BC Provincial Court: Webinars & Resources for SRLs

By LawMatters, Courthouse Libraries BC

Courthouse Libraries recently hosted Supporting Self Represented Litigants in Provincial Court: Resources and Q&A. Using a fictional narrative, presenters demonstrated online legal information resources available for anyone dealing with Provincial Court matters without the help of a lawyer. If you didn’t have a chance to attend the live session, you can view the recording on CLBC’s Vimeo channel, linked above.

Here, we’ll highlight some of the resources that were covered. However, first, we’d like to let you know of a follow-up webinar with Legal Aid BC. We’ll provide an overview of their resources for Provincial Court with a focus on publications available in print and online. Here are the details:

Legal Aid BC Resources for Self-Represented Litigants in Provincial Court 

Tuesday, April 5th, 2:00-3:00 PM (PST)

Register online here.

This 1-hour interactive webinar will highlight the range of free, plain language and trustworthy legal advice and information resources available from Legal Aid BC for self-represented litigants in Provincial Court (i.e people navigating court without a lawyer). This webinar will focus on Legal Aid publications, which are available both online and in print, which can help intermediaries supporting self represented litigants.

Our presenters, Megan Smiley and Rachel Carlson from Courthouse Libraries BC’s LawMatters Program and Patricia Lim from Legal Aid BC (LABC) will use narrative scenarios to demonstrate how to use these sources in supporting clients who are representing themselves in court.

Intermediaries, advocates, public librarians, law students, and general practitioners are all welcome to attend. LSBC members attending this session may claim up to 1hr of CPD.

Getting Started

For people looking to find out more information about the Provincial Court, the types of legal matters it hears, and general court functions, the court website is a great place to start. You’ll find information on how to conduct oneself in court, including how to dress, how to address the judge, and how to attend virtual proceedings in Microsoft Teams. Note the page on Going to Court is particularly helpful for practical tips.  

The Provincial Court also produces small articles via their E-News, which includes tips on what to expect in court, how to prepare, changes in the law, and common questions. 

Family

The Provincial Court in BC can deal with most family law issues except for divorce or division of property, which must be addressed at Supreme Court. Matters that could appear in Provincial Court include financial support and parenting arrangement cases, protection orders, child protection, and orders regarding unpaid child or spousal support.  

Where to start:  

Small Claims 

Small Claims Court (aka Provincial Civil Court) deals with cases involving amounts from $5,001 to $35,000. Claims up to $5,000 or motor vehicle claims up to $50,000 usually go before the Civil Resolution Tribunal, while cases for amounts of $35,001 and above go before the Supreme Court.

Where to start: 

Traffic, Ticket & Bylaw 

The Provincial Court deals with three types of tickets: provincial violation tickets such as traffic offences, federal contravention tickets such as fishing without a license, and municipal tickets for bylaw offences. Those who have been ticketed can conduct their own hearings to dispute it.  

Where to start:  

Criminal 

Provincial Court oversees over 95% of all criminal cases in BC, except for adults charged with murder and rare offences such as treason, piracy, and inciting mutiny. This includes conducting bail hearings, preliminary hearings and trials, and sentencing.  

Hope this is helpful to you, and hope to see you on April 5th!


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