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About Civil Litigation in B. C.


 When you can't resolve a dispute, you may want to sue in court. This process is called "civil litigation".  Examples of claims may be for monies owing, or if someone injures you, or otherwise causes you a financial loss, whether intentional or not.

You should try to settle disputes without involving the courts.  And even if you start a lawsuit, you don't have to go to all the way to trial; you can usually settle out of court at any time.  Trials are time consuming and expensive, and the results are never certain.

The procedure you follow depends on the court which will hear your case.  Many disputes arise in which less than $25,000 is claimed; in these situations, you should consider small claim court. This may be ideal for small ICBC disputes, debt owing, landlord and tenant disputes, or faulty consumer products.

[see www.ag.gov.bc.ca/courts/
small_claims/index.htm
"Small claims court is a "do-it-yourself" court, where members of the public who are not lawyers can handle their own cases for amounts under $25,000.

It is a court of law, but its rules and procedures are designed to make it as easy as possible for people to resolve their disputes.  The court process is also intended to be less expensive and less demanding than other courts, such as the Supreme Court.

Small claims court users are encouraged to settle their claims by agreement.  If necessary, there will be a trial and a judge or a justice of the peace will decide the claim.  " (quote fr. Attorney General of BC website 2009.07.23)

For more complex matters or where the amount involved is more than $25,000, you must sue in the Supreme Court of British Columbia.  This court has jurisdiction to consider almost all kinds of disputes arising in British Columbia.

This section will let you know important information about civil litigation. You will learn about the trial process, and how decisions are made.



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This page last updated: December 10, 1999
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