Big Changes to Small Claims

Small Claims under $5001

Last week, the Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT)–Canada’s first online tribunal–began accepting small claims disputes $5000 and under.

Small claims disputes that the CRT can resolve include a wide variety of issues between individuals and organizations. You can start with the Solution Explorer, the first step in the CRT process, to find information and self-help tools for your issue. You can also apply for dispute resolution right from the Solution Explorer.

If you go through to obtain a CRT order, it may be enforced by filing it in the BC Provincial Court. When you do so, it has the same force and effect as a judgment of the BC Provincial Court.

What about Small Claims over $5000?

The BC Provincial Court now handles Small Claims cases between $5001 and $35,000. The Court has put together a helpful page that goes over the changes, including:

  • types of disputes;
  • what the CRT can and cannot hear;
  • when a claim under $5001 can still be heard by the Provincial Court;
  • when the CRT might refuse a claim;
  • what to do when you are not happy with a CRT decision;
  • special procedures in Vancouver and Richmond; and
  • alternatives to court.

What resources & help are there for Small Claims?

With the help of Judge Ann Rounthwaite (retired), Digital Communications Coordinator for the BC Provincial Court, we have updated Where do I start for information on Small Claims Court?

This page provides a curated collection of helpful basics for all things Small Claims.

It includes a printable PDF handout with:

  • A summary of the resources; and
  • A short bit.ly link so anyone can quickly access the full list of links.

Other Provincial Court resources

The following Common Questions have also been updated:

Access all “Where do I start…?” questions and handouts at: bit.ly/clicklawbcpc

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Common Questions 2016 Update

What are Common Questions (CQs)?

Clicklaw links to so many great resources, which can make it difficult to decide which one to read first. Clicklaw’s Common Questions are like an extended legal FAQ. They help narrow down the resources people should start with. We are currently working on reviewing and updating our 160 questions.

An example of a Common Question:

renting_rights

In the last 30 days, these 5 CQs received over 4000 views:

Some of our new or updated questions are:

  • Can I get a legal order to keep an abuser away from me? Updated: Effective December 5, 2016, the Ministry of Justice will coordinate the service of protection orders under the Family Law Act, when the order is issued without the respondent (i.e. abuser) in court. This is to ensure that someone’s (your) inability to hire a process server does not hinder service.
  • I think I was sexually harassed. What can I do? This common question directs you to information resources, as well as to the BC Human Rights Clinic that can provide help to resolve your issue.
  • What does the new Societies Act require? The new Societies Act is in force as of November 28, 2016. Pre-existing societies have a two-year transition period to come into compliance with the new act. There are numerous helpful resources and services to help you transition.
  • Is marijuana legal in BC? Not for recreational use. Possession of marijuana is a criminal offense across Canada, under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. This common question explains the exceptions, and has information on the Canadian government’s Task Force on Marijuana Legalization and Regulation.

Do you have an idea for a Common Question?

Do you get asked the same questions over and over again by your clients? Send your suggestions to: editor[@]clicklaw.bc.ca

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