Senior Master Karen Clearwater
Master F.A. (Rick) Lee
Master Shayne Berthaudin
Master Jennifer Goldenberg
Master Robert Patterson
The Masters are judicial officers appointed pursuant to The Court of Queen's Bench Act with jurisdiction prescribed by legislation, including the Queen's Bench Rules. The Masters have extensive jurisdiction with respect to court motions and references, which may be directed by judges of the Court of Queen's Bench. There is no monetary limit to the jurisdiction of Masters.
The Masters deal with a wide variety of family law matters, including the conduct of Family Property Act references, striking out improper evidence from affidavits filed in family law cases (expungement), and presiding over various family law motions, Maintenance Enforcement court and Child Protection screening court.
The Masters do not deal with criminal matters but preside over a number of matters in the General Division of the Court of Queen's Bench, including the passing of accounts in estate and committeeship cases. The Masters hear all Fee Assessment References where clients dispute the accounts rendered by their lawyers. The Masters also hear most procedural motions in civil actions that are not governed by Queen's Bench Rule 20A (Expedited Action).
The Masters are also appointed Registrars in Bankruptcy and preside over most of the court proceedings under the federal Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. These include Bankruptcy Discharge applications, appeals of Trustee Disallowances, and the Taxation of the accounts of Trustees and Insolvency lawyers.
The decisions of Masters may be appealed to a judge of the Court of Queen's Bench. Although these appeals are heard as if they are fresh hearings, new evidence may not be presented for the appeal hearing without leave of a Queen's Bench judge.
When a Master conducts a reference, a report must be prepared at the conclusion. The report is subject to a confirmation process before it has any legal effect. Once confirmed, it becomes an order of the Court. The confirmation of a report may be opposed, in which case the matter will be considered by a judge of the Court of Queen's Bench.