Sunday, October 20, 2013

Supreme Court of Canada Will Hear Appeal on Constitutionality of B.C.'s Court Hearing Fees

As I previously wrote here, Mr. Justice McEwan held in Vilardell v. Dunham, 2012 BCSC 748, that the hearing fees charged by the Province of British Columbia for hearings in the B.C. Supreme Court are unconstitutional. The represent an impermissible barrier to access to the courts.

The Court of Appeal reversed, holding that the fees were constitutional. I wrote about the Court of Appeal decision here.

On September 12, 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada granted leave to the Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia  to be added as a party and for the appeal to be heard by the Supreme Court of Canada. The style of cause is The Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia v. Attorney General of British Columbia (B.C.).

I read a memorandum indicating that Court Services will await the outcome before sending bills for hearing fees. This means that you may complete a trial, but be billed perhaps a year later for the hearing fees if the Supreme Court of Canada upholds the fees.

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