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BC Human Rights Tribunal

How Do I Require a Witness to Attend a Hearing?

Some people may need an Order to Attend Hearing to show their employer so that they can miss work. If you have any concern that a person you want as a witness may not appear at the hearing, you should serve them with an Order to Attend Hearing. If you serve the Order on a person, they must appear at the hearing.  If they fail to appear, they may be committed for contempt on application of the Tribunal to the court.

If you do not serve an Order to Attend Hearing and your witness does not appear, you will be expected to continue with the hearing without the benefit of your witness’s evidence.

How to get an Order to Attend Hearing

Step 1: Complete a Form 8 – Order to Attend Hearing

You need to fill out the name and British Columbia address of the person you want to appear as a witness, and list any documents or things you want the person to bring to the hearing. Use the Order to Attend Hearing (Form 8).

Step 2: Send the completed Order to the Tribunal

Send a letter to the Tribunal asking for a Tribunal Member to sign the completed Order to Attend Hearing. The Tribunal will normally sign the Order, but it may first ask you to provide information about why you need the person to be a witness.

When to request an Order to Attend Hearing

You must serve the Order to Attend Hearing on your witness a reasonable time before the person is required to appear. What is a reasonable time will depend on the circumstances. Ideally, you should request your Order to Attend Hearing several weeks before the hearing begins, so there is time for you to serve your witness well before the hearing.

How to serve an Order to Attend Hearing 

Serving an Order to Attend Hearing on a person means leaving the Order with the person or at their usual residential address. You can serve the Order yourself, pay for a process server, or have someone else serve it for you.

Do I need to prove that I served the Order to Attend Hearing?

You may need to prove that you served the Order if the person does not appear at the hearing. Make sure the person who serves the Order can prove that they did so by writing down:

  • the place, date and time of delivery
  • how the Order was served (by leaving it with the person or at their residence)
  • if they left it with a person, how they knew it was the right person (for example, they know the person, or they asked to see their driver’s licence)