifically sought, notwithstanding that that issue is not specifically referred to in it.
(2) A claim for relief under the Divorce Act (
23. (1) A person served with a proceeding may file an answer or a statement in reply setting out the position of the party within 10 days of service.
(2) A respondent may assert by way of counterclaim a right or claim he or she may have against the applicant.
(3) A counterclaim referred to in subsection (2) shall be served and filed in the same manner as a proceeding but shall not be issued by the clerk.
(4) Where a respondent also claims against a person not already a party to the proceedings, he or she shall give notice to that person of the date and time on which the matter is to be heard.
(5) These rules shall otherwise apply, with the necessary changes, to a counterclaim.
(6) A judge may refuse to hear a counterclaim if in his or her opinion it has not been brought promptly or would unduly delay an applicant.
24. (1) An applicant or respondent may on or before a return date file affidavit evidence in support of a claim or counterclaim.
(2) Where service of an affidavit or statement cannot be served on the other parties, an additional copy for each other party will be filed with the clerk and given to each other party upon request.
Amendment of claims
25. The court may permit an amendment to the claim of either party upon those terms and conditions that the court considers necessary.
26. Interlocutory proceedings
Where the court is satisfied on unilateral application or upon the return or adjourned date of a motion that it is appropriate in the circumstances, the court may make one or more of the following, namely:
(a) an interim order in the proceedings;
(b) an order that the hearing be expedited;
(c) an order fixing the date for the hearing; or
(d) an order rescinding, varying or altering an order made under paragraph (a), (b) or (c).
27. (1) It shall not be necessary for the applicant or his or her solicitor to appear before the court upon a unilateral application unless that person or that person's solicitor is required to appear by the court.
(2) Where an applicant or that person's solicitor is required to appear on a unilateral application, the clerk shall set the date and time for the hearing and shall notify the applicant or his or her solicitor.
(3) Where the address for service is not otherwise on file, a unilateral application shall show the address for service of the applicant.
28. Where the court is satisfied on motion without notice that the circumstances of the case are urgent, the court by order may expedite the hearing and set the day for hearing and may make an interim order in the proceeding effective until the hearing or further order.
29. Where an applicant claims maintenance or a division of property, the clerk or the court may require the parties to file and deliver to each other party a financial statement to set out full particulars of the financial circumstances and assets of the party.
Disclosure of facts
30. (1) The court may order a party to disclose the facts on which the party relies in respect of an issue in the proceeding by one or more of the following means:
(a) an affidavit stating particulars of a claim or defence;
(b) an affidavit answering specific questions stated in the order;
(c) an affidavit answering questions submitted in writing by another party;
(d) submission to examination for discovery;
(e) an affidavit specifying relevant documents;
(f) the production of relevant documents;
(g) other means specified in the order.
(2) In an order under subsection (1), the court may impose those terms and give the directions that it considers proper in the circumstances.
(3) A party may have examination for discovery of the other or may make discovery and production of documents or both by consent without order where each party consents to a necessary adjournment.
Investigation and report
31. (1) The court may during a proceeding direct a person to make an investigation and report relating to the proceeding in which support of a spouse or child or custody of or access to a child is in issue and may receive evidence resulting from the investigation.
(2) All reports directed to be made by the judge under this section and all depositions and written admissions of evidence upon which an order of the court is founded shall be filed in the records office.
(3) The person making an investigation and report shall serve a copy of the report upon every party to the proceeding not less than 24 hours before presenting that report to the court.
(4) The person making that investigation shall be a competent and compellable witness.
(5) A party may cross‑examine a person giving evidence obtained in the course of an investigation under this section and may give evidence in reply.
Meeting of parties
32. (1) For the purposes of resolving or narrowing the issues or settling the procedures at a hearing or where the court considers it otherwise advisable, the court may direct that a meeting of the parties be convened before the judge, clerk, court administrator or another person designated by the court.
(2) The person before whom a meeting is convened shall prepare a memorandum of the matters agreed upon by the parties at the meeting and shall present the memorandum to those parties for their approval and shall file the memorandum.
Postponed or adjourned hearings
33. (1) For the purpose of pretrial proceedings or for another purpose or reason and upon the terms the court may consider appropriate, the court may, if it thinks it expedient and in the interests of justice, postpone or adjourn a hearing indefinitely or to a definite time and place.
(2) Where the court has adjourned a hearing indefinitely, the clerk may, with the consent of all parties, set a date for the hearing.
(3) Where the parties cannot agree, the court may, upon application from a party, set a date for the hearing.
Granting of adjournment
34. (1) A judge may refuse to proceed immediately with a hearing and may grant those adjournments that he or she considers necessary where that person is not satisfied that sufficient efforts have been made or that sufficient time has elapsed to effect a reconciliation.
(2) A judge may grant interim orders in accordance with section 28 and may grant those adjournments that the court considers necessary
(a) where a respondent spouse desires to
(i) oppose a divorce proceeding,
(b) where the applicant has failed to file a copy of the marriage certificate;
(c) where either party considers it necessary to examine the other for discovery; or
(d) where he or she is satisfied that under the circumstances the respondent has not had sufficient time to respond to the claim.
Offer to settle
35. (1) A party may file in a sealed envelope an offer to settle a proceeding on the terms set out in the offer and the offer shall be served on the party to whom the offer is made.
(2) The offer may be accepted before the court makes an order disposing of an issue in respect of which the offer is made by filing and serving an acceptance on the party who made the offer.
(3) The offer may be withdrawn before the offer is accepted by filing and serving a notice of withdrawal on the party to whom the offer was made.
(4) Where an offer is accepted, the court may incorporate the offer into an order.
(5) Where an offer is made and not accepted, the court shall examine and take into account the terms of the offer only for the purpose of determining the costs.
36. Before the hearing in a proceeding, the clerk shall prepare a record containing the application, the answer, the reply, the notice of claim by respondent, the reply to the claim by respondent and an order or direction in the proceeding.
Query re reconciliation attempts
37. Before the hearing in a proceeding, the presiding judge shall ask the parties whether or not attempts have been made to resolve or narrow the issues in dispute which issues have been resolved or narrowed and whether settlement by the parties of the issues remaining in dispute is likely.
Method to try issues
38. An issue may be tried
(b) by affidavit evidence which shall be confined to facts within the personal knowledge of the person making the affidavit; or
(c) otherwise as the trial judge may direct.
Trial of joined issues
39. (1) Any 2 or more issues may be tried together and the evidence shall apply to all issues saving all just exceptions.
(2) Where several issues are joined in one proceeding and the court is of the opinion that the issues cannot conveniently be disposed of in one proceeding, the court may order that one or more of the issues be proceeded with separately.
(3) Where the court is of the opinion that 2 or more proceedings could be more conveniently disposed of in one proceeding, the court may order that the proceedings be consolidated.
Absence of party
40. (1) If at the date of the hearing the applicant appears and the respondent does not appear, the judge may proceed with the hearing in the respondent's absence.
(2) If at the date of the hearing the respondent appears and the applicant does not appear, then, unless otherwise ordered, the court may dismiss the application and may proceed with the hearing of a counterclaim in the absence of the applicant.
41. The court may make an order on consent of the parties.
42. Upon completion of a hearing, the court may make an order it considers appropriate and may grant a separate order as to each statute or issue.
43. (1) A decree nisi and a decree absolute shall be in the forms prescribed by the rules committee.
(2) A decree issued under the Divorce Act (
(3) Separate orders shall be issued with respect to another relief granted.
Issuing and serving divorce decrees
44. (1) The decree nisi shall be issued within one month of its being granted and unless service is dispensed with by the judge who presides at the hearing, shall be served within one month after that upon the solicitor for the respondent spouse and by ordinary mail addressed to the respondent spouse at the address of that spouse as shown in the records of the court or as the judge may otherwise direct.
(2) The original shall, upon being issued, be retained by the clerk and as many duplicate originals as required may be issued but must be marked as duplicates.
(3) The judge may in special circumstances extend the times within which the decree nisi may be issued and served.
(4) When the respondent spouse is required to be served as provided for in subsection (1), the decree absolute shall not be granted until the expiration of one month from the date of mailing unless otherwise ordered.
(5) In the event that a decree nisi is granted to and issued on behalf of a respondent, this section shall apply, with the necessary changes, as if the respondent were the applicant and the applicant the respondent except that the address for service shall be the applicant's last address as shown in the records of the court in the proceeding in which the decree nisi is issued.
Financial statements in custody orders
45. Where a request is made to the court to vary or revoke an order for financial support or for custody of a child, the applicant and the respondent shall each file a financial statement and the financial statement shall be served on every other party.
Clerk of the court
46. (1) The Lieutenant‑Governor in Council may appoint a clerk of the court and the other support staff that are necessary for the court.
(2) The clerk shall, before entering upon his or her duties, swear or affirm the following:
I, A.D., of.................., do solemnly swear (affirm) that I will, according to the best of my ability, skill, learning and judgment, well and faithfully execute and fulfil the duties of the office without favour or affection, prejudice or partiality to any person. (Where an oath is taken, add "So help me God".)
Powers and duties of clerk
47. (1) The clerk shall perform the duties of the registrar as described in the Judicature Act that are necessary for the proper administration of the court.
(2) The clerk has power to administer oaths, affirmations, take affidavits, issue process, enforce maintenance orders and those other powers and authority that are necessary to carry out the duties assigned to him or her by the court.
(3) A proceeding to be heard by the court may be adjourned by the clerk with the consent of the parties to a date, time and place agreed upon by the parties and approved by the clerk and unless otherwise ordered, where an adjournment is made, it shall not be necessary for the matter to be taken before the court until the adjourned date provided that the clerk may refer a request for the adjournment to a judge if he or she is of the opinion that the request was not given in sufficient time for another case to be scheduled in its place or for another reason and a judge may
(a) grant the adjournment subject to those terms and conditions that may be appropriate;
(b) refuse the request;
(c) assess costs; or
(d) dismiss the application.
(4) The clerk may accept a written or verbal consent to an adjournment.
(5) The clerk may take steps to cause a person in default under an order that requires the payment of money to appear before the court or a person designated by a judge unless otherwise ordered by the court or otherwise directed in writing on appearance before the clerk by the person for whose benefit the order was made.
(6) A summons for the enforcement of an order of the court shall be issued by the clerk under the seal of the court.
(7) A warrant of committal shall be issued by the clerk under the seal of the court.
(8) The clerk shall maintain the court calendar.
(9) An entry of every proceeding shall be made by the proper officer on a card to be called the record card which is to be kept in the records office and the proceeding shall be distinguished by the date of the year and a number.
(10) There shall be entered on the record card the date of filing of every pleading, affidavit, appearance, summons, order, certificate, judgment, petition or other document filed in a cause or matter in the records office.
(11) There shall be kept in the records office a book to be known as the Acts Book into which shall be entered the names of all persons of whose estates guardians are appointed, together with the date of the grant and the names of the guardians.
Order enforced pending appeal
48. Except where otherwise directed, where an appeal is taken against an order of the court, the order may be enforced pending the hearing.
Showing cause after decree nisi
49. (1) During the period between the granting of the decree nisi and the granting of the decree absolute the Attorney General for the province and another person may give written notice of desire to show cause why the decree nisi should not be made absolute by reason of its having been obtained by collusion or by reason of the reconciliation of the parties or by reason of other material facts.
(2) The notice referred to in subsection (1) supported by affidavit shall set out the grounds upon which it is alleged that the decree nisi should not be made absolute and shall be filed in the office in which the proceedings were commenced and, except where the notice is given by reason of the reconciliation of the parties, be served upon the applicant and upon the Attorney General.
(3) The person giving the notice and a party to the proceedings and the Attorney General may apply on notice to a judge for directions.
(4) The judge may dismiss the application to show cause or may rescind the decree nisi or may require further inquiry to be made or may direct the trial of an issue and may direct the delivery of proceedings and particulars and the production of documents for the purpose of that trial and may permit examinations for discovery and may permit parties and the person who gives the notice and the Attorney General to subpoena witnesses for that trial or may make a further order that the judge considers necessary.
50. (1) Costs are in the discretion of the court, and shall be recovered in the same way as in ordinary actions in the Trial Division.
(2) Where costs are ordered to be paid, the amount of the costs shall be determined by the clerk in accordance with the scale of fees applicable in the Rules of the Supreme Court.
Security for costs
51. The court may make those orders that it considers necessary against either party for payment of or security for the costs of the other of the parties.
52. The court may order payment of a fixed amount in place of costs determined in accordance with the fees.
Solicitors' fees and disbursements
53. The solicitors' fees and other fees and disbursements in proceedings shall be those set out in the fees and shall be allowed as costs.
Orders for payment of costs
54. The court may make an order that it considers necessary for the payment by a successful spouse of the costs or a part of it of the unsuccessful spouse.
Queries re adultery
55. (1) A party shall not refuse to answer a question showing that he or she has committed adultery
(a) where the adultery is a ground for divorce, particulars of which are set out in the claim or counterclaim;
(b) where the adultery is with respect to a person referred to in a claim or counterclaim;
(c) where a judge is of the opinion that it is or was a cause of or occurred after a marriage breakdown or separation; and
(d) where a just claim would otherwise be defeated or a party would be deprived of a defence that would otherwise be available.
(2) Where a judge directs that a question be answered, a party shall not be in contempt for failure to answer another question tending to show that he or she has committed adultery.
(3) No other witness shall be compelled to answer a question showing that he or she has committed adultery.
Exception to affidavit requirement
56. The affidavits required of a party by these rules are not necessary if the party is a mentally incompetent person or is a person who has been declared incapable but the committee, next friend or guardian of the party shall instead file an affidavit to show that that person has made careful inquiry into the facts and that to the best of his or her knowledge, information and belief the facts required to be deposed to, if the party were mentally competent, are true.
Construction of rules
57. These rules shall be construed liberally to secure an inexpensive and expeditious conclusion of every proceeding that is consistent with a just determination of the proceedings.
Non‑compliance with rules
58. Non‑compliance with these rules shall not render a proceeding void unless the court shall so direct, but that proceeding may be set aside either wholly or in part as irregular, or amended, or the court may otherwise grant relief it considers necessary upon the terms and conditions it considers proper for the purpose of securing the just determination of the proceedings.
Other directions may be made
59. A judge may give directions with respect to a matter not provided for that may be necessary for the expeditious handling of a matter before or to be brought before the court or where strict adherence to a rule would cause manifest injustice.
60. (1) Where these rules or an order of the court prescribes a period of time, the time shall be counted by excluding the first day and including the last day of the period and where the last day of the period of time falls on a Saturday, Sunday or a holiday, the period shall be considered to end on the day next following that is not a Saturday, Sunday or a holiday.
(2) The court may lengthen or shorten a period of time prescribed by these rules by order of the court upon those terms that the court considers proper in the circumstances.
61. (1) On request of a party, the clerk shall issue a summons to a witness.
(2) A summons to a witness shall be served on the witness together with the witness fee prescribed by the minister.
Arrest of witness
62. Where the presiding judge is satisfied that a summons to a witness and the prescribed witness fee were served on a witness who failed to attend or to remain as required by the summons and that the presence of the witness is necessary for the determination of an issue in a proceeding, the judge may issue a warrant for the arrest of the witness and may cause that person to be brought before the court and be held in custody until the hearing in the proceeding or be released on the terms that the judge considers proper.
Proceeding not proceeding pending report
63. A judge shall not proceed with a hearing except for interim relief until a report issued from the Central Registry under the regulations under the Divorce Act (Canada) has been filed, unless the trial judge is satisfied that there is no prior pending petition but a decree nisi shall not be issued until the report has been filed.
64. (1) Expert witnesses called by either party to a dispute shall not exceed 2 nor shall the number of social investigations in a single cause exceed 2 unless otherwise ordered by a judge of the court.
(2) Those persons making the reports and in the discretion of the court the sources upon which they rely must be available for cross‑examination by all parties to the dispute or their counsel.
Forms re Divorce
65. The clerk shall complete the forms required by
the regulations under the Divorce Act
Style of cause
66. (1) The style of cause shall give the full name of the parties as far as possible but not their addresses.
(2) Where parties are added as respondents by counterclaim, they shall be added as parties and designated as respondents by counterclaim but the style of cause shall not otherwise be altered.
(3) Where the style of cause is set out in the first page of a document, it shall not be repeated on subsequent pages of the document.
(4) On a document prepared for the court, it shall not be necessary, except in original proceedings and unilateral applications, to set out the full style of cause and it may be abbreviated as follows:
file No............................................. and
67. Dates, sums and numbers shall be expressed in figures and not in words with the exception of the number one.
68. Notwithstanding anything otherwise contained in these rules, all orders made under these rules respecting maintenance or alimony may in addition to all other remedies be enforced by process for contempt.
Powers as Justice of the Peace
69. The court administrator and clerk shall have and exercise all the powers and authority of a Justice of the Peace under the Justices Act.
70. (1) Fees and charges payable to the clerk shall be those which are applicable to similar services provided in the Supreme Court.
(2) Where no equivalent fees or charges are applicable, the clerk shall charge those fees that he or she considers fair, reasonable and appropriate.
71. Except where otherwise stated, a notice shall be given 4 clear days before the date of the hearing.
72. The Rules of the Unified Family Court, 1979, Newfoundland Regulation 99/79, are repealed.
©Earl G. Tucker, Queen's Printer