Applications versus Actions

One of the most important decisions in any civil litigation matter is whether to pursue it through an action or an application. Each has advantages and disadvantages and is intended to serve unique legal purposes. 

Application Action
An application is a legal procedure to request a court order that regulates or resolves a particular legal issue outside the typical trial process. It is a pre-trial mechanism that deals with preliminary matters, such as injunctions, orders for directions, and summary judgment motions. Applications typically involve a party asking the court to make a ruling based on the law without a trial or witnesses. One common application is a request for an injunction. This effectively stops one party from taking a certain action prior to the trial being over. An application is generally used when time is a factor and a court determination is urgently needed on a specific issue. An action is a legal procedure involving a formal dispute between two or more parties seeking the resolution of legal issues through the court system. Unlike an application, an action results in a trial process involving presenting evidence before a judge or jury. The result is the granting of a remedy or dismissing the claim. An action usually takes significantly longer to get through the court system than an application. A common action is a breach of contract where several determinations have to be made, including the existence of a contract, its terms, etc.

The Application Process

The first step to an application is the so-called Notice of Application, which outlines the nature of the relief sought. This is a crucial document as it sets out the basis for the application and what is being sought by the applicant. This document must be served on all parties involved in the dispute. The proper drafting and serving of an application is crucial as it outlines the nature of the relief being sought. It is also important to consider timelines in applications. For most claims, an application would have to be started by two years after the discovery of the claim.

Service of an Application

Once a Notice of Application is filed with the court, it must be served on all parties involved in the dispute. These parties must be given adequate time to respond to the application. Service can be affected in numerous ways, including personal service, email, or mail. It is important that service is done properly, as failure to do so may result in the application being dismissed by the court.

After an Application

Once the Notice of Application is filed in the court, it must be served on all parties involved in the dispute. The parties to be served must be given adequate notice and time to respond to the application. Service can be done in several ways, including by personal service, mail, or email. It is important to ensure that the application is served in accordance with the rules of the court. Failure to properly serve the application may result in the application being dismissed.

Responding to an Application

After being served with a Notice of Application, parties have the opportunity to file a Response, which outlines their position on the application and any evidence that they may have that supports their position. Like the application, a response has strict timelines; otherwise, the court might not be able to consider any defense to the claims.

The Hearing and Decision

Once all of the materials are filed, a judge will be appointed to hear the application. Both parties will be allowed to present their arguments verbally. The applicant or their respondent always speaks first while the respondent answers. The applicant gets a final chance to reply. The judge will give oral or written reasons for their decision and either grant the relief sought or dismiss the application.

The Action Process

Like an application, an action has to be properly served on all parties with a chance to reply. However, before any hearing, the parties will engage in a pre-trial discovery process. There will be an exchange of documents by way of an affidavit and discoveries of the relevant parties. Overall, an action takes significantly longer than an application and should only be used when the issues involved are particularly complicated. 

It should also be noted that only actions have the option of having the matter heard in front of a jury. All applications are heard in front of a single judge.

Note

This blog post does not constitute legal advice and was written solely to provide information. If you would like to consult with a lawyer about the issues raised in this post, please contact Empel Law Professional Corporation at 416-500-1937.

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