SFU Records Retention Schedule and Disposal Authority (RRSDA)
Legal Case Files

Description | PIB | Authorities | Retentional rational | Rentention and filing guidelines | Status

RRSDA number


Record series

Legal Case Files

Office of Primary Responsibility (OPR)

Vice-President Legal Affairs, Office of the

Retention periods

Records Active retention (in office) Semi-active (records centre) Total retention Final disposition
Legal Case Files CY case concluded + 5 years 5 years CY case concluded + 10 years Full retention

CY = Current calendar year; CFY = Current fiscal year; CS = Current semester; S/O = Superseded or obsolete; OPR = Office of Primary Responsibility; Non-OPR = All other departments.

Description, purpose and use of records

Records relating to legal matters dealt with or submitted to a court of law or an administrative tribunal for or against the University.

Records include but are not limited to legal correspondence and pleadings, statements, demands, directions, defence, actions, subpoenas and notices to appear, orders, discharges, garnishments, rulings, etc.

Personal Information Bank (PIB)

This series is a Personal Information Bank; click here for PIB description.


These records are created, used, retained and managed in accordance with the following authorities:

Retention rationale

Applying a retention period of "CY case concluded + 10 years" is sufficient to meet the record retention guidelines formulated by the BC Law Society and the timeframes set by the Limitation Act (RSBC 1996, c. 266) for actions to be taken against the University.

Retention and filing guidelines


See departmental file classification plan for guidance on naming and classifying these files.


The BC Law Society advises that a voluminous case file be subdivided into volumes with the sub-classifications listed below. Structuring files in this manner is recommended best practice, but it is not mandatory. The person responsible for maintaining the files is in the best position to decide whether the effort to organize their contents in the manner described below is necessary and worthwhile.

- Communications (notes, correspondence, and email) - Pleadings - Client documents - Opposing party documents - Case law - Assets (estates, family, commercial) - Liabilities (estates, family, commercial) - Drafts of agreements (commercial, family) - Medical evidence - Wage loss evidence - Research (non-legal information referred to at trials or hearings)

For smaller files, were the volume of records does not warrant the sub-classifications described above, simply use the right side of the file for "communications", including all notes and correspondence in chronological order, and the left side for everything else.


Once a file is closed (i.e., the case has been concluded), cull and discard all multiple copies of individual documents down to a single copy, retaining the original where ever possible.


Duplicate copies of records may exist in electronic form on a departmental shared drive and/or on individual desktops. These electronic duplicates are subject to the same retention periods and final disposition as file "originals". Responsibility to dispose of electronic "copies" of records in accordance with the recommendations in this RRSDA fall to the staff of the Office of the Vice-President, Legal Affairs.


At the end of the active retention period (CY case decided + 5 years) box the files and transfer to the University Records Centre (URC). Prepare and retain a file list of records transferred. For each box prepare a box contents listing, itemizing all files. Always include ONE copy of the file list inside the box sent to the URC taped to the underside of the lid; keep ONE copy for your own records; and send ONE copy (paper or electronic) to the Archives (see Procedures for Transferring Records to the University Records Centre).


RRSDA is in force.

Approved by the University Archivist: 3 Feb 2011

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