Civil Procedure Rules of Nova Scotia  
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Part 4 - Alternate Resolution or Determination

Rule  11 - Reference

Scope of Rule 11
11.01 (1) This Rule provides for inquiry into a question in a proceeding by a person who is not a judge of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia but who reports findings to the court.
  (2) A question may be referred and the reference may be conducted, in accordance with this Rule.
       
Trial or hearing before a referee
11.02 (1) A judge may refer a question in a proceeding to any person for inquiry and report, unless the question is for a jury in an action in which a party has elected trial by jury.
  (2) A judge who refers a question must give directions for the payment of the referee.
  (3) The judge may refer questions in the following kinds of proceedings:
   
(a)
a motion to pass accounts by anyone obligated to submit accounts for approval by the court, such as a trustee, executor, administrator, receiver, liquidator, or guardian;
   
(b)
an accounting under Rule 66 - Account;
   
(c)
an assessment under Rule 70 - Assessment of Damages;
   
(d)
an action, application, or motion that raises a question within the expertise of a referee.
  (4) The judge may refer a question to any one of the following referees:
   
(a)
a member of one of the financial professions, such as a chartered accountant, certified general accountant, certified management consultant, licensed trustee in bankruptcy, chartered business valuer, or chartered insolvency and restructuring practitioner;
   
(b)
a Nova Scotia Land Surveyor, a land surveyor qualified elsewhere, or a forester;
   
(c)
a member of one of the health professions such as a medical practitioner, registered nurse, or occupational therapist;
   
(d)
a member of the engineering profession, in any of its disciplines;
   
(e)
a person who is knowledgeable of machines, ships, buildings, plants and their design, such as a mechanical engineer, architect, builder, electrician, plumber, carpenter, or ship surveyor;
   
(f)
a psychologist;
   
(g)
a social worker;
   
(h)
a lawyer;
   
(i)
anyone with skills or knowledge to determine the question.
       
Land Registration Act
11.03 (1) A party may move for the reference of a question to the Registrar General under the Land Registration Act, or a person recommended by the Registrar General, if all of the following apply:
   
(a)
the question arises in an application for a declaratory judgment to determine land title or boundaries;
   
(b)
the application is brought by notice of application in court;
   
(c)
the declaratory judgment and claim for costs are the only remedies sought in the application;
   
(d)
the Registrar General does not have to answer the same question in making any decision, or taking any action, within the supervisory or appellate jurisdiction of the court;
   
(e)
the Registrar General is not a party to a proceeding in which the same question must be decided by the court, or considered by the court on judicial or appellate review.
  (2) The notice of application in court must, in addition to all that is required by Rule 5.07(5) of Rule 5 - Application, provide notice that, on the motion for directions and setting a date, the applicant will move for a reference to the Registrar General or the Registrar General’s nominee.
  (3) The affidavit in support of the motion for directions must include evidence for the reference.
  (4) This Rule 11.03 does not restrict the discretion of a judge to refer a question about land arising under the Land Registration Act or otherwise to a referee.
       
Nomination, terms for payment, and consent
11.04 (1) A party seeking the appointment of a referee must propose terms for the selection and payment of the referee.
  (2) An order appointing a referee takes effect when the referee files a consent.
       
Terms of reference
11.05 (1) A judge may give directions for the conduct of the inquiry before the referee.
  (2) Each of the following apply, unless a judge gives directions otherwise:
   
(a)
a referee conducting an inquiry has the same powers as a judge conducting a hearing, except to grant a contempt order;
   
(b)
the referee must conduct the inquiry with the same impartiality and independence required of a judge;
   
(c)
the inquiry must be recorded and the exhibits must be kept by the referee until they are turned over to the court;
   
(d)
the referee may direct the place and time of the inquiry, including adjournments.
  (3) These Rules apply on an inquiry, as if the referee were a judge.
  (4) The referee must report within six months of the conclusion of the inquiry, unless a judge directs otherwise.
       
Report
11.06 (1) The referee must prepare, file, and deliver to all parties a report stating the referee’s findings.
  (2) The referee must state the reasons for the findings, and may make the statement in one of the following ways:
   
(a)
giving an opinion orally when the inquiry is finished;
   
(b)
giving opinions through the course of the inquiry, if a series of opinions is called for;
   
(c)
reserving a question and delivering the opinion in writing before or with the report.
  (3) The referee must cause all exhibits introduced at the inquiry, a list of the exhibits, and a complete recording of the inquiry to be transmitted to the prothonotary.
  (4) Delivery of the report discharges the referee, unless a judge orders otherwise.
       
Response to report
11.07 (1) A judge may do any of the following, after the referee files a report:
   
(a)
adopt the report, in whole or in part;
   
(b)
vary or reverse any finding stated in the report;
   
(c)
reinstate the reference, and direct the referee to provide a supplementary report;
   
(d)
reinstate the reference, and remit it to the referee, or a new referee, to take further evidence and provide a supplementary report;
   
(e)
give directions for the conduct of a reinstated reference;
   
(f)
give judgment.
  (2) A judge may receive evidence in contradiction of the referee’s findings of fact or the referee’s conclusions, if the reception of the evidence would meet the requirements for admission of fresh evidence before the Court of Appeal under Rule 90 - Civil Appeal.
       
Various powers of a judge
11.08 (1) A judge may give directions controlling the conduct of a reference at anytime before the referee reports.
  (2) On motion of the referee, a judge may give an opinion on any question of law, or provide guidance to the referee.
  (3) A judge may replace a referee.
       

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