Written by Michael J Weiler

Small claims jurisdiction increases to $35,000 and smaller cases move to Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT)

Important changes to the Small Claims court became effective June 1st, 2017.

First the monetary jurisdiction of the Small Claims Court increases from $25,000 to $35,000.  This change has been considered for a number of years and the government had originally considered a move to $50,000.  Whether further increases to the monetary jurisdiction will be made remains to be seen.  While the change seems fairly minor, the fact is employers may well find that they are subject to more litigation in wrongful dismissal and related actions.  In many cases employees can claim aggravated or punitive damages related to their dismissal.  Those damages will not normally be taxable thus increasing the value of the claim beyond $35,000.

At the same time disputes involving up to $5,000 will be now be resolved through the new Civil Resolution Tribunal rather than the Provincial Court.  The CRT is an online tribunal that will offer dispute resolution services.

If you have any questions regarding these changes please consult the Provincial Court of British Columbia website.  http://www.provincialcourt.bc.ca/types-of-cases/small-claims-matters