Increase in Monetary Limits of Small Claims Court
Effective June 1, 2017, the Small Claims jurisdiction in the Provincial Court of British Columbia has increased from $25,000 to $35,000 (excluding interest and expenses). A claimant who has filed a Notice of Claim or a Reply containing a Counterclaim before June 1, 2017 can change that Notice of Claim or Reply to reflect this increase.
Pursuant to Rule 8(10) of the Small Claims Rules, the Notice of Claim or Reply can be changed without the permission of a judge both before or after a settlement conference has been conducted. The documents cannot be revised, however, after (i) a judgement has been granted, (ii) the claim or counterclaim has been dismissed by a judge, (iii) a default order has been issued, or (iv) the claim or counterclaim has been settled.
Pursuant to Rule 8(2) and 8(9) of the Small Claims Rules, the changes must be underlined, initialed and dated on the revised document and, if there is an order authorizing the change, the revised document should contain a reference to this. The revised document should also have a separate page that includes detailed reasons for the monetary change attached to it.
If a Notice of Claim or Reply has been changed to reflect the increase in the monetary jurisdiction of the Small Claims Court, it must be filed and served on the other parties.
If a party has a claim for between $25,000 and $35,000 that has already been filed in the British Columbia Supreme Court, it will proceed at that level unless one of the parties applies to a Supreme Court judge or master to transfer it to Provincial Court.
The Small Claims Rules can be found here: http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/261_93_00
For legal advice regarding any Small Claims matters, please feel free to give me a call on my direct line at 604-632-3272 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.