Application for an Order that a Third Party Disclose Documents

Information Sheet GA 10

If you believe that a non-party (or ‘third party’), such as a doctor or business associate, has a document that may be relevant to an issue in the complaint, you may apply for an order requiring the third party to disclose the document.

Process requirements

You should ask for disclosure of a document as soon as possible after you learn it exists and may be important to your case. You must:

  1. State in the application that you seek an order under section 34(3)(b) of the Administrative Tribunals Act
  2. Deliver a copy of the application to the third party and advise them that they can contact the Tribunal to request a copy of the complaint, response to complaint and/or details of remedy sought.
  3. Advise the Tribunal in writing of the date, method, and address at which the third party was provided with a copy of the application

Conditions for an order for third party disclosure

For the Tribunal to order a third party to give you a copy of a document, you must apply using a General Application. Your application must show:

  1. The document may be relevant to an issue in the complaint, response to complaint, or remedy sought
  2. Disclosure of the document will further the just and timely resolution of the complaint
  3. You have tried to obtain a copy of the document

Information about relevance

This means that the document might help you prove or disprove an important fact that the parties disagree about.


There are some kinds of documents that cannot be disclosed and that are not admissible in a hearing. Often these documents are called “privileged”.

For example, a letter from a lawyer giving legal advice is “solicitor-client privileged”

Other documents may meet a test for privilege, including whether the document was produced with an expectation of confidence, and whether its value as evidence outweighs the potential prejudice to a person’s privacy.

Documents created specifically for the purpose of settling a complaint cannot be disclosed without consent. A statement made or information given by a party for the purpose of settling a complaint cannot be disclosed without their consent.

Information about the just and timely resolution of the complaint

You must show that granting the request is fair, considering the circumstances, including the interest in a timely process. For example, the Tribunal may not order disclosure without a reason for believing the third party has (or has access to) the documents, or if the request would result in disclosure of more documents than necessary or documents that are not helpful in proving important facts.

Privacy concerns

A party may only use a disclosed document for the purpose of the complaint process. A party or the third party can also ask the Tribunal to make an order to protect privacy if documents are disclosed.  For example, the Tribunal may order that the parties keep the document confidential, only make the copy available to specified persons, advise those persons the documents are confidential, that no copies are to be made, and that the document is to be returned at a specified time.