B.C. Reg. 261/93
O.C. 1030/93
Deposited July 30, 1993
effective October 1, 1993

Court Rules Act; Small Claims Act

Small Claims Rules

Note: Check the Cumulative Regulation Bulletin 2014
for any non-consolidated amendments to this regulation that may be in effect.

[includes amendments up to B.C. Reg. 27/2013, March 18, 2013]

Point in Time

Rule 6 — If a Defendant Does Not Reply to a Claim

A claimant may ask for a default order

(1)If a defendant does not file a reply within the time limit (see Rule 3 (4)), the claimant may ask the registrar for a default order.

Judge's permission needed in certain cases

(2)No default order will be made on a counterclaim or third party notice, except under Rule 16 (6) (c).

How to ask for a default order

(3)To ask for a default order under subrule (1), a claimant must complete Form 5, following the instructions on the form, file it at the registry where the notice of claim was filed, together with a copy of the certificate of service (Form 4) for the notice of claim, and pay the required fee.

[am. B.C. Regs. 148/97, s. 6; 146/98, s. 2.]

If a claim is for a debt

(4)If a claim is for a debt and the claimant completes the steps in subrule (3), the registrar must make a default order requiring the defendant to pay immediately the amount claimed plus expenses under Rule 20 (2) and any interest the claimant is entitled to.

If a claim is not for a debt

(5)If a claim is not for a debt and the claimant completes the steps in subrule (3), the registrar must set a date for a hearing before a judge.

If there are other defendants

(6)If any other defendant has filed a reply and a date is set for a settlement conference, trial conference or trial of the claim, the hearing must be held at that time, unless a judge orders otherwise.

[am. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 4.]

No notice of hearing

(7)A defendant who has not filed a reply is not entitled to receive notice of a hearing under this rule.

A defendant loses the right to reply

(8)After a date is set for a hearing under this rule, a defendant may not file a reply without the permission of a judge (see Rule 16 (7)).

Purpose of hearing

(9)The purpose of a hearing under this rule is to allow a judge to determine

(a) the amount the claimant is entitled to, if the claim is for money, and

(b) the terms of an appropriate order, in any other case.

Result of hearing

(10)After hearing the claimant, the judge may,

(a) if the claim is for money, make a default order that requires the defendant to pay immediately the amount determined by the judge plus expenses under Rule 20 (2) and any interest the claimant is entitled to, and

(b) in any other case, make the appropriate order.

If a claimant does not attend

(11)If a claimant does not attend at the time set for a hearing under this rule, the judge may cancel the hearing, but the claimant may ask the registrar to reschedule it.

How payment may be collected

(12)The creditor may collect payment under a default order by taking any of the steps listed in Rule 11 (11).

Rule 7 — The Settlement Conference

Settlement conference

(1)Before a trial date is set, a settlement conference will be held at the time and place set by the registrar.

Settlement conference not required

(2)Despite subrule (1), a settlement conference will not be held if

(a) Rule 7.4, 7.5, 9.1, or 9.2 applies to the claim, or

(b) the claim relates to a motor vehicle accident and only liability for property damage is disputed.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 5.]

Some motor vehicle accident cases proceed directly to trial

(2.1)If subrule (2) (b) applies to the claim, the registrar must set the claim for trial and send a notice of trial to the parties.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 5.]

Notice of settlement conference

(3)The registrar must serve a notice of settlement conference (Form 6) on the parties at least 14 days before the date set for the settlement conference.

Who must attend

(4)All parties must attend the settlement conference and have authority to settle the claim, and may be accompanied by a lawyer or articled student, except the defendant need not attend if

(a) the claim results from a motor vehicle accident,

(b) the defendant is disputing the amount of the claim but not liability, and

(c) a person appointed by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia attends instead of the defendant.

What the parties must bring

(5)Each party to a claim must bring to the settlement conference all relevant documents and reports.

[en. B.C. Reg. 148/97, s. 7.]

Expenses for attending settlement conference unprepared

(6)If a settlement conference cannot be conducted properly because a party is not prepared for it, a judge may order that party to pay the reasonable expenses of the other party or parties.

How to change a settlement conference date

(7)A party may change a settlement conference date by

(a) filing a consent to change the date under Rule 16 (1), or

(b) applying for an order changing the date of the settlement conference at least 7 days before the date set for the settlement conference, unless the registrar orders otherwise, and giving whatever notice to the other party that the registrar or judge requires.

Notice of change of date

(8)If the date of the settlement conference is changed, the registrar must notify the parties of the place and time of the rescheduled conference.

Certificate to be filed in personal injury cases

(9)In a claim for damages for personal injuries, the claimant must file at the registry, within 6 months after serving the notice of claim and before a settlement conference is held, a certificate of readiness (Form 7) that has attached copies of all

(a) medical reports, and

(b) records of expenses or losses incurred or expected.

[am. B.C. Reg. 148/97, s. 7.]

If the claimant is not ready to file certificate

(10)A claimant who is not ready to file the certificate of readiness and attachments within the 6 month period may apply to the registrar (see Rule 16 (3)) to extend the time, before or after the 6 month period has expired.

Certificate must be served on other parties

(11)Within 14 days after filing a certificate of readiness, the claimant must serve a copy of the certificate and attachments on each of the other parties.

Defendant may request a medical report

(12)A defendant in a claim for damages for personal injuries may apply to a judge (see Rule 16 (7)) to order the claimant to attend a medical doctor for an examination, to be paid for by the defendant.

Report to be given to claimant and brought to settlement conference

(13)After receiving the medical report from the doctor, the defendant must

(a) serve a copy of it on the claimant at least 7 days before the settlement conference, and

(b) bring a copy of it to the settlement conference.

What happens at a settlement conference

(14)At a settlement conference, a judge may do one or more of the following:

(a) mediate any issues being disputed;

(b) decide on any issues that do not require evidence;

(c) make a payment order or other appropriate order in the terms agreed to by the parties;

(d) set a trial date, if a trial is necessary;

(e) discuss any evidence that will be required and the procedure that will be followed if a trial is necessary;

(f) order a party to produce any information at the settlement conference or anything as evidence at trial;

(g) order a party to

(i)   give another party copies of documents and records by a set date, or

(ii)   allow another party to inspect and copy documents and records by a set date;

(h) if damage to property is involved in the dispute, order a party to permit a person chosen by another party to examine the property damage;

(i) dismiss a claim, counterclaim, reply or third party notice if, after discussion with the parties and reviewing the filed documents, a judge determines that it

(i)   is without reasonable grounds,

(ii)   discloses no triable issue, or

(iii)   is frivolous or an abuse of the court's process;

(j) before dismissing a claim, counterclaim, reply or third party notice, order a party to file an affidavit setting out further information;

(k) Repealed. [B.C. Reg. 148/97, s. 7 (e).];

(l) make any other order for the just, speedy and inexpensive resolution of the claim.

[am. B.C. Reg. 148/97, s. 7.]

If a party does not comply with a disclosure order

(15)If a party does not comply with an order under subrule (14) (f), (g), (h) or (j), a judge may at any time do one or more of the following:

(a) adjourn a settlement conference or trial and order that party to pay all the reasonable expenses incurred by any other parties as a result of the adjournment;

(b) order a trial to proceed without permitting that party to produce as evidence any information, document or records withheld as a result of the non-compliance;

(c) dismiss the claim, counterclaim, reply or third party notice.

[en. B.C. Reg. 148/97, s. 7.]

If a payment order is made

(16)If a payment order is made at a settlement conference, Rule 11 (Payment of the Judgment) applies as though the payment order was made following a trial.

If a party does not attend

(17)A judge may dismiss the claim or make a payment order or other appropriate order against a party who does not attend a settlement conference.

Notice of trial date

(18)If a trial date is set at a settlement conference and a party is absent, the registrar must serve a notice of the trial date on that party unless the judge orders otherwise.

Place of the trial

(19)All further steps in the claim, including the trial, will take place where the settlement conference is held except

(a) if a judge orders otherwise, or

(b) as provided in Rule 16 (11) and Rule 17 (8).

If a party does not comply with a settlement agreement

(20)If a settlement is recorded on the court record as an agreement and not as a payment order and a party does not comply with the recorded terms of the agreement,

(a) the agreement is cancelled, and

(b) after filing an affidavit of non-compliance, the claimant may file a payment order in the amount that a judge directed at the settlement conference or, if no direction was made, in the amount of the claim.

[en. B.C. Reg. 148/97, s. 7.]

Rule 7.1 — Transfers and Multiple Claims

Transfer of claim to Supreme Court

(1)If satisfied that the monetary outcome of a claim (not including interest and expenses) may exceed $25 000, a judge must transfer the claim to the Supreme Court

(a) on application at any time, or

(b) on the judge's own motion at the settlement conference or trial.

[en. B.C. Reg. 148/97, s. 8; am. B.C. Reg. 179/2005, s. (b).]

Exception

(2)Despite subrule (1), a claim must not be transferred to the Supreme Court if the claimant chooses to abandon the amount over $25 000 so that the claim may be heard in the Provincial Court.

[en. B.C. Reg. 148/97, s. 8; am. B.C. Reg. 179/2005, s. (b).]

Personal injury claims

(3)Before transferring a claim for personal injury to the Supreme Court, a judge must consider any medical or other reports filed or brought to the settlement conference by the parties.

[en. B.C. Reg. 148/97, s. 8.]

Multiple claims

(4)If more than one claimant has filed a notice of claim against the same defendant or defendants with respect to the same event, or if one claimant has filed notices of claim against more than one defendant with respect to the same event, the judge may

(a) hear at one time evidence that relates to all the claims,

(b) apply that evidence to all the claims, and

(c) make a decision in each of the claims,

even though the total monetary outcome of all the claims (not including interest and expenses) is likely to exceed $25 000.

[en. B.C. Reg. 148/97, s. 8; am. B.C. Reg. 179/2005, s. (b).]

Rule 7.2 — Mediation for Claims up to $10 000

Definitions

(1)In this rule:

"disputed claim" means a claim made by way of a notice of claim, counterclaim or third party notice and in respect of which a reply is filed opposing all or part of the claim;

"mediation coordinator" means, in respect of a disputed claim,

(a) the registrar of the mediation registry in which the disputed claim was filed, or

(b) any other person designated by the Justice Services Branch of the Ministry of Justice as the mediation coordinator;

"mediation registry" means a registry listed in Schedule C;

"mediation session" means a meeting between 2 or more parties to a disputed claim for the purpose of reaching, with the assistance of a mediator, agreement on the issues in dispute;

"mediator" means, in respect of a disputed claim, the individual appointed as the mediator of the disputed claim under subrule (5).

[en. B.C. Reg. 172/2003, s. 2; am. B.C. Reg. 27/2013, Sch. 2, s. 11.]

Cases to which this rule applies

(2)Subject to subrule (3), this rule applies to a disputed claim filed in a mediation registry if

(a) the disputed claim falls within a class of cases described in Schedule D,

(b) the disputed claim is, with the consent of the parties, referred to mediation by a judge at a settlement conference, or

(c) a party completes a Notice to Mediate for Claims Up To $10 000 (Form 21) and files the notice in the mediation registry before a notice of settlement conference relating to the disputed claim is sent for service under Rule 7 (3).

[en. B.C. Reg. 172/2003, s. 2; am. B.C. Regs. 250/2005, s. 1; 248/2006, s. 1 (a).]

Cases to which this rule does not apply

(3)This rule does not apply to a disputed claim if

(a) the disputed claim falls within the class of cases described in Schedule E, or

(b) the disputed claim amounts to more than $10 000 and is not one to which Rule 8 (13) applies.

[en. B.C. Reg. 172/2003, s. 2; am. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 2.]

When this rule ceases to apply

(4)This rule ceases to apply to a disputed claim if

(a) the court file relating to the claim is transferred to a registry that is not a mediation registry,

(b) the claim is transferred under Rule 7.1 to the Supreme Court, or

(c) the claim is withdrawn under Rule 8.

[en. B.C. Reg. 172/2003, s. 2.]

Appointment of mediator

(5)The mediation coordinator must, for each disputed claim to which this rule applies, appoint a mediator from a roster, maintained by the Mediate BC Society, of mediators who have been approved by that society to conduct mediations in relation to claims brought under these rules.

[en. B.C. Reg. 172/2003, s. 2; am. B.C. Reg. 271/2010, s. 1.]

How the date of a mediation session is set

(6)If this rule applies to a disputed claim,

(a) the mediation coordinator must, in consultation with the mediator appointed under subrule (5), set the date, time and place at which a mediation session is to be conducted, and

(b) unless a judge orders otherwise, the date set for the mediation session must be earlier than the date of any settlement conference relating to the disputed claim.

[en. B.C. Reg. 172/2003, s. 2.]

Date of mediation session

(7)A mediation session must be conducted at the date, time and place set under subrule (6) (a) or at such other date, place and time as may be consented to by the mediation coordinator and all of the parties.

[en. B.C. Reg. 172/2003, s. 2.]

Certificate of readiness

(7.1)Rule 7 (9) to (13) applies to a mediation session in relation to a claim for damages for personal injuries, and, for the purposes of this subrule, a reference in Rule 7 (9) and (13) to a "settlement conference" must be read as a reference to a "mediation session".

[en. B.C. Reg. 248/2006, s. 1 (b).]

Notice of mediation session

(8)At least 21 days before the date set for the mediation session, the mediation coordinator must serve a notice of mediation session (Form 27) on the parties specifying the date, time and place for the mediation session.

[en. B.C. Reg. 172/2003, s. 2.]

How to apply for exemption

(9)At least 14 days before the date set for the mediation session, a party may apply to a judge under Rule 16 (7) to exempt a disputed claim from the application of this rule.

[en. B.C. Reg. 172/2003, s. 2.]

When a judge may grant an exemption

(10)On an application under subrule (9), a judge may

(a) exempt a disputed claim from the application of this rule if

(i)   all of the parties have previously engaged in a mediation of the matters in issue, or

(ii)   it is unfair or impractical to require mediation, or

(b) exempt one or more of the parties from attending the mediation session if, in the court's opinion, it is unfair or impractical to require the party to attend.

[en. B.C. Reg. 172/2003, s. 2.]

Changing a mediation date

(11)A party may apply to the registrar to adjourn the mediation session and that party must give to the other parties whatever notice of the application the registrar may order.

[en. B.C. Reg. 248/2006, s. 1 (c).]

Application to adjourn at least 7 days before mediation session

(11.1)The registrar may adjourn a mediation session on an application made at least 7 days before the date set for the mediation session if the registrar is satisfied that the original date is unreasonably inconvenient to the party.

[en. B.C. Reg. 248/2006, s. 1 (c).]

Application to adjourn within 7 days before mediation session

(12)The registrar may adjourn a mediation session on an application made within 7 days before the date set for the mediation session if

(a) the registrar is satisfied that the original date is unreasonably inconvenient to the party, and

(b) the application contains an explanation, satisfactory to the registrar, as to why it was not reasonably practicable for the party to bring an application at least 7 days before the date set for the mediation session.

[en. B.C. Reg. 248/2006, s. 1 (c).]

Unreasonably inconvenient

(12.1)For the purposes of subrules (11.1) and (12), the registrar may determine that a date is unreasonably inconvenient to a party if

(a) a family emergency renders the party unable to attend on the day set for the mediation session,

(b) the party has a pre-arranged out-of-town commitment on the day set for the mediation session and that commitment cannot be changed due to travel requirements,

(c) the party is required to attend court on the day set for the mediation session, or

(d) the registrar otherwise determines that the date is unreasonably inconvenient to the party.

[en. B.C. Reg. 248/2006, s. 1 (c).]

Notice of change of date

(13)If the registrar adjourns a mediation session under subrule (11),

(a) the party who applied for the adjournment must give to the other parties whatever notice of the adjournment the registrar may order, and

(b) the mediation coordinator must promptly set a new date for the mediation session and serve a notice of mediation session (Form 27) on the parties specifying the new date, time and place for the mediation session.

[en. B.C. Reg. 172/2003, s. 2.]

Application for mediation by telephone

(14)Subject to subrule (15), the registrar may direct that one or more of the parties may attend the mediation session by telephone if an application for that direction is made to the registrar under Rule 16 (3) at least 7 days before the date set for the mediation session and if

(a) the party, or the representative who is entitled under these rules to attend on behalf of the party, does not reside or carry on business within a reasonable distance from the location where the mediation session is to be conducted, or

(b) exceptional circumstances exist.

[en. B.C. Reg. 172/2003, s. 2.]

Late application for mediation by telephone

(15)If an application for a direction under subrule (14) is made to the registrar under Rule 16 (3) within 7 days before the date set for the mediation session, the registrar may make that direction if

(a) the party, or the representative who is to entitled under these rules to attend on behalf of the party, does not reside or carry on business within a reasonable distance from the location where the mediation session is to be conducted and it was not reasonably practicable for that party to bring an application under subrule (14) at least 7 days before the date set for the mediation session, or

(b) exceptional circumstances exist.

[en. B.C. Reg. 172/2003, s. 2.]

If application is granted

(16)If an application under subrule (14) or (15) is granted, the registrar

(a) may order that the parties send to the mediation coordinator, before the mediation session, all documents and reports that are relevant to the dispute, and

(b) may order that the telephone call be made at the expense of the party requesting mediation by telephone.

[en. B.C. Reg. 172/2003, s. 2.]

Attending mediation

(17)Subject to subrule (17.1) and to an order made under subrule (10), all parties served with a notice of mediation session

(a) must attend the mediation session,

(b) must have authority to settle the claim, and

(c) may be accompanied by a lawyer or articled student.

[en. B.C. Reg. 172/2003, s. 2; am. B.C. Reg. 248/2006, s. 1 (d).]

Claims brought in the name of an insured person

(17.1)A party does not have to attend a mediation session in person if

(a) the party has assigned all of his or her rights relevant to the claim to an insurer,

(b) liability in the claim is not disputed, and

(c) the insurer's representative attends in place of the party.

[en. B.C. Reg. 248/2006, s. 1 (e).]

What parties must bring

(18)Each party who is required to attend a mediation session under subrule (17) must bring to the mediation session all documents and reports that are relevant to the dispute.

[en. B.C. Reg. 172/2003, s. 2.]

Attendance by representative

(19)Subject to subrule (20), a party may attend a mediation session by representative if the party is not an individual.

[en. B.C. Reg. 172/2003, s. 2.]

Status of representative

(20)A representative who attends a mediation session in the place of a party referred to in subrule (17.1) or (19)

(a) must be familiar with all facts relevant to the dispute,

(b) must have authority to settle the claim on the party's behalf, and

(c) may be accompanied by a lawyer or articled student.

[en. B.C. Reg. 248/2006, s. 1 (f).]

Attendance of others

(21)Any other person may attend a mediation session if that attendance is permitted by the mediator and consented to by the parties.

[en. B.C. Reg. 172/2003, s. 2.]

If a party does not attend

(22)If a party does not attend a mediation session,

(a) the mediator must

(i)   complete a verification of non-attendance (Form 22) in accordance with the instructions on the form, and

(ii)   give the completed form to the parties attending, and

(b) any one of the parties attending the mediation session may file the completed verification of non-attendance with the registrar.

[en. B.C. Reg. 172/2003, s. 2; am. B.C. Reg. 286/2005, s. 1 (a).]

What the registrar will do if a claimant does not attend

(23)If a verification of non-attendance is filed in relation to a claimant in a disputed claim,

(a) the defendant in the disputed claim may, by filing a request for judgment or for dismissal (Form 23) and paying the required fee, ask the registrar to make an order dismissing the claim of that claimant, and

(b) the registrar may make an order dismissing the claim of that claimant.

[en. B.C. Reg. 172/2003, s. 2; am. B.C. Reg. 248/2006, s. 1 (g).]

What the registrar will do if a defendant does not attend

(24)If a verification of non-attendance is filed in relation to a defendant in a disputed claim, other than a claim made by way of counterclaim or third party notice,

(a) the claimant may, by filing a request for judgment or for dismissal and paying the required fee, ask the registrar to proceed under these rules as if

(i)   the defendant had not filed a reply, and

(ii)   the claimant had completed the steps in Rule 6 (3), and

(b) the registrar must either make a default order under Rule 6 (4) or set a date under Rule 6 (5) for a hearing before a judge.

[en. B.C. Reg. 172/2003, s. 2.]

What happens if the defendant to counterclaim or third party notice does not attend

(25)If a verification of non-attendance is filed in relation to a defendant under a counterclaim or under a third party notice, the party bringing the counterclaim or third party notice may apply under Rule 16 (7) for a default order under Rule 16 (6) (c).

[en. B.C. Reg. 172/2003, s. 2.]

If no party attends

(26)If no party attends a mediation session,

(a) the mediator must complete a verification of non-attendance in accordance with the instructions on the form, and file the completed form in the mediation registry, and

(b) the registrar must make an order dismissing each disputed claim.

[en. B.C. Reg. 172/2003, s. 2; am. B.C. Regs. 286/2005, s. 1 (b); 248/2006, s. 1 (h).]

Cancellation of a dismissal or default order

(27)A party against whom an order is made under subrule (23) (b), (24) (b) or (26) (b) for not attending a mediation session may apply under Rule 16 (7) to a judge to cancel the order, and the judge may cancel the order under Rule 16 (6) (j).

[en. B.C. Reg. 172/2003, s. 2.]

What application must contain

(28)A party seeking an order under subrule (27) must attach to the application an affidavit containing the following:

(a) the reason for not attending the mediation session;

(b) the reason for any delay, if there has been delay in filing the application;

(c) the facts that support the claim or defence.

[en. B.C. Reg. 172/2003, s. 2.]

If a judge cancels a dismissal or default order

(29)A judge who cancels a dismissal order or default order made under this rule may also do one or more of the following:

(a) order that the claim be returned to mediation on any terms the judge considers appropriate;

(b) order the payment of any expenses incurred by the party or parties who did attend;

(c) order that the claim proceed to a settlement conference or trial;

(d) make any other order that the judge considers appropriate in the circumstances.

[en. B.C. Reg. 172/2003, s. 2.]

If the parties reach agreement on all or some issues

(30)If the parties reach an agreement at mediation on all or some issues,

(a) the mediator must complete a result of mediation form (Form 24) and file the completed form in the mediation registry, and

(b) the parties must complete and sign a mediation agreement (Form 25) and any one of those parties may file the agreement in the mediation registry.

[en. B.C. Reg. 172/2003, s. 2.]

If payment terms are not complied with

(31)If a party fails to comply with a provision of a filed mediation agreement, the party not in default may, if that provision required a payment of money,

(a) file an affidavit of non-compliance, and

(b) after that, file a payment order for

(i)   the amount specified in the mediation agreement less any amount already paid in compliance with the mediation agreement, or

(ii)   if no amount was specified in the mediation agreement, for the amount of the claim less any amount already paid in compliance with the mediation agreement.

[en. B.C. Reg. 172/2003, s. 2.]

If other terms are not complied with

(32)If a party fails to comply with a provision of a filed mediation agreement and that provision was not one requiring a payment of money, the party not in default may

(a) if the mediation agreement establishes an amount of liquidated damages that is to be payable in the event of such a default, file an affidavit of non-compliance and a payment order for that amount, or

(b) if the mediation agreement does not establish a liquidated damages amount in relation to the breached provision, seek a mediation compensation order (Form 26) under Rule 16 (6) (f.2).

[en. B.C. Reg. 172/2003, s. 2.]

Mediation compensation order

(33)A judge may make a mediation compensation order under subrule (32) (b) if a party applies for that order (see Rule 16 (7)) and attaches to the application an affidavit of non-compliance.

[en. B.C. Reg. 172/2003, s. 2.]

If a dispute is not resolved

(34)If the parties do not reach agreement at mediation on all the issues,

(a) the mediator must complete a result of mediation form and file the completed form in the mediation registry, and

(b) after that, the registrar must set the claim

(i)   for settlement conference, if a settlement conference has not been completed, or

(ii)   for trial, if a settlement conference has been completed.

[en. B.C. Reg. 172/2003, s. 2.]

Confidentiality and compellability

(35)Subject to subrules (36) and (37), a person must not disclose, or be compelled to disclose, in any proceeding oral or written information acquired in or in connection with a mediation session.

[en. B.C. Reg. 172/2003, s. 2.]

Exceptions

(36)Subrule (35) does not apply

(a) in respect of any information, opinion, document, offer or admission that all of the parties agree in writing may be disclosed,

(b) to any mediation agreement made during or in connection with a mediation session,

(c) to any threats of bodily harm made in or in connection with a mediation session, or

(d) to any information that does not identify the parties and that is disclosed for research or statistical purposes only.

[en. B.C. Reg. 172/2003, s. 2.]

No restriction on otherwise producible information

(37)Nothing in this rule precludes a party from introducing into evidence in any proceeding any information or records produced in the course of the mediation that are otherwise producible or compellable in those proceedings.

[en. B.C. Reg. 172/2003, s. 2.]

Rule 7.3 — Mediation for Claims between $10 000 and $25 000

Definitions

(1)In this rule:

"insurer" has the same meaning as in the Insurance Act, and includes the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia;

"mediation" means a collaborative process in which 2 or more parties meet and attempt, with the assistance of a mediator, to resolve issues in dispute between them;

"mediation session" means a meeting between 2 or more parties during which they are engaged in mediation for a period of

(a) 2 hours,

(b) any shorter period that the mediator may direct, or

(c) any shorter or longer period on which the parties may agree;

"mediator" means a neutral and impartial facilitator with no decision making power who assists parties in negotiating a mutually acceptable settlement of issues in dispute between them;

"motor vehicle action" means a proceeding in which damages are claimed for injury or death, or loss of or damage to property, that arises out of the use or operation of a motor vehicle or trailer as those terms are defined in the Motor Vehicle Act;

"party", in relation to a proceeding, includes an insurer of a claimant, defendant or third party if that insurer has a duty to do one or both of the following in relation to the claimant, defendant or third party:

(a) indemnify that party for liability arising out of a claim in the proceeding;

(b) defend any claims made against that party in the proceeding;

"roster organization" means any body designated by the Attorney General to select mediators for the purposes of this rule;

"third party" means a person who is named as a third party under Rule 5, but does not include an insurer who has been made a third party under section 76 of the Insurance (Vehicle) Act;

"third party insurer" means, in relation to a designated action, an insurer that has been made a third party in an action under section 76 of the Insurance (Vehicle) Act.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3; am. B.C. Regs. 286/2005, s. 2 (a); 145/2007.]

General Information

Proceedings to which this rule applies

(2)Subject to subrule (3), a party to a proceeding may initiate mediation in that proceeding under subrule (5) if

(a) the notice of claim that started the proceeding was filed after August 31, 2005, and

(b) a claim in the proceeding amounts to more than $10 000 and not more than $25 000, without taking into account interest or claim-related expenses.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3.]

Claims to which this rule does not apply

(3)A party to a proceeding may not initiate mediation in that proceeding under subrule (5) if

(a) the proceeding involves a party who has obtained one of the following against another party:

(i)   a protection order under section 183 of the Family Law Act;

(ii)   a peace bond under section 810 of the Criminal Code,

(a.1) Rule 7.4 or 9.2 applies to a claim in the proceeding, or

(b) the claimant, defendant and cause of action in the proceeding are the same as the plaintiff, defendant and cause of action in an action brought in the Supreme Court.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3; am. B.C. Regs. 360/2007, s. 6 (a); 358/2012, s. 1.]

When this rule ceases to apply

(4)This rule ceases to apply to a proceeding if the proceeding is transferred to the Supreme Court under Rule 7.1.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3.]

How Mediation is Begun

Initiating mediation

(5)Subject to subrule (7), any party to a proceeding may initiate mediation by

(a) filing a Notice to Mediate for Claims Between $10 000 and $25 000 (Form 29), and

(b) delivering a copy of that filed notice to every other party named on a notice of claim, reply or third party notice that has been filed in the proceeding.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3.]

When Notice to Mediate for Claims Between $10 000 and $25 000 must be delivered

(6)Unless the court orders otherwise, a Notice to Mediate for Claims Between $10 000 and $25 000 must not be filed and delivered under subrule (5) until a reply has been filed in the proceeding.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3.]

Not more than one mediation under this rule in any proceeding

(7)Unless the court otherwise orders, not more than one mediation may be initiated under this rule in relation to any proceeding.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3.]

Rule does not apply unless mediation is initiated under subrules (5) and (6)

(8)Subrules (9) to (53) do not apply to a proceeding unless mediation is initiated in that proceeding under subrule (5).

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3.]

Appointing the Mediator

Appointment of mediator

(9)The parties must jointly appoint a mutually acceptable mediator within 14 days after the Notice to Mediate for Claims Between $10 000 and $25 000 has been delivered to all parties.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3.]

Application to roster organization

(10)If the parties do not jointly appoint a mutually acceptable mediator within the time required by subrule (9), any party may apply to a roster organization for an appointment of a mediator.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3; am. B.C. Reg. 271/2010, s. 2 (a).]

Roster organization's appointment procedure

(11)If an application to a roster organization is made under subrule (10), the roster organization must select a mediator after taking into account

(a) the need for the mediator to be neutral and independent,

(b) the qualifications of the mediator,

(c) the mediator's fees,

(d) the mediator's availability,

(e) the nature of the dispute, and

(f) any other consideration likely to result in the selection of an impartial, competent and effective mediator.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3; am. B.C. Reg. 271/2010, s. 2 (b).]

Notification of selection of mediator

(12)Promptly after selecting a mediator under subrule (11), the roster organization must notify the parties in writing of that selection.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3; am. B.C. Reg. 271/2010, s. 2 (a).]

Deemed date of appointment of mediator

(13)The mediator selected under subrule (11) is deemed to be appointed by the parties on the date that notice of that selection is sent under subrule (12).

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3.]

Replacement of appointed mediator

(14)If the mediator selected by the roster organization under subrule (11) is unable or unwilling to act as mediator,

(a) the selected mediator or any party may notify the roster organization of that inability or unwillingness, and

(b) the roster organization must, within 7 days after receiving that notice, select a new mediator in accordance with subrule (11).

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3; am. B.C. Reg. 271/2010, s. 2 (a).]

Mediator's role

(15)The mediator may conduct the mediation session at the location and in any manner he or she considers appropriate to assist the parties to reach a resolution that is fair, timely and cost-effective.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3.]

Mediation Sessions

Scheduling of mediation session

(16)A mediation session must occur within 60 days after the appointment of the mediator, and at least 7 days before the date set under Rule 7 for the settlement conference unless a later specified date

(a) is agreed on by all parties and that agreement is confirmed by the mediator in writing, or

(b) is ordered by the court.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3.]

Attending the mediation session

(17)In the case of a claim that is not a motor vehicle action,

(a) the party who delivers a Notice to Mediate for Claims Between $10 000 and $25 000 under subrule (5) and each of the following parties must attend the mediation session unless exempted from attending under subrule (29):

(i)   the claimant;

(ii)   the defendant;

(iii)   the third party, and

(b) each insurer of a claimant, defendant or third party may attend the mediation session.

[en. B.C. Reg. 286/2005, s. 2 (b).]

Attending the mediation session in a motor vehicle action

(18)In the case of a motor vehicle action, the party who delivers a Notice to Mediate for Claims Between $10 000 and $25 000 under subrule (5) and each of the following parties must attend the mediation session unless exempted from attending under subrule (29):

(a) the claimant;

(b) the insurer of the defendant or, if the defendant is not insured, the defendant;

(c) the insurer of the third party or, if the third party is not insured, the third party;

(d) each third party insurer to the action.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3; am. B.C. Reg. 286/2005, s. 2 (c).]

Requirements on parties who attend mediation

(19)Each person who attends a mediation session must

(a) have authority to settle, and

(b) bring to the mediation session all documents and reports that are relevant to the dispute.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3.]

Representative may attend for any party who is not an individual

(20)A party may attend a mediation session by representative if the party is not an individual.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3.]

Authority of representative

(21)A representative who attends a mediation session under subrule (20) in the place of a party must

(a) be familiar with all facts relevant to the dispute, and

(b) have full authority to settle, or have access at the earliest practicable opportunity to a person who has, or to a group of persons who collectively have, full authority to settle, on behalf of the party.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3.]

Party or representative may be accompanied by a lawyer

(22)A person or representative who attends a mediation session may be accompanied by a lawyer or articled student.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3.]

Other persons may attend with consent

(23)Any other person may attend a mediation session if that attendance is permitted by the mediator and consented to by the parties.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3.]

Mediation by telephone

(24)One or more of the persons who are required or permitted to attend a mediation session under subrule (17), (18) or (23) may attend the mediation session by telephone if

(a) all of the other persons attending the mediation session consent, or

(b) subject to subrule (26), the registrar authorizes that attendance under subrule (25).

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3.]

Application for mediation by telephone

(25)The registrar may authorize one or more of the persons who are required or permitted to attend a mediation session under subrule (17), (18) or (23) to attend the mediation session by telephone if an application for that authorization is made to the registrar under Rule 16 (3) at least 7 days before the date set for the mediation session and if

(a) the person does not reside or carry on business within a reasonable distance from the location where the mediation session is to be conducted, or

(b) exceptional circumstances exist.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3.]

Late application for mediation by telephone

(26)If an application for an authorization under subrule (25) is made to the registrar under Rule 16 (3) within 7 days before the date set for the mediation session, the registrar may make that authorization if

(a) the person in relation to whom the authorization is given does not reside or carry on business within a reasonable distance from the location where the mediation session is to be conducted and it was not reasonably practicable for that person to bring an application under subrule (25) at least 7 days before the date set for the mediation session, or

(b) exceptional circumstances exist.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3.]

If application is granted

(27)If an application under subrule (25) or (26) is granted, the registrar

(a) may order that the persons who are required or permitted to attend the mediation session under subrule (17), (18) or (23) send to the mediator, before the mediation session, all documents and reports that are relevant to the dispute, and

(b) may order that the telephone call be made at the expense of the person requesting mediation by telephone.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3.]

How to apply for exemption

(28)At least 14 days before the date set for the mediation session, a party may apply to a judge under Rule 16 (7) to exempt a claim from the application of this rule.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3.]

When a judge may grant an exemption

(29)On an application under subrule (28), a judge may

(a) exempt a claim from the application of this rule if

(i)   all of the parties have previously engaged in a mediation of the matters in issue, or

(ii)   it is unfair or impractical to require mediation, or

(b) exempt one or more of the parties from attending the mediation session if, in the judge's opinion, it is unfair or impractical to require the party to attend.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3.]

Adjourning a mediation session

(30)At least 7 days before the date set for the mediation session, a party may apply to the registrar to adjourn the mediation session and that party must give to the other parties whatever notice of the application the registrar may order.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3.]

Date may be changed to avoid hardship

(31)The registrar may adjourn a mediation session under subrule (30) if the party applying for that adjournment satisfies the registrar that the original date is unreasonably inconvenient to the party, and, without limiting this, the registrar may determine that a date is unreasonably inconvenient to a party if

(a) a family emergency renders the party unable to attend on the day set for the mediation session, or

(b) the party is required to attend court on the day set for the mediation session.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3.]

Notice of change of date

(32)If the registrar adjourns a mediation session under subrule (31),

(a) the party who applied for the adjournment must give to the other parties whatever notice of the adjournment the registrar may order, and

(b) the parties must jointly set a new date, satisfactory to the mediator, for the mediation session.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3.]

Costs of Mediation

Fee declaration

(33)The parties who attend the mediation session must complete and sign a fee declaration (Form 30) before, or at the beginning of, the mediation session.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3.]

Corporation may sign by representative

(34)For the purposes of subrule (33), a party that is a corporation may sign the fee declaration by its representative.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3.]

Form of fee declaration

(35)A fee declaration under subrule (33) must

(a) disclose the cost of the mediation services, and

(b) contain a declaration by the parties signing the fee declaration that the costs of the mediation will be paid

(i)   equally by all of the following who attend the mediation session or their insurers:

(A)  each claimant;

(B)  each defendant;

(C)  each third party, or

(ii)   on any other basis that has been agreed to by those parties and is specified in the fee declaration.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3.]

Costs may be paid on a different basis

(36)The cost of the mediation must be paid on the basis set out

(a) in the fee declaration, or

(b) if the parties who signed the fee declaration agree to a different basis for sharing that cost and that basis is included in the mediation agreement referred to in subrule (48) (b), on the basis included in the mediation agreement.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3.]

Default

If a party does not attend

(37)If a party who is required to attend a mediation session does not attend the mediation session or does not sign a fee declaration before, or at the beginning of, the mediation session,

(a) the mediator must

(i)   complete a verification of default (Form 31) in accordance with the instructions on the form, and

(ii)   give the completed form to the parties attending, and

(b) any one of the parties attending the mediation session may file the completed verification of default at the registry.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3; am. B.C. Reg. 286/2005, s. 2 (d).]

What the registrar will do if a claimant does not attend

(38)If a verification of default is filed in relation to a claimant in a proceeding,

(a) the defendant in the proceeding may, by filing a request for judgment or for dismissal (Form 23) and paying the required fee, ask the registrar to make an order dismissing the claimant's claim, and

(b) the registrar may make an order dismissing the claimant's claim.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3.]

If a defendant or insurer does not attend

(39)A verification of default may be filed in relation to a defendant, including, without limitation, a defendant to a counterclaim and a defendant to a third party notice, in the following circumstances:

(a) in the case of a motor vehicle action in relation to which the defendant is insured, a verification of default may be filed in relation to the defendant if the insurer of the defendant did not

(i)   attend the mediation session, or

(ii)   sign the fee declaration before, or at the beginning of, the mediation session;

(b) in the case of a motor vehicle action in relation to which the defendant is not insured, a verification of default may be filed in relation to the defendant if the defendant did not

(i)   attend the mediation session, or

(ii)   sign the fee declaration before, or at the beginning of, the mediation session;

(c) in the case of a motor vehicle action in relation to which there is a third party insurer, a verification of default may be filed in relation to the defendant if the third party insurer did not

(i)   attend the mediation session, or

(ii)   sign the fee declaration before, or at the beginning of, the mediation session;

(d) in any other case, a verification of default may be filed in relation to the defendant if the defendant did not

(i)   attend the mediation session, or

(ii)   sign the fee declaration before, or at the beginning of, the mediation session.

[en. B.C. Reg. 286/2005, s. 2 (e).]

Application for default order

(40)The following apply if a verification of default is filed under subrule (39):

(a) if the verification of default is filed in relation to a defendant who is named as a defendant on the notice of claim,

(i)   the claimant may, by filing a request for judgment or for dismissal and paying the required fee, ask the registrar to proceed under these rules as if the defendant had not filed a reply and the claimant had completed the steps in Rule 6 (3), and

(ii)   the registrar must either make a default order under Rule 6 (4) or set a date under Rule 6 (5) for a hearing before a judge;

(b) if the verification of default is filed in relation to a defendant to a counterclaim or a defendant to a third party notice, the party bringing the counterclaim or third party notice may apply under Rule 16 (7) for a default order under Rule 16 (6) (c).

[en. B.C. Reg. 286/2005, s. 2 (e).]

If no party attends

(41)If no party attends a mediation session,

(a) the mediator must complete a verification of default in accordance with the instructions on the form, and file the completed form at the registry, and

(b) the registrar must make an order dismissing each disputed claim.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3; am. B.C. Reg. 286/2005, s. 2 (f).]

Cancellation of a dismissal or default order

(42)A party against whom an order is made under subrule (38) (b), (39) (b) or (41) (b) for not attending a mediation session or for not signing a fee declaration before, or at the beginning of, the mediation session may apply under Rule 16 (7) to a judge to cancel the order, and the judge may cancel the order under Rule 16 (6) (j).

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3.]

What application must contain

(43)A party seeking an order under subrule (42) must attach to the application an affidavit containing the following:

(a) the reason for not attending the mediation session or for failing to sign the fee declaration;

(b) the reason for any delay, if there has been delay in filing the application;

(c) the facts that support the claim or defence.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3.]

If a judge cancels a dismissal or default order

(44)A judge who cancels a dismissal order or default order made under this rule may also do one or more of the following:

(a) order that the disputed claims proceed to mediation on any terms the judge considers appropriate;

(b) order the payment of any expenses incurred by the party or parties who did attend;

(c) order that a settlement conference or trial be held;

(d) make any other order that the judge considers appropriate in the circumstances.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3.]

Confidentiality of Mediation Information

Disclosure and compellability

(45)Subject to subrules (46) and (47), a person must not disclose, or be compelled to disclose, in any proceeding oral or written information acquired in or in connection with a mediation session.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3.]

Exceptions

(46)Subrule (45) does not apply

(a) in respect of any information, opinion, document, offer or admission that all of the parties agree in writing may be disclosed,

(b) to any mediation agreement or fee declaration made during or in connection with a mediation session,

(c) to any threats of bodily harm made during or in connection with a mediation session, or

(d) to any information that does not identify the parties and that is disclosed for research or statistical purposes only.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3.]

No restriction on otherwise producible information

(47)Nothing in this rule precludes a party from introducing into evidence in any proceeding any information or records produced in the course of the mediation that are otherwise producible or compellable in those proceedings.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3.]

Concluding Mediation

If the parties reach agreement on all or some issues

(48)If the parties reach an agreement at mediation on all or some issues,

(a) the mediator must complete a result of mediation form (Form 24) and file the completed form at the registry, and

(b) the parties must complete and sign a mediation agreement (Form 25) and any one of those parties may file the agreement at the registry.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3.]

If payment terms are not complied with

(49)If a party fails to comply with a provision of a filed mediation agreement, the party not in default may, if that provision required a payment of money,

(a) file an affidavit of non-compliance at the registry, and

(b) after that, file a payment order at the registry for

(i)   the amount specified in the mediation agreement less any amount already paid in compliance with the mediation agreement, or

(ii)   if no amount was specified in the mediation agreement, for the amount of the claim less any amount already paid in compliance with the mediation agreement.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3.]

If other terms are not complied with

(50)If a party fails to comply with a provision of a filed mediation agreement and that provision was not one requiring a payment of money, the party not in default may

(a) if the mediation agreement establishes an amount of liquidated damages that is to be payable in the event of such a default, file at the registry an affidavit of non-compliance and a payment order for that amount, or

(b) if the mediation agreement does not establish a liquidated damages amount in relation to the breached provision, seek a mediation compensation order (Form 26) under Rule 16 (6) (f.2).

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3.]

Mediation compensation order

(51)A judge may make a mediation compensation order under subrule (50) (b) if a party applies for that order (see Rule 16 (7)) and attaches to the application an affidavit of non-compliance.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3.]

If a dispute is not resolved

(52)If the parties do not reach agreement at mediation on all the issues,

(a) the mediator must complete a result of mediation form and file the completed form at the registry, and

(b) after that, the registrar must set one of the following:

(i)   subject to subparagraph (iii), a settlement conference, if a settlement conference has not been completed;

(ii)   a trial, if a settlement conference has been completed;

(iii)   a trial conference, if the completed result of mediation form is filed at the Robson Square Small Claims Registry after November 25, 2007.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3; am. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 6 (b).]

Concluding a mediation

(53)A mediation is concluded when

(a) all issues are resolved, or

(b) the mediator terminates the mediation.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 3.]

Rule 7.4 — Mediation of Claims for More Than $5 000

or for Damages for Personal Injury

(Pilot Project — Robson Square Small Claims Registry)

Definitions

(1)In this rule:

"mediation coordinator" means a person designated by the Justice Services Branch of the Ministry of Justice as the mediation coordinator;

"mediation registry" means the Robson Square Small Claims Registry (Vancouver);

"mediation session" means a meeting between 2 or more parties to a claim for the purpose of reaching, with the assistance of a mediator, agreement on the issues in dispute;

"mediator" means, in respect of a claim, the individual appointed as the mediator of the claim under subrule (9).

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7; am. B.C. Reg. 27/2013, Sch. 2, s. 12.]

Application of this Rule

Claims to which this rule applies

(2)Subject to subrule (3), this rule applies to a claim if the claim is ordered under Rule 7.5 (14) (k) to be set for mediation under this rule or if

(a) the claim is made by way of a notice of claim, counterclaim or third party notice and in respect of which all defendants, claimants or third parties have filed replies opposing all or part of the claim,

(b) the amount claimed in the notice of claim that started the proceeding is

(i)   for more than $5 000, not including interest and expenses, or

(ii)   for $5 000 or less, not including interest and expenses, and the claim is for damages for personal injury, and

(c) after November 25, 2007,

(i)   the notice of claim that started the proceeding was filed at the mediation registry, or

(ii)   the court file relating to the claim was transferred to the mediation registry.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

Claims to which this rule does not apply

(3)This rule does not apply to a claim if

(a) the claim involves a party who has obtained against another party

(i)   a protection order under section 183 of the Family Law Act, or

(ii)   a peace bond under section 810 of the Criminal Code,

(b) the claimant, defendant and cause of action are the same as the plaintiff, defendant and cause of action in an action brought in the Supreme Court, or

(c) Rule 9.2 applies to the claim, unless an order is made under Rule 9.2 (13) (c) that the claim be set for mediation under this rule.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7; am. B.C. Reg. 358/2012, s. 2.]

When this rule ceases to apply

(4)This rule ceases to apply to a claim if

(a) the court file relating to the claim is transferred to another registry, or

(b) the claim is exempted under subrule (5) or (7) (a) from the application of this rule.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

Mediation coordinator may exempt claim or party

(5)The mediation coordinator may at any time, and without an application,

(a) exempt a claim from the application of this rule if, in the mediation coordinator's opinion, it is unfair or impractical to require mediation, or

(b) exempt a party from attending a mediation session if, in the mediation coordinator's opinion, it is unfair or impractical to require the party to attend.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

How to apply for exemption from a judge

(6)At least 7 days before the date set for the mediation session, a party may apply to a judge (see Rule 16 (7))

(a) to exempt a claim from the application of this rule, or

(b) to exempt the party from attending the mediation session.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

When a judge may grant an exemption

(7)On an application under subrule (6), a judge may

(a) exempt a claim from the application of this rule if

(i)   all of the parties have previously engaged in a mediation of the matters in issue, or

(ii)   in the court's opinion, it is unfair or impractical to require mediation, or

(b) exempt a party from attending the mediation session if, in the court's opinion, it is unfair or impractical to require the party to attend.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

Trial conference if this rule does not apply

(8)The registrar must set a claim for a trial conference if

(a) this rule does not apply to the claim under subrule (2) or (3) (a), or

(b) this rule ceases to apply to the claim under subrule (4) (b).

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

Appointment of Mediator andScheduling of Mediation Session

Appointment of mediator

(9)The mediation coordinator may appoint a mediator

(a) to a claim, or

(b) to conduct the mediation sessions for claims set for a date, time and place.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

Roster of approved mediators

(10)The mediator must be appointed from a roster, maintained by the Mediate BC Society, of mediators who have been approved by that society to conduct mediations in relation to claims brought under these rules.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7; am. B.C. Reg. 271/2010, s. 3.]

How the date of a mediation session is set

(11)The registrar must, after consulting with the mediation coordinator, set the date, time and place at which a mediation session is to be conducted for a claim.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

Certificate to be filed in personal injury cases

(12)In a claim for damages for personal injuries, the claimant must file at the mediation registry, within 6 months after serving the notice of claim and before a mediation session is held, a certificate of readiness (Form 7) that has attached copies of all

(a) medical reports, and

(b) records of expenses or losses incurred or expected.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

If the claimant is not ready to file a certificate

(13)A claimant who is not ready to file the certificate of readiness and attachments within the 6 month period may apply to the registrar (see Rule 16 (3)) to extend the time, before or after the 6 month period has expired.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

Certificate must be served on other parties

(14)Within 14 days after filing a certificate of readiness, the claimant must serve a copy of the certificate and attachments on each of the other parties.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

Defendant may request a medical report

(15)A defendant in a claim for damages for personal injuries may apply to a judge (see Rule 16 (7)) to order the claimant to attend a medical doctor for an examination, to be paid for by the defendant.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

Report to be given to claimant and brought to mediation session

(16)After receiving the medical report from the doctor, the defendant must

(a) serve a copy of it on the claimant at least 7 days before the mediation session, and

(b) bring a copy of it to the mediation session.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

Notice of mediation session

(17)At least 14 days before the date set for the mediation session, the registrar must serve a notice of mediation session (Form 27) on the parties specifying the date, time and place for the mediation session.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

Changing the Date of a Mediation Session

Changing a mediation session date

(18)A party may change the date of a mediation session by

(a) filing a consent to change the date under Rule 16 (1), or

(b) applying to the registrar (see Rule 16 (3)) for an order changing the date of the mediation session and giving to the other party whatever notice of the application the registrar may order.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

Application to change date at least 7 days before mediation session

(19)On an application made at least 7 days before the date set for the mediation session, the registrar may change the date of the mediation session if the registrar is satisfied that the original date is unreasonably inconvenient to the party.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

Application to change date within 7 days before mediation session

(20)On an application made within 7 days before the date set for the mediation session, the registrar may change the date of the mediation session if

(a) the registrar is satisfied that the original date is unreasonably inconvenient to the party, and

(b) the application contains an explanation, satisfactory to the registrar, as to why it was not reasonably practicable for the party to bring an application at least 7 days before the date set for the mediation session.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

Unreasonably inconvenient

(21)For the purposes of subrules (19) and (20), the registrar may determine that a date is unreasonably inconvenient to a party if

(a) a family emergency renders the party unable to attend on the day set for the mediation session,

(b) the party has a pre-arranged out-of-town commitment on the day set for the mediation session and that commitment cannot be changed due to travel requirements,

(c) the party is required to attend court on the day set for the mediation session, or

(d) the registrar otherwise determines that the date is unreasonably inconvenient to the party.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

Notice of change of date

(22)If the registrar changes the date of a mediation session under subrule (19) or (20),

(a) the party who applied for the change of date must give to the other party whatever notice of the change of date the registrar may order, and

(b) the registrar must, after consulting with the mediation coordinator, promptly set a new date for the mediation session and serve a notice of mediation session (Form 27) on the parties specifying the new date, time and place for the mediation session.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

Application to Attend Mediation Session by Telephone

How to apply for mediation by telephone

(23)A party may apply to the registrar (see Rule 16 (3)) for a direction that one or more of the parties may attend the mediation session by telephone.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

Direction for mediation by telephone

(24)On an application under subrule (23), the registrar may direct that one or more of the parties may attend the mediation session by telephone if

(a) the party, or the representative who is entitled under this rule to attend on behalf of the party, does not reside or carry on business within a reasonable distance from the location where the mediation session is to be conducted, or

(b) exceptional circumstances exist.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

If application is granted

(25)If a direction is made under subrule (23), the registrar

(a) may order that the parties file at the mediation registry, before the date and time set by the registrar, all documents and reports that are relevant to the dispute, and

(b) may order that the telephone call be made at the expense of the party requesting mediation by telephone.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

Attendance at Mediation Session

Attending mediation

(26)Subject to subrule (27) and to an order made under subrule (7), a party served with a notice of mediation session

(a) must attend the mediation session,

(b) may attend the mediation session by representative if the party is not an individual,

(c) must have authority to settle the claim, and

(d) may be accompanied by a lawyer or articled student.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

Claims involving an insurer

(27)A party does not have to attend a mediation session in person if

(a) either

(i)   the party has assigned all of his or her rights relevant to the claim to an insurer, or

(ii)   an insurer has a duty to do one or both of the following in relation to the party:

(A)  indemnify that party for liability arising out of a claim in the proceeding;

(B)  defend any claims made against that party in the proceeding, and

(b) the insurer's representative attends in place of the party.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

Requirements of representative

(28)A representative who attends a mediation session in the place of a party referred to in subrule (26) (b) or (27)

(a) must be familiar with all facts relevant to the dispute,

(b) must have authority to settle the claim on the party's behalf, and

(c) may be accompanied by a lawyer or articled student.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

Attendance of others

(29)Any other person may attend a mediation session if that attendance is permitted by the mediator and consented to by the parties.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

What parties must bring

(30)A party or a party's representative who attends a mediation session must bring to the mediation session all documents and reports that are relevant to the dispute.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

Non-Attendance at Mediation Session

If a party does not attend

(31)If a party does not attend a mediation session,

(a) the mediator must

(i)   complete a verification of non-attendance (Form 22) in accordance with the instructions on the form, and

(ii)   give the completed form to the parties attending, and

(b) any one of the parties attending the mediation session may file the completed verification of non-attendance in the mediation registry.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

What the registrar will do if a claimant does not attend

(32)If a verification of non-attendance is filed in relation to a claimant in a claim,

(a) the defendant in the claim may, by filing a request for judgment or for dismissal (Form 23) and paying the required fee, ask the registrar to make an order dismissing the claim of that claimant, and

(b) the registrar may make an order dismissing the claim of that claimant.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

What the registrar will do if a defendant does not attend

(33)If a verification of non-attendance is filed in relation to a defendant in a claim, other than a claim made by way of counterclaim or third party notice,

(a) the claimant may, by filing a request for judgment or for dismissal and paying the required fee, ask the registrar to proceed under these rules as if

(i)   the defendant had not filed a reply, and

(ii)   the claimant had completed the steps in Rule 6 (3), and

(b) the registrar must either make a default order under Rule 6 (4) or set a date under Rule 6 (5) for a hearing before a judge.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

What happens if the defendant to counterclaim or third party notice does not attend

(34)If a verification of non-attendance is filed in relation to a defendant under a counterclaim or under a third party notice, the party bringing the counterclaim or third party notice may apply for a default order under Rule 16 (6) (c) (see Rule 16 (7)).

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

If no party attends

(35)If no party attends a mediation session,

(a) the mediator must complete a verification of non-attendance in accordance with the instructions on the form, and file the completed form in the mediation registry, and

(b) the registrar must make an order dismissing each claim.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

Cancellation of a dismissal or default order

(36)A party against whom an order is made under subrule (32) (b), (33) (b) or (35) (b) for not attending a mediation session may apply to a judge to cancel the order (see Rule 16 (7)), and the judge may cancel the order under Rule 16 (6) (j).

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

What application must contain

(37)A party seeking an order under subrule (36) must attach to the application an affidavit containing the following:

(a) the reason for not attending the mediation session;

(b) the reason for any delay, if there has been delay in filing the application;

(c) the facts that support the claim or defence.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

If a judge cancels a dismissal or default order

(38)A judge who cancels a dismissal order made under subrule (32) (b) or (35) (b) or a default order made under subrule (33) (b) may also do one or more of the following:

(a) order that the claim be returned to mediation on any terms the judge considers appropriate;

(b) order the payment of any expenses incurred by the party or parties who did attend;

(c) order that the claim be set for a trial conference;

(d) make any other order that the judge considers appropriate in the circumstances.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

Conclusion of Mediation

If the parties reach agreement on all or some issues

(39)If the parties reach an agreement at mediation on all or some issues,

(a) the mediator must complete a result of mediation form (Form 24) and file the completed form in the mediation registry, and

(b) the parties must complete and sign a mediation agreement (Form 25) and any one of those parties may file the agreement in the mediation registry.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

If payment terms are not complied with

(40)If a party fails to comply with a provision of a filed mediation agreement, the party not in default may, if that provision required a payment of money,

(a) file an affidavit of non-compliance, and

(b) after that, file a payment order (Form 10) for

(i)   the amount specified in the mediation agreement less any amount already paid in compliance with the mediation agreement, or

(ii)   if no amount was specified in the mediation agreement, for the amount of the claim less any amount already paid in compliance with the mediation agreement.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

If other terms are not complied with

(41)If a party fails to comply with a provision of a filed mediation agreement and that provision was not one requiring a payment of money, the party not in default may

(a) if the mediation agreement establishes an amount of liquidated damages that is to be payable in the event of such a default, file an affidavit of non-compliance and a payment order (Form 10) for that amount, or

(b) if the mediation agreement does not establish a liquidated damages amount in relation to the breached provision, seek a mediation compensation order (Form 26) under Rule 16 (6) (f.2).

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

Mediation compensation order

(42)A judge may make a mediation compensation order under subrule (41) (b) if a party applies for that order (see Rule 16 (7)) and attaches to the application an affidavit of non-compliance.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

If a dispute is not resolved

(43)If the parties do not reach agreement at mediation on all the issues,

(a) the mediator must complete a result of mediation form (Form 24) and file the completed form in the mediation registry, and

(b) after that, the registrar must set the claim for a trial conference on the issues for which there was no agreement.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

Confidentiality and Compellability

Confidentiality and compellability

(44)Subject to subrules (45) and (46), a person must not disclose, or be compelled to disclose, in any proceeding oral or written information acquired in or in connection with a mediation session.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

Exceptions

(45)Subrule (44) does not apply

(a) in respect of any information, opinion, document, offer or admission that all of the parties agree in writing may be disclosed,

(b) to any mediation agreement made during or in connection with a mediation session,

(c) to any threats of bodily harm made in or in connection with a mediation session, or

(d) to any information that does not identify the parties and that is disclosed for research or statistical purposes only.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

No restriction on otherwise producible information

(46)Nothing in this rule precludes a party from introducing into evidence in any proceeding any information or records produced in the course of the mediation that are otherwise producible or compellable in those proceedings.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

Rule 7.5 — Trial Conferences (Pilot Project — Robson Square Small Claims Registry)

Claims to which this rule applies

(1)This rule applies to a claim that must be set for a trial conference if

(a) the parties do not reach agreement at mediation on all the issues (see Rules 7.3 (52) and 7.4 (43)),

(b) Rule 7.4 does not apply or ceases to apply to the claim (see Rule 7.4 (8)), or

(c) an order is made under Rule 7.4 (38) (c) or 9.2 (13) (c).

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

Trial conference

(2)Before a trial date is set, a trial conference will be held on the date and at the time and place set by the registrar.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

Notice of trial conference

(3)The registrar must serve a notice of trial conference (Form 32) on the parties at least 30 days before the date set for the trial conference.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

Changing a trial conference date

(4)A party may change the date of a trial conference

(a) by filing a consent to change the date under Rule 16 (1), or

(b) by applying to the registrar (see Rule 16 (3)) for an order changing the date of the trial conference and giving to the other party whatever notice of the application the registrar may order.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

Application to change date at least 7 days before trial conference

(5)On an application made at least 7 days before the date set for the trial conference, the registrar may change the date of the trial conference if the registrar is satisfied that the original date is unreasonably inconvenient to the party.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

Application to change date within 7 days before trial conference

(6)On an application made within 7 days before the date set for the trial conference, the registrar may change the date of the trial conference if

(a) the registrar is satisfied that the original date is unreasonably inconvenient to the party, and

(b) the application contains an explanation, satisfactory to the registrar, as to why it was not reasonably practicable for the party to bring an application at least 7 days before the date sent for the trial conference.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

Unreasonably inconvenient

(7)For the purposes of subrules (5) and (6), the registrar may determine that a date is unreasonably inconvenient to a party if

(a) a family emergency renders the party unable to attend on the day set for the trial conference,

(b) the party has a pre-arranged out-of-town commitment on the day set for the trial conference and that commitment cannot be changed due to travel requirements,

(c) the party is required to attend court on the day set for the trial conference, or

(d) the registrar otherwise determines that the date is unreasonably inconvenient to the party.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

Notice of change of date

(8)If the registrar changes the date of a trial conference under subrule (5) or (6),

(a) the party who applied for the change of date must give to the other parties whatever notice of the change of date the registrar may order, and

(b) the registrar must promptly set a new date for the trial conference and serve a notice of trial conference (Form 32) on the parties specifying the new date, time and place for the trial conference.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

What the parties must file before the trial conference

(9)At least 14 days before the date set for the trial conference, each party must

(a) complete a trial statement (Form 33) following the instructions on the form, and

(b) file at the registry the trial statement with attached copies of all relevant documents.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

Serving the trial statement on other parties

(10)At least 7 days before the date set for the trial conference, each party must serve a copy of their trial statement and attachments on each of the other parties.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

Who must attend the trial conference

(11)All parties must have the individual who will be responsible for presenting their case at the trial attend the trial conference, which may be

(a) the party,

(b) a representative of the party if the party is not an individual,

(c) a representative of an insurer if

(i)   the party has assigned all of his or her rights relevant to the claim to the insurer, or

(ii)   the insurer has a duty to do one or both of the following in relation to the party:

(A)  indemnify that party for liability arising out of a claim in the proceeding;

(B)  defend any claims made against that party in the proceeding, or

(d) a lawyer or articling student.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

When a party is not required to attend

(12)A party is not required to attend the trial conference in person if a person attends on behalf of the party in accordance with subrule (11) (b), (c) or (d).

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

Lawyer or articling student may accompany attendee

(13)A party or a representative of the party or an insurer may be accompanied by a lawyer or articled student at the trial conference.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

What happens at a trial conference

(14)At a trial conference, a judge may do one or more of the following:

(a) decide on any issues that do not require evidence;

(b) make a payment order or other appropriate order in the terms agreed to by the parties;

(c) discuss any evidence that will be required and the procedure that will be followed if a trial is necessary;

(d) order a party to produce any information in the manner the judge considers appropriate;

(e) make an order respecting the evidence of experts, including

(i)   requiring that a party file and serve on the other parties an expert's report, with or without the necessity of the expert attending to be questioned, on such terms as the judge may direct,

(ii)   requiring the parties to secure an opinion from a jointly-retained independent expert, on such terms as the judge may direct, or

(iii)   requiring the parties' experts to attend court at the same time to respond to each other;

(f) if damage to property is involved in the dispute, order a party to permit a person chosen by another party to examine the property damage;

(g) order

(i)   the claimant to attend a medical doctor for an examination, to be paid for by the defendant, and

(ii)   the defendant to serve on the claimant a copy of the medical report from the doctor at least 7 days before the trial date and to bring a copy of the medical report to the trial;

(h) make an order respecting time limits for the conduct of all or part of a trial;

(i) dismiss a claim, counterclaim, reply or third party notice if, after discussion with the parties and reviewing the filed documents, a judge determines that it

(i)   is without reasonable grounds,

(ii)   discloses no triable issue, or

(iii)   is frivolous or an abuse of the court's process;

(j) give a non-binding opinion on the probable outcome of the trial based on the materials before the judge at the trial conference;

(k) if Rule 7.4 does not apply to the claim only because a party did not file a reply opposing all or part of the claim, order that the claim be set for mediation under Rule 7.4;

(l) make any other order for the just, speedy and inexpensive resolution of the claim.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

If a party does not comply with orders made at the trial conference

(15)If a party does not comply with any order under subrule (14) (d) to (h) made at a trial conference, a judge may at any time do one or more of the following:

(a) adjourn a trial and order that party to pay all the reasonable expenses incurred by any other parties as a result of the adjournment;

(b) order a trial to proceed without permitting that party to produce as evidence any information, document or records withheld as a result of the non-compliance;

(c) dismiss that party's claim, counterclaim, reply or third party notice.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

If a payment order is made

(16)If a payment order is made at a trial conference, Rule 11 (Payment of the Judgment) applies as though the payment order was made following a trial.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

If a defendant or third party does not attend

(17)If a defendant or third party does not attend the trial conference, either personally or by a representative, the judge may

(a) allow the claim, and

(b) make a payment order or other appropriate order against that defendant or third party.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

If a claimant does not attend

(18)If a claimant does not attend the trial conference, either personally or by a representative, the judge may dismiss the claim.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 7.]

Rule 8 — Changing or Withdrawing a Claim or Reply, Etc.

Any filed document may be changed

(1)Anything in a notice of claim, reply or other document that has been filed by a party may be changed by that party

(a) without any permission,

(i)   at any time before the settlement conference begins, or

(ii)   if a settlement conference will not be held, at any time before the earliest of the following:

(A)  a mediation under Rule 7.4;

(B)  a trial conference under Rule 7.5;

(C)  a trial under Rule 9.1 or 9.2, and

(b) with the permission of a judge (see Rule 16 (7)), at any time after that.

[am. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 8.]

How to change a document

(2)All changes must be underlined, initialled and dated on the revised document and, if there is an order authorizing the change, the document must contain a reference to it.

Filing and serving a revised document

(3)A party who changes a filed document must

(a) file a copy of the revised document at the registry, and

(b) before taking any other step in the claim, serve a copy of the revised document on each party to the claim.

If a revised document is served

(3.1)A party who is served with a revised notice of claim, counterclaim or third party notice

(a) may, by following subrule (3), change a reply already filed by that party, or

(b) may rely on a reply already filed by that party.

[en. B.C. Reg. 148/97, s. 9.]

No default order for failure to change reply

(3.2)No default order will be made solely because a party relies on a filed reply instead of changing that reply.

[en. B.C. Reg. 148/97, s. 9.]

Withdrawal of claim or other filed document

(4)A party may withdraw a claim, counterclaim, reply or third party notice at any time by

(a) filing a copy of the notice of withdrawal at the registry, and

(b) promptly serving the notice on all the parties who were served with the claim, counterclaim, reply or third party notice.

[en. B.C. Reg. 148/97, s. 9.]

Repealed

(5)Repealed. [B.C. Reg. 148/97, s. 9 (b).]

The effect of withdrawing

(6)A party who withdraws a claim, counterclaim, reply or third party notice may not at any time proceed with it or file another notice with respect to the claim or counterclaim without the permission of a judge (see Rule 16 (7)).

[am. B.C. Reg. 148/97, s. 9.]

Claimant can change amount of claim

(7)A claimant who filed a notice of claim before September 1, 2005 may change that notice of claim to increase the amount of the claim to an amount that is more than $10 000 and not more than $25 000, not including interest and expenses, whether or not the claimant had, in that notice of claim, abandoned part of the claim in accordance with Rule 1 (5).

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 4.]

Defendant can change amount of counterclaim

(8)A defendant who filed a reply that contained a counterclaim before September 1, 2005 may change that reply to increase the amount of the counterclaim to an amount that is more than $10 000 and not more than $25 000, not including interest and expenses, whether or not the defendant had, in that reply, abandoned part of the counterclaim in accordance with Rule 4 (5).

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 4.]

How to change amount of claim or counterclaim

(9)In order to increase the amount of a claim under subrule (7) of this rule or the amount of a counterclaim under subrule (8), the party making that claim or counterclaim must change the notice of claim or reply in which the claim or counterclaim was made

(a) by complying with subrule (2), and

(b) by attaching to the changed notice of claim or reply a separate page giving detailed reasons for the change.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 4.]

When notice of claim or reply may be changed

(10)A notice of claim or reply may be changed under subrule (9) before or after a settlement conference without the permission of a judge, but must not be changed after

(a) judgment has been granted,

(b) the claim or counterclaim has been dismissed by a judge,

(c) a default order has been issued by a judge or a registrar, or

(d) the claim or counterclaim has been settled.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 4; am. B.C. Reg. 286/2005, s. 3.]

Changed notice of claim or reply must be filed and served

(11)After a notice of claim or reply is changed under subrule (9), it must be filed and served in accordance with subrule (3).

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 4.]

Reply may but need not be filed

(12)Subrules (3.1) and (3.2) apply to a party who is served with a changed notice of claim or reply under subrule (11).

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 4.]

Application of Rule 7.2

(13)If Rule 7.2 applied to a claim or counterclaim before the amount of that claim or counterclaim was increased under subrule (9) of this rule,

(a) Rule 7.2 continues to apply to that claim or counterclaim after the increase in the claim or counterclaim,

(b) any date that had been set for a mediation session remains in effect unless the circumstances are changed under paragraph (c) or (d) or otherwise under Rule 7.2,

(c) without limiting any other rights a party may have under Rule 7.2 (9), a party may bring an application under Rule 7.2 (9) less than 14 days before the date set for the mediation session if the changed notice of claim or reply is filed by or served on the party 14 days or fewer before that date, and

(d) without limiting any other rights a party may have under Rule 7.2 (11), a party may bring an application under Rule 7.2 (11) fewer than 7 days before the date set for the mediation session if the changed notice of claim or reply is filed by or served on the party 7 days or fewer before that date.

[en. B.C. Reg. 251/2005, s. 4.]

Rule 9 — Witnesses

How a witness is told to attend court

(1)To summon a witness to court, a party must

(a) complete a summons to witness (Form 8), following the instructions on the form, and

(b) serve a copy of the summons on the witness at least 7 days before the date the witness is required to attend.

Travelling expenses

(2)At the time the summons is served, the party summoning the witness must offer the witness reasonable estimated travelling expenses.

Summons not always necessary

(3)If a witness will attend court voluntarily, a summons is not necessary.

What a witness served with a summons must do

(4)A person who is served with a summons to witness must

(a) attend court at the time and place stated on the summons, and

(b) bring to court any records and other things required by the summons.

Summons may be cancelled

(5)A person who is served with a summons to witness may apply to a judge (see Rule 16 (7)) who may cancel the summons if

(a) the person is not needed as a witness, or

(b) it would be a hardship for the person to attend court as required by the summons.

If a summons is cancelled

(6)A judge who cancels a summons to witness may make any other order that the judge thinks is fair, including an order changing the date of a trial or other hearing.

If a witness does not obey a summons

(7)A judge may issue a warrant (Form 9) for the arrest of a witness who does not attend court as required by a summons to witness if the judge is satisfied that

(a) the summons was served on the witness,

(b) reasonable travelling expenses were offered to the witness, and

(c) justice requires the presence of the witness.

Cancellation of warrant

(8)If a witness named in a warrant attends court voluntarily, the warrant is cancelled.

What the judge or justice of the peace may do when witness appears

(9)If the witness's evidence is still required

(a) a judge or justice of the peace may release the witness on conditions set by the judge or justice of the peace, or

(b) a judge may order the witness to be detained until his or her presence is no longer required.

Rule 9.1 — Simplified Trials for Claims up to $5 000

(Pilot Project — Robson Square and Richmond Small Claims Registries)

Definition

(1)In this rule, "adjudicator" means a judge or justice of the peace.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

Application of this Rule

Claims to which this rule applies

(2)Subject to subrule (3), this rule applies to a claim if

(a) the claim is made by way of a notice of claim, counterclaim or third party notice and in respect of which a reply is filed opposing all or part of the claim,

(b) the amount claimed in the notice of claim that started the proceeding is $5 000 or less (not including interest and expenses),

(c) the amount claimed in any counterclaim is $5 000 or less (not including interest and expenses), and

(d) after November 25, 2007,

(i)   the notice of claim that started the proceeding was filed at the Robson Square Small Claims Registry (Vancouver) or Richmond Small Claims Registry, or

(ii)   the court file relating to the claim was transferred to the Robson Square Small Claims Registry (Vancouver) or Richmond Small Claims Registry.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

Claims to which this rule does not apply

(3)This rule does not apply to a claim if

(a) the claim is for damages for personal injury, or

(b) Rule 9.2 applies to the claim, unless an order is made under Rule 9.2 (13) (c) that the claim be set for a trial under this rule.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

When this rule ceases to apply

(4)This rule ceases to apply to a claim if

(a) the court file relating to the claim is transferred to another registry, or

(b) the notice of claim or reply is changed to increase the amount of the claim or counterclaim to more than $5 000, not including interest and expenses.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

If the claim is for more than $5 000

(5)A claimant who has a claim amounting to more than $5 000, not including interest and expenses, may abandon part of the claim so that the balance of the claim may be heard under this rule.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

How to abandon part of a claim

(6)To abandon part of a claim, a claimant must say on the notice of claim that the amount over $5 000 is abandoned.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

Effect of abandoning part of a claim

(7)Subject to subrule (11), a claimant who abandons part of a claim under subrule (6) may not at any time sue for that part.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

If a counterclaim is for more than $5 000

(8)A defendant who has a counterclaim amounting to more than $5 000, not including interest and expenses, may abandon part of the claim so it may be heard under this rule.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

How to abandon part of a counterclaim

(9)To abandon part of a counterclaim, the defendant must say on the counterclaim part of the reply that the amount over $5 000 is abandoned.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

Effect of abandoning part of a counterclaim

(10)A defendant who abandons part of a counterclaim may not at any time sue for that part.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

Effect if defendant does not abandon part of a counterclaim

(11)If this rule does not apply to a claim because the defendant has a counterclaim amounting to more than $5 000 and does not abandon part of the claim so that it may be heard under this rule, the claimant may sue for the whole amount to which the claimant may be entitled.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

Trial Date

Notice of trial

(12)If this rule applies to a claim, the registrar must

(a) set the claim for trial under this rule, and

(b) serve a notice of trial and blank trial statement (Form 33) on the parties to the claim at least 30 days before the date set for the trial.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

How to change a trial date

(13)A party may change a trial date

(a) by filing a consent to change the date under Rule 16 (1), or

(b) by

(i)   applying to the registrar (see Rule 16 (3)) for an order changing the date of the trial at least 7 days before the date set for the trial, unless the registrar orders otherwise, and

(ii)   giving to the other party whatever notice of the application the registrar may order.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

Date may be changed to avoid unreasonable inconvenience

(14)The registrar may change the date of the trial on an application made under subrule (13) (b) if the registrar is satisfied that the original date is unreasonably inconvenient to the party.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

Unreasonably inconvenient

(15)For the purposes of subrule (14), the registrar may determine that a date is unreasonably inconvenient to a party if

(a) a family emergency renders the party unable to attend on the day set for the trial,

(b) the party has a pre-arranged out-of-town commitment on the day set for the trial and that commitment cannot be changed due to travel requirements,

(c) the party is required to attend court on the day set for the trial, or

(d) the registrar otherwise determines that the date is unreasonably inconvenient to the party.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

Notice of change of date

(16)If the registrar changes the date of a trial under this rule,

(a) the party who applied for the change of date must give to the other parties whatever notice of the change of date the registrar may order, and

(b) the registrar must promptly set a new date for the trial and serve a notice of trial on the parties specifying the new date, time and place for the trial.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

What the Parties Must Do Before the Trial

What the parties must file before the trial

(17)At least 14 days before the date set for the trial, each party must

(a) complete a trial statement (Form 33) following the instructions on the form, and

(b) file at the registry the trial statement with attached copies of all relevant documents.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

Serving the trial statement on other parties

(18)At least 7 days before the date set for the trial, each party must serve a copy of their trial statement and attachments on each of the other parties.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

If a party does not comply with subrule (17) or (18)

(19)If a party does not comply with subrule (17) or (18), an adjudicator may do one or both of the following:

(a) adjourn the trial and order that party to pay all the reasonable expenses incurred by any other parties as a result of the adjournment;

(b) order the trial to proceed without permitting that party to produce as evidence any information, document or records withheld as a result of the non-compliance.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

How a Trial is Conducted

How a trial may be conducted

(20)The trial is to be conducted

(a) without complying with the formal rules of procedure and evidence, and

(b) without limiting paragraph (a), in accordance with subrules (21) and (22) unless the adjudicator determines that there are reasons to conduct the trial with a formal examination and cross-examination of parties and witnesses.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

Before a trial begins

(21)An adjudicator must do the following before the trial begins:

(a) review all documents filed by the parties;

(b) determine whether the parties are able to settle the matter;

(c) if the parties are able to settle the matter, make a payment order or other appropriate order in the terms agreed to by the parties.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

How the trial is conducted

(22)If the adjudicator determines that the parties are not able to settle the matter, the trial is to be conducted in accordance with the following:

(a) at the beginning of the trial the adjudicator must have the parties take an oath or give an affirmation;

(b) the adjudicator must ask the parties to state the facts related to the claim and file with the court any documents or other evidence on which the parties rely;

(c) the adjudicator may allow a party to swear to the truth of the summary of facts set out in the party's filed trial statement;

(d) the adjudicator must ask the parties to respond to each other;

(e) the adjudicator may allow a party to call witnesses;

(f) the adjudicator may receive evidence from an expert witness, or a witness with specialized knowledge, in the manner the adjudicator considers appropriate given the amount claimed and the complexity of the issues;

(g) the adjudicator may allow a party or the party's lawyer or articling student to ask questions of another party or another party's witness;

(h) the adjudicator may ask questions of the parties or other witnesses;

(i) the adjudicator must allow a lawyer or articled student to make submissions for a party;

(j) the adjudicator may receive evidence in any other way the adjudicator thinks is appropriate;

(k) the adjudicator must review any relevant legislation and case law to which the parties refer;

(l) the adjudicator may do one or more of the following:

(i)   at any time adjourn the trial;

(ii)   dismiss a claim, counterclaim or third party notice in whole or in part;

(iii)   make a payment order or other appropriate order.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

Evidence to be sworn

(23)All oral evidence must be given under oath or affirmation at the trial.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

Length of trial

(24)If the adjudicator cannot conclude the hearing of the evidence within the period of time scheduled for the trial, the adjudicator may

(a) extend the trial beyond the time scheduled unless, in the adjudicator's opinion, extending the trial will unreasonably interfere with the next scheduled matter, or

(b) adjourn the remainder of the trial.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

Orders respecting completion of adjourned trial

(25)If the adjudicator adjourns the trial under subrule (24), the adjudicator may make any order with respect to the completion of the trial that the adjudicator thinks is appropriate.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

If a Party Does Not Attend the Trial

If a defendant or third party does not attend

(26)If a defendant or third party does not attend the trial, either personally or by a representative, the adjudicator may

(a) allow the claim, and

(b) make a payment order or other appropriate order against that defendant or third party.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

If a claimant does not attend

(27)If a claimant does not attend the trial, either personally or by a representative, the adjudicator may dismiss the claim.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

Adjudicator's Decision

Adjudicator's decision after the trial

(28)The adjudicator must give a decision

(a) in court orally at the end of the trial or on a later date within 30 days after the end of the trial, or

(b) in writing served on the parties within 30 days after the end of the trial.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

If the oral decision is given later

(29)If an adjudicator's decision is to be given orally on a later date, the registrar must notify the parties of the date.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

When written decision effective

(30)An adjudicator's written decision is effective on the date it is filed at the registry.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

Application of other Rules

Application of other rules

(31)For the purposes of applying Rules 8, 9, 11, 12, 16, 17 and 20 to a claim to which this rule applies, a reference in Rules 8 (1) (b) and (6), 9 (5) and (6), 11, 12 (2) (c), 16 (6) (g) and (o), 17 (14) and (15) and 20 to a "judge" must be read as a reference to an "adjudicator".

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

Rule 9.2 — Summary Trial for Financial Debt

(Pilot Project — Robson Square Small Claims Registry)

Claims to which this rule applies

(1)This rule applies to a claim if

(a) the claim is made by way of a notice of claim, counterclaim or third party notice and in respect of which a reply is filed opposing all or part of the claim,

(b) after November 25, 2007,

(i)   the notice of claim that started the proceeding was filed at the Robson Square Small Claims Registry (Vancouver), or

(ii)   the court file relating to the claim was transferred to the Robson Square Small Claims Registry (Vancouver),

(c) the court file relating to the claim has not been transferred to another registry, and

(d) the claimant is in the business of lending money or extending credit and the claim is for a debt that arises from a loan of money or the extension of credit in the course of that business.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

Notice of trial

(2)If this rule applies to a claim, the registrar must

(a) set the claim for trial under this rule, and

(b) serve a notice of trial on the parties to the claim at least 30 days before the date set for the trial.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

How to change a trial date

(3)A party may change a trial date

(a) by filing a consent to change the date under Rule 16 (1), or

(b) by

(i)   applying to the registrar (see Rule 16 (3)) for an order changing the date of the trial at least 7 days before the date set for the trial, unless the registrar orders otherwise, and

(ii)   giving to the other party whatever notice of the application the registrar may order.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

Date may be changed to avoid unreasonable inconvenience

(4)The registrar may change the date of the trial on an application made under subrule (3) (b) if the registrar is satisfied that the original date is unreasonably inconvenient to the party.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

Unreasonably inconvenient

(5)For the purposes of subrule (4), the registrar may determine that a date is unreasonably inconvenient to a party if

(a) a family emergency renders the party unable to attend on the day set for the trial,

(b) the party has a pre-arranged out-of-town commitment on the day set for the trial and that commitment cannot be changed due to travel requirements,

(c) the party is required to attend court on the day set for the trial, or

(d) the registrar otherwise determines that the date is unreasonably inconvenient to the party.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

Notice of change of date

(6)If the registrar changes the date of a trial under this rule,

(a) the party who applied for the change of date must give to the other parties whatever notice of the change of date the registrar may order, and

(b) the registrar must promptly set a new date for the trial and serve a notice of trial on the parties specifying the new date, time and place for the trial.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

What the parties must file before the trial

(7)At least 14 days before the date set for the trial, each party must file at the registry any contracts, statements of account, proofs of payment or other documents upon which the party will rely at the trial.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

What the parties must serve on the other parties before trial

(8)At least 7 days before the date set for the trial, each party must serve a copy of the documents filed at the registry under subrule (7) on each of the other parties.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

How evidence will be heard at a trial

(9)A judge may conduct a trial without complying with the formal rules of procedure and evidence, and in doing so may

(a) ask the parties to explain their cases, to respond to each other and to call witnesses, or

(b) receive evidence in any other way the judge thinks is appropriate.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

Evidence to be sworn

(10)All oral evidence must be given under oath or affirmation.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

If a defendant or third party does not attend

(11)If a defendant or third party does not attend the trial, either personally or by a representative, the adjudicator may

(a) allow the claim, and

(b) make a payment order or other appropriate order against that defendant or third party.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

If a claimant does not attend

(12)If a claimant does not attend the trial, either personally or by a representative, the adjudicator may dismiss the claim.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

Judge's decision at the trial

(13)At the end of the trial, the judge must do one or more of the following:

(a) make a payment order;

(b) dismiss the claim, counterclaim or third party notice;

(c) if, in the judge's opinion, the claim cannot be decided at a trial under this rule,

(i)   cancel the trial, and

(ii)   order that the claim be set for

(A)  mediation under Rule 7.4,

(B)  a trial conference under Rule 7.5, or

(C)  a trial under Rule 9.1 or 10.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

Additional orders made by judge

(14)If a judge makes an order under subrule (13) (c), the judge may make any other order for the just, speedy and inexpensive resolution of the claim.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 9.]

Rule 10 — The Trial

Claims to which this rule does not apply

(0.1)This rule does not apply to a claim if Rule 9.1 or, subject to an order under Rule 9.2 (13) (c), Rule 9.2 applies to the claim.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 10 (a).]

How evidence will be heard at a trial

(1)A judge may conduct a trial without complying with the formal rules of procedure and evidence, and in doing so may

(a) ask the parties to explain their cases, to respond to each other and to call witnesses (see Rules 7 (15) (b) and 7.5 (15) (b)), or

(b) receive evidence in any other way the judge thinks is appropriate (see Rules 7 (15) (b) and 7.5 (15) (b)).

[am. B.C. Regs. 148/97, s. 10; 360/2007, s. 10 (b) and (c).]

Evidence to be sworn

(2)All oral evidence must be given under oath or affirmation.

Experts' evidence — advance notice of evidence required

(3)A party may not call an expert to give evidence of the expert's opinion unless

(a) the party serves a summary of the expert's evidence on all other parties at least 30 days before the expert is called to give evidence, or

(b) a judge grants permission.

Experts' reports must be given in advance

(4)Instead of calling an expert to give evidence, a party may introduce a report stating opinions of an expert, if

(a) the party serves a copy of the report on all other parties at least 30 days before the report is introduced, or

(b) a judge grants permission.

Experts' qualifications

(5)A statement of qualifications in an expert's report is proof that the expert has those qualifications unless there is evidence to the contrary.

Experts may be called for cross-examination

(6)A party receiving another party's expert report may serve on the other party, at least 14 days before the trial date, a notice requiring the expert to attend the trial for cross-examination.

Cost of calling other party's expert

(7)If a judge determines that calling another party's expert was unnecessary, the judge may order the party who required the expert to attend to pay the expert's expenses.

Estimates

(8)Repair estimates and estimates of the value of property are not considered to be expert evidence, but must be served on all other parties at least 14 days before trial unless a judge orders otherwise.

If a defendant does not attend

(9)If a defendant or third party does not attend the trial, either personally or by a representative, the judge may

(a) allow the claim, and

(b) make a payment order or other appropriate order against that defendant or third party.

If a claimant does not attend

(10)If a claimant does not attend the trial, either personally or by a representative, the judge may dismiss the claim.

Judge's decision after the trial

(11)The judge must give a decision

(a) in court orally at the end of the trial or on a later date, or

(b) in writing.

If the decision is given later

(12)If a judge's decision is to be given orally on a later date, the registrar must notify the parties of the date.

When decision effective

(13)A judge's written decision is effective on the date it is filed at the registry.

Rule 10.1 — Offer to Settle

Claims to which this rule does not apply

(0.1)This rule does not apply to a claim if Rule 9.1 applies to the claim.

[en. B.C. Reg. 360/2007, s. 11 (a).]

Any party may offer to settle

(1)A party may offer to settle one or more claims by

(a) completing an offer to settle (Form 18), and

(b) serving the party to whom the offer is made with the completed offer to settle as if it were a notice of claim (see Rule 2).

[en. B.C. Reg. 148/97, s. 11.]

Time limit for offering to settle

(2)An offer to settle under subrule (1) must be served on the party to whom the offer is made

(a) within 30 days after the conclusion of the settlement conference, the conclusion of a mediation session held under Rule 7.2 or 7.4 or the conclusion of a trial conference, whichever happens first, or

(b) at a later time, if permitted by a judge.

[en. B.C. Reg. 148/97, s. 11; am. B.C. Regs. 172/2003, s. 3; 360/2007, s. 11 (b).]

How an offer is accepted

(3)If a party served with an offer to settle under subrule (2) wishes to accept the offer in full settlement of the claim, interest and expenses, that party must

(a) complete an acceptance of offer (Form 19), and

(b) within 28 days after being served with the offer, serve the party who made the offer with the completed acceptance as if it were a notice of claim (see Rule 2).

[en. B.C. Reg. 148/97, s. 11.]

Acceptance of offer deemed to be a payment order

(4)If a party served with an acceptance of offer files the offer and the acceptance in the registry, the acceptance is deemed to be a payment order.

[en. B.C. Reg. 148/97, s. 11.]

If an offer is rejected by claimant

(5)The trial judge may order a claimant to pay the defendant a penalty if the claimant

(a) does not accept an offer to settle made by the defendant under subrule (1), and

(b) is awarded at trial an amount, including interest and all expenses, that equals or is less than the defendant's offer.

[en. B.C. Reg. 148/97, s. 11.]

If an offer is rejected by defendant

(6)The trial judge may order a defendant to pay the claimant a penalty if

(a) the defendant does not accept an offer to settle made by the claimant under subrule (1), and

(b) the claimant is awarded at trial an amount, including interest and all expenses, that equals or exceeds the claimant's offer.

[en. B.C. Reg. 148/97, s. 11.]

Amount of penalty

(7)A penalty under subrule (5) or (6) is in addition to any other expenses or penalties, and may be up to 20% of the amount of the offer to settle.

[en. B.C. Reg. 148/97, s. 11.]

What the judge must consider

(8)When deciding the amount of a penalty under subrule (5) or (6), a judge must consider

(a) the difference between the amount awarded at trial and the amount of the offer to settle,

(b) the interest of the parties in proceeding to trial to determine the credibility of witnesses or a point of law, and

(c) the time when the offer was made.

[en. B.C. Reg. 148/97, s. 11.]

Other offers to settle

(9)An offer to settle may be made and accepted after the time limit in this Rule for offering or accepting a settlement has passed, but in that case a judge may not impose a penalty under subrule (5) or (6).

[en. B.C. Reg. 148/97, s. 11.]

Money paid into court after garnishing order

(10)A defendant may include in an offer to settle a term that money paid into court as a result of a garnishing order be paid to the claimant.

[en. B.C. Reg. 148/97, s. 11.]

Disclosure to judge

(11)A party may disclose any offer to settle made under this Rule

(a) to the settlement conference judge, and

(b) to the trial judge, but only after that judge has given a final decision on the amount to be awarded.

[en. B.C. Reg. 148/97, s. 11.]

Multiple defendants

(12)If 2 or more defendants are sued together,

(a) a claimant may not make an offer to settle except jointly to all defendants, and

(b) a defendant may not make an offer to settle except jointly with all other defendants.

[en. B.C. Reg. 148/97, s. 11.]

Multiple claimants

(13)If there are 2 or more claimants, a separate offer to settle may be made by or to each of them.

[en. B.C. Reg. 148/97, s. 11.]

Counterclaims and third party claims

(14)This rule applies to claims, counterclaims and third party claims.

[en. B.C. Reg. 148/97, s. 11.]

Third party claims

(15)If a defendant accepts an offer to settle made by a third party,

(a) the third party must pay the amount of the offer into court, and

(b) that amount may only be taken out of court by order of a judge or with the consent of all parties.

[en. B.C. Reg. 148/97, s. 11.]

Contents  |  Rules 1 to 5  |  Rules 6 to 10.1  |  Rules 11 to 15  |  Rules 16 to 22  |  Schedule A  |  Schedule B  |  Schedules C, D and E