Small Claims Learning Module

Disclaimer

The information contained in these modules, including any references to websites, appendices or links, has been prepared to assist readers as they develop or refresh their skills in the various areas of law covered by the modules. Given the changing nature of the law, readers should exercise their own skill and professional judgment when reviewing the content. Always refer to the most current statutes, regulations, and practice directions, as well as the most recent case law and any other appropriate sources. These materials do not provide legal advice and should not be relied on in any way.

As you read through this module, if you find any information that is unclear, inaccurate or outdated, please advise the course facilitator.

  1. Introduction

  2. Jurisdiction

  3. Procedural Issues - Starting a Claim

  4. Procedural Issues - Responding to a Claim

  5. Procedural Issues - Interlocutory Procedures

  6. Procedural Issues - Certificate of Readiness

  7. Procedural Issues - Current Pilot Projects

  8. Mediation

  9. Settlement Conference

  10. Offer to Settle

  11. Trial

  12. Evidence at Trial

  13. The Trial Decision

  14. Appeal

  15. Enforcement

Community Discussion

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Course outlines how an informal people's court can function, while still adhering to procedural and evidenciary rules,as far as possible.

 

Should expand jurisdiction to $50,000 in keeping with inflation?!

@Brian Smith -- I know there was recently some discussion to increase the amount in Alberta.  Should an increase occur in Alberta, I am sure BC would not be that far behind.  Considering that section 21 of the Small Claims Act permits the Lieutenant Governor in Council to prescribe a limit of not more than $50,000, it seems that this increase is very possible.  

Should we not be worried by the Civil Resolutions Tribunal?  They are making it mandatory for many aspects of Small Claims.

Seems to me you both have valid points. I'm just not sure what to say about accomodating obvious political decisions being made outside and above the level of the lawyer and litigant participants in the process. The idea to expand the quantum available in Small Claims Court has been an active consideration, as has the idea of incorporating some form of mediated dialogue within the process. My advice from members of the Sheriff's department over the years has been that there are some very unhappy people within the Small Claims Court process. I think the idea is that it may lend itself to some alternative forms of dispute resolution.

I believe your answer to the second question in the Small Claims Module quiz is wrong. It states "Correct. Miguel's obligation is to attempt at the earliest opportunity to apply to have the matter exempted from mediation where it is obvious that his instructions are to have the validity of Heatco's contract decided by a judge in court.  Rule 7.2 governs mediations for claims up to $10,000. Section 7.2((9) and (10) provide the authority to apply for exemption in cases where it is unfair or impractical to require mediation. Rule 16(6) and (7) provide the mechanism for making applications to a judge." however Rule sections 7.2(9) and (10) have been repealed in 2015 and Rule 16(6)(f.1) references only an order exempting a disputed claim from the application of Rule 7.3 with no reference to the power to exempt the application of Rule 7.2 (which applies here). Accordingly the advice suggested by the answer is wrong as that course of action is not available and the fourth of the answer choices is the "most correct" of those remaining in my view as there is no oblgation to compromise on a mediation.