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Get help for a tribunal case

You can request for someone to attend court with you through the Community Courts and Tribunals (CCT) Friend Scheme if you have a case at any of these tribunals:

A CCT Friend can provide administrative or emotional support during court proceedings. Your CCT Friend can be a family member, friend or volunteer from a pro bono agency.

You need to find someone to be your CCT Friend on your own. The court will not be able to arrange for a CCT Friend for you.

Tip

If you do not have a family member or friend who can help, you may approach the Community Justice Centre or other pro bono agencies.

Who is eligible

Any party involved in a tribunal case can apply for the court to approve a CCT Friend.

You should be one of these parties:

  • If you filed the claim:
    • (For SCT or ECT cases) The claimant
    • (For CDRT cases) The plaintiff
  • If you are the party against whom a claim is filed: the respondent.

Before you apply

Before you apply for the CCT Friend Scheme, make sure you understand:

A CCT Friend can help you by:

  • Preparing and filing documents relevant to the proceedings.
  • Providing emotional and moral support.
  • Offering practical guidance on non-legal issues.
  • Taking notes during the proceedings.
  • Reviewing the notes taken during the proceedings with you after the proceedings and explaining the directions made by the court.
  • Organising and locating documents for use during the proceedings.
  • Interpret what has been said and written in documents during the proceedings.

A CCT Friend cannot:

  • Act as your lawyer, for example by addressing the court or examining witnesses on your behalf.
  • Be your legal representative.
  • Provide you with any legal advice on the merits of the case.
  • Advise you on how to present your case or respond to your opponent's case.
  • Manage your case outside court or act as your agent when dealing with other parties.
  • Communicate with you during the proceedings in a disruptive way.
  • Reveal to any third party the information they come to know of while assisting you.
  • Receive any payment or reward for their services.

A CCT Friend cannot be someone who:

  • Is an advocate, solicitor or a legally qualified person from any jurisdiction.
  • Is or may be a witness in the proceedings.
  • Has a direct or indirect interest in the outcome of a claim in the dispute.
  • (If your dispute involves a tenancy or any other housing matter) Is your housing agent for the property in question

Note: You can only have one CCT Friend at all times during the proceedings.

Apply for the CCT Friend Scheme

Your application will be subject to the approval of the tribunal in charge of your case.

What you will need

You will need to provide the following information in the Application for CCT Friend (Form 99, State Courts Practice Directions):

  • Your claim number.
  • Particulars of your proposed CCT Friend.
  • Your reasons for applying.
  • An undertaking and declaration by the CCT Friend.
    • Your proposed CCT Friend will need to sign this undertaking and declaration form.

How to apply

Log in to the Community Justice and Tribunals System (CJTS). Under the Online Applications tab, select General Application. Submit the completed Application for CCT Friend (Form 99, State Courts Practice Directions) as a supporting document.

After you apply

The tribunal in charge of your case will decide whether to approve your application at the next scheduled court session.

  • Depending on your case, this could be a consultation (SCT), case management conference (ECT), pre-trial conference (CDRT) or hearing (any tribunal).
Note
You should ask your proposed CCT Friend to attend court with you.

If your application is approved, your CCT Friend may proceed to assist you.

If your application is rejected, you will have to carry on with your case without the assistance of a CCT Friend. The court may refuse your application if it considers that it is not in the interests of justice and fairness for you to receive assistance from a CCT Friend.

If your application is rejected at a consultation (SCT), case management conference (ECT) or pre-trial conference (CDRT) and your case proceeds to a hearing, you may submit another application on the first day of the hearing. The decision by the court to approve or reject this application is final.

Other applications related to a CCT friend

If you wish to change your CCT Friend at any stage of the proceedings, you will need to submit a new application for the court's approval.

During the court session, you may object to the other party's CCT Friend application if you have valid reasons on why they should not receive assistance from a CCT Friend.

The court may refuse a CCT Friend application if it considers that it is not in the interests of justice and fairness for the party to receive assistance from a CCT Friend.

Conduct of your CCT Friend

The court may stop or restrict your CCT Friend from assisting you if they consider that:

  • The assistance provided by your CCT Friend is improper.
  • The assistance provided by your CCT Friend is unreasonable.
  • Your CCT friend is not competent enough to interpret what is being said or to interpret any document used in the proceedings.
  • Your CCT Friend becomes disruptive through their words or behaviour.
  • Your CCT Friend distracts you or takes over the proceedings on your behalf.
  • Your CCT Friend attempts to act as your lawyer, such as by speak directly to the court or the other party on your behalf.
  • By allowing your CCT Friend to remain, it would not be in the interests of justice and fairness.
  • By allowing your CCT Friend to continue assisting you, it would obstruct the efficient administration of justice.

Before stopping or restricting the participation of your CCT Friend, the court may first caution your CCT Friend to stop their offending behaviour.

If your CCT Friend does not comply with the court's instructions, they may be asked to leave the hearing chambers.

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