What is the British Columbia Civil Resolution Tribunal?
The British Columbia Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) is Canada’s first online tribunal. This means that it can resolve:
- Motor vehicle injury disputes up to $50,000
- Small claims disputes up to $5,000
- Strata property disputes of any amount
- Societies and cooperative association disputes of any amount by late summer of 2019
The CRT provides many benefits as it is a new and innovative way to tackle your legal issues and settle your disputes. Being online means that these processes will be conducted in a timely and cost-effective manner.
How Does it Work?
To begin your dispute resolution process, you need to identify and complete the appropriate CRT application form for your issue. After your application is accepted, you will be able to negotiate through your dispute with other participants to reach an agreement. If negotiation does not resolve your dispute, a case manager will then be involved. Note that agreements arrived at by your case manager can be turned into orders and thus be enforced like court orders.
What are the Benefits of the CRT?
- The CRT promotes a more collaborative means to resolve disputes that avoids the traditional courtroom model.
- It is available 24/7 on the sole condition that you have access to the internet, thus being convenient regardless of your schedule.
- Direct and active participation from all participants is encouraged. The CRT will only make a decision if you and the other participants are unable to agree on your own solution.
The CRT and Strata Disputes
The CRT handles many disputes pertaining to strata owners and strata corporations, including:
- Unfair actions and decisions made by the strata corporation.
- Non-payment of strata fees or fines.
- Inconsistencies and misconduct during meetings, voting, and minute taking.
- Disagreements in legislation, bylaws, or regulation interpretation.
Note that the CRT can only be used if the problematic events occurred in British Columbia. It also cannot make decisions if the dispute is against the government or if the government is a participant.
Additionally, the CRT cannot be involved in matters that affect land, including:
- Rebuilding damaged real property.
- Ordering the sale of a strata lot.
- Matters involving developers.
As such, many of the above listed disputes must be taken to and filed with the B.C. Supreme Court.
If your dispute has already been filed or resolved using another dispute resolution or legally binding process, you cannot file at the CRT.