Can I have my civil trial in French?

2. Ask for a bilingual proceeding

You must ask for bilingual proceedings. To ask for bilingual proceedings, you can:

  • file your first document in French, for example, your Statement of Claim, Statement of Defence, Application, Answer, Plaintiff’s Claim, or Defence
  • file a requisition form with the court
  • file a written statement with the court that explains you speak French and are asking for bilingual proceedings
  • ask the judge or justice of the peace for a bilingual proceeding at any court appearance

Contact your local courthouse for more information and help.

Deadline to ask for bilingual proceedings

There are deadlines to ask for a bilingual proceeding.

Your role Court Deadline to ask for bilingual proceedings
Applicant All courts
  • When you start the application, and
  • at least 7 days before the proceedings start
Defendant Superior Court
  • Before your case is put on the trial list, and
  • at least 7 days before the proceedings start
Defendant Small Claims Court
  • Before the notice of trial is sent, and
  • at least 7 days before the proceedings start

 

Service

If you filed a form or written statement to ask for bilingual proceedings, you need to serve that document on all parties in your case. You can serve the document by mail, courier, email, or in person.

There are rules you must follow for how to serve documents. And different rules apply based on how you serve the document, the type of proceeding, and the type of court. If you need help figuring out how to serve documents, you can contact your local court.

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