Wednesday, August 31, 2005

British Columbia Small Claims Court Monetary Limit Increased to $25,000

Effective tomorrow, September 1, 2005, the monetary limit of the British Columbia Small Claims Court will increase from $10,000 to $25,000.

The Small Claims Court offers a more streamlined procedure for hearing claims than the British Columbia Supreme Court. In Small Claims Court there are less prehearing disclosure requirements, and there are mandatory settlement conferences. The Small Claims Court is designed to allow people to bring smaller claims to court, and many people represent themselves in Small Claims Court.

If you have a claim that exceeds the new limit, you may still bring the claim in Small Claims Court, provided you agree to abandon any amount over $25,000.

There are some types of claims such as libel and slander that cannot be brought in Small Claims Court even if the amount claimed does not exceed $25,000.

I expect that more claims will be brought in the Small Claims Court with the higher limit, and it will be interesting to see if this will result in delays in having cases heard.

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