Changes to Provincial Court Civil Jurisdiction and Procedures (Civil Resolution Tribunal)

  • May 23, 2017

Download a PDF of NP 12

Effective Date: 01 June 2017
NP 12

Notice to the Profession and Public 

Changes to Provincial Court Civil Jurisdiction and Procedures 
(Civil Resolution Tribunal)

Purpose 

The objectives of this Notice to the Profession and Public are: (1) to outline the changes to the Provincial Court’s civil jurisdiction and procedures effective June 1, 2017, further to the implementation of the small claims jurisdiction of the Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) 1; and (2) to rescind three Small Claims Practice Directions formerly issued by the Chief Judge. 

Notice

  1. The Small Claims Rules, B.C. Reg. 261/93 and the Small Claims Monetary Limit Regulation, B.C. Reg. 179/2005 are amended pursuant to Order in Council 166/2017, including by adding Rules 1.1, 10.2, and 16.1 and Forms 34 to 37.
  2. Commencing June 1, 2017, the Court’s civil jurisdiction increases to $35,000.

[Small Claims Monetary Limit Regulation, s. 1]

  1. Commencing June 1, 2017, subject to section 3.1(2) of the Civil Resolution Tribunal Act, all civil claims up to $5,000 must commence at the CRT if the claim is for:
    1. debt or damages;
    2. recovery of personal property;
    3. specific performance of an agreement relating to personal property or services;
      or
    4. relief from opposing claims to personal property.

[Civil Resolution Tribunal Small Claims Regulation, s. 2;
Civil Resolution Tribunal Act, ss. 3.1 and 3.8]

  1. The Court continues to hear any cases up to $5,000 filed with the Court prior to June 1, 2017.
  2. The Court may hear cases within the monetary jurisdiction of the CRT if:
    1. the CRT refuses to resolve the claim;
    2. a party is granted an exemption from the Court to have the matter proceed in the Provincial Court instead of the CRT;
    3. the CRT gives a final decision and one of the parties files an objection to the decision (the claim could come to the Court and be heard as a trial de novo); and
    4. a negotiated consent order or final decision of the CRT is filed with the Court for enforcement and no objection is filed. 

[Civil Resolution Tribunal Act, ss. 11, 12.1, 56.1, 58, and 58.1;
Small Claims Rules, R. 1.1(2) and 16.1]

  1. Once a CRT order is filed with the Court, it has the same force and effect as a Provincial Court judgment, and may be enforced using the same procedures. 

​​[Civil Resolution Tribunal Act, ss. 58 and 58.1]

  1. Where the Court has jurisdiction to hear cases within the monetary jurisdiction of the CRT (see paras. 5.a. to 5.c. above):
    1. if the parties participated in the dispute resolution process (“facilitation”) at the CRT, then upon filing with the Court the parties will be given a date for a trial conference; and
    2. if the parties did not participate in facilitation at the CRT, then upon filing with the Court the parties will be given a date for a settlement conference. 

[Small Claims Rules, R. 7 and 7.5]

  1. If a party files a notice of objection to a final CRT order (the “objecting party”) and the matter proceeds to Court, any party that did not file the notice of objection at the CRT may apply to the Court to have the objecting party pay a deposit that is less than or equal to the amount ordered by the CRT plus an amount prescribed by regulation as security for costs. The Court has discretion to order payment of any amount up to the amount of the CRT order plus security for costs if prescribed by regulation. The Court may order that payments be made in instalments. 

[Civil Resolution Tribunal Act, ss. 56.3 and 56.4(b);
Civil Resolution Tribunal Small Claims Regulation, s. 3;
Small Claims Rules, R. 1.1(40)-(41)]

  1. If the responding party at the CRT failed to file a response but filed a notice of objection after the CRT made an order in favour of the initiating party, the Court must make an order for payment of deposit or security for costs upon application by the initiating party. Some exceptions apply. 

[Civil Resolution Tribunal Act, s. 56.3(4)]

  1. The Court may order the payment of a penalty of up to 20 percent of the CRT order against the objecting party if they are less successful in the Provincial Court. The Court will only be made aware of the CRT decision at the conclusion of the trial.

[Civil Resolution Tribunal Act, s. 56.4(c);
Small Claims Rules, R. 10.2]

  1. Commencing June 1, 2017, simplified trials under Rule 9.1 may apply to claims up to $10,000 at the Robson Square and Richmond Small Claims Registries. 

[Small Claims Rules, R. 9.1]

  1. The Practice Directions listed in Appendix “A” are rescinded.
  2. A workflow 2 providing an overview of the progress of a civil claim in the Provincial Court and the CRT as of June 1, 2017 is attached as Appendix “B”.

Thomas J. Crabtree 
Chief Judge 
Provincial Court of British Columbia 

Appendix "A"

Practice Directions that are rescinded as of June 1, 2017

Table of Practice Directions Date of Practice Direction Status
SM. CL. 02
Small Claims Court Mediation Program - Multiple Defendants
February 23, 2017 Rescinded
SM. CL. 03
Scheduling of Civil Cases
February 23, 2017 Rescinded
SM. CL. 04
Representation at a Mediation Session
February 23, 2017 Rescinded

Appendix "B"

Click on the image to download a PDF of Appendix "B"

Footnotes

  1. Pursuant to Order in Council 156/2017 | 
  2. Created by Court Services Branch, in consultation with the Provincial Court, CRT, and Justice Services Branch, for information purposes only. |