Here are the most common questions we get about the CRT, the dispute resolution process, and using our services.

About the CRT

Getting started and using the Solution Explorer

Applying for dispute resolution

  • How much does it cost to apply?

    The CRT charges fees. But we’ll give you a discount if you submit your forms online.

    Visit our Fees page for a listing of all CRT fees. It also includes information about paying fees, and how you can apply for a waiver if you can’t afford CRT fees.

  • Can I have a lawyer represent me?

    In some cases, yes.

    For motor vehicle injury disputes filed on or after April 1, 2019, you can have a lawyer represent you.

    For small claims and strata property disputes, you may need to ask the CRT for permission to have someone act on your behalf. Our application form will guide you through the process.

    See our Helpers and Representation page for details.

  • Can I make a claim against my ex-spouse or ex-partner?

    Yes, if you lived together for less than 2 years or your dispute is about something that happened after you separated.

    Other situations are generally family law disputes, which the CRT can’t resolve.

    If you’re not sure if your dispute is a small claims or family law matter, you may want to get professional advice from a lawyer or legal services provider.

  • Can I make a claim about something that happened outside BC?

    It depends. For the CRT to have jurisdiction over a dispute, there must be a real and substantial connection between British Columbia and the facts in the dispute.

    For example, if the situation being disputed happened in BC, or if the applicant or respondent lives or carries on business in BC.

    If a party disagrees that there is a real and substantial connection between the dispute and BC, they can ask the CRT to determine if another forum is clearly more appropriate.

    A tribunal member may consider factors like:

    • Where the alleged wrong occurred
    • Where the parties carry on business
    • Fairness to the parties
    • The need for an efficient process to resolve the dispute

    The legal test for this is known as “forum non conveniens”.

    CRT staff will review your application form, and contact you if there are concerns that your dispute may be outside the CRT’s jurisdiction.

  • My request for a representative was denied. How can I appeal it?

    If the CRT decides you can’t have a representative, the representative decision can be judicially reviewed at the Supreme Court.

    But if your circumstances change or you didn’t provide a reason for your request, you can submit a new request.

    Keep in mind the person you wanted to represent you can always act as a helper, even if they aren’t allowed to speak on your behalf. See our  Helpers and Representation page for details.

After your dispute application is accepted

  • I was told I need to serve the Dispute Notice. Can I have more time to serve it?

    You can request a time extension for serving a Dispute Notice.

    Log in to your dispute, follow the options to provide proof of service, and choose the option “Request more time to serve the Dispute Notice”.

    CRT staff will follow up with you about your request.

  • I served someone the Dispute Notice, but they didn’t respond. Now what?

    You’ll have to prove that you followed the instructions for service by submitting a Proof of Service form to the CRT.

    If the CRT agrees that you served the respondent(s) properly, then a CRT member can issue a default order. This means the dispute resolution process will continue without input from the person or organization that didn’t respond.

  • How can I make a change to my dispute?

    It depends on what the change is, and at what stage of the dispute resolution process you’re at. Contact us for more information.

    If you haven’t submitted your application yet, you can make changes at any time by logging in to your incomplete application. (If you created an application as a “guest” and didn’t create an account, you’ll have to start your application over again.)

  • Can I withdraw my dispute?

    It depends on what stage your dispute is in.

    If a respondent filed a response, the CRT will contact them to see if they have any objections to the withdrawal.

    If no respondent has responded, or if any respondents who have responded don’t object to the dispute being withdrawn, the CRT will close the dispute.

    In some situations, you can’t withdraw a dispute. For example, if a respondent objects and a Tribunal Member decides it wouldn’t be fair to close the dispute.

    Only an applicant can ask for a dispute to be withdrawn.

    If you applied for a dispute and want to withdraw it, login to your dispute and submit a request form. Or contact us and include your Dispute Number.

  • How do I reset my password for the online portal?

    Click the “Forgot Your Password?” link on our online portal and follow the instructions.

    If it still doesn’t work, or the portal says you haven’t been granted access to the dispute, call our friendly intake staff at 1-844-322-2292.

Responding to a dispute

Case management, negotiation and facilitation

  • What if I don’t want to negotiate?

    The negotiation process is voluntary, and you don’t have to participate in it.

    But if you reach a negotiated agreement, your application fee will be refunded and your agreement will be turned into an enforceable court order.

  • The other party ignored the request for negotiation. Now what?

    The negotiation process is voluntary, and nobody can be forced or ordered to participate in it.

    The other party might just be waiting for a case manager to help with settlement discussions.

    Once a case manager is assigned to the dispute, they aim to contact all parties within 3 weeks after the Response Notice is sent.

  • Do I have to participate in facilitation?

    Yes. Parties are required to participate in facilitation, where a case manager will help you try to reach an agreement.

    If you can’t reach an agreement, an independent CRT member will make an enforceable decision about your dispute.

  • When will you assign a case manager to my dispute?

    Case managers are usually assigned within 3 weeks after the Response Notice is sent.

  • How will I know who my case manager is?

    Once a case manager is assigned to your dispute, they will contact you to introduce themselves.

  • When do I submit evidence?

    Don’t submit evidence until your case manager or CRT member asks you to.

    Learn more about evidence.

  • We reached an agreement about the dispute. What happens next?

    If both parties agree on a way to resolve the dispute, ask your case manager to help you write an agreement.

    For a $25 fee, the CRT can turn your agreement into an order, if both parties agree that an order should be issued. This is called a “consent resolution order”.

    A consent resolution order is enforceable through the courts, just like a court order.

Getting a decision

  • Who will make a decision about my dispute?

    If you can’t reach an agreement, an independent CRT member will decide your dispute.

    All CRT members are expert decision-makers and are appointed after an extensive merit-based competition process.

  • When will you assign a tribunal member to my dispute?

    Your dispute will be assigned to a CRT member within 3 days after the tribunal decision preparation process is finished.

  • What won’t the CRT order someone to do?

    Generally, the CRT won’t order a party to apologize.

    For strata property disputes, generally the CRT also won’t remove members from the strata council, interfere with a strata’s democratic process, or write bylaws for the strata.

  • When and where is the hearing for my dispute?

    CRT hearings are almost always done in writing.

    This means both parties upload their evidence online, and submit their side of the story in writing.

  • For the decision preparation process, why do I have to re-submit information about my dispute?

    Any discussions that happen during the negotiation and facilitation stages are confidential. That means the independent CRT member is not allowed to view them, and they can’t be used to make a final decision about your dispute.

    If you weren’t able to reach a settlement, you need to tell your story again from the beginning so the independent CRT member can make a final decision based only on the facts and evidence.

  • Where are you located, so I can drop off my evidence?

    You must submit your evidence online. Log in to your dispute and go to the “Evidence” tab.

    If you have trouble submitting your evidence online, contact us.

  • How do I upload my evidence?

    Log in to your dispute and go to the “Evidence” tab.

    If you have trouble submitting your evidence online, contact us.

  • When will I get my decision?

    Once your dispute is assigned to a CRT member, you will be given an approximate date of when your decision will be sent to you.

  • Will the decision and my name be made public?

    In most cases, yes. The Civil Resolution Tribunal Act requires that final decisions and orders must be posted to the CRT’s website, where they are available to the public.

    But if a party or witness is concerned that information in a final decision or order would be harmful to their privacy or security, they may request that this information be redacted or anonymized.

    Generally, if a decision involves a minor or similarly vulnerable person, the CRT will anonymize the decision or take other steps to protect the vulnerable person’s privacy.

After a settlement or decision

  • How do I collect the money I’m owed?

    It’s up to you to start enforcement proceedings for a CRT order. The CRT doesn’t enforce orders.

    Your next steps depend on what type of order you’re enforcing (small claims or strata), and the amount of any payment ordered. See How the Process Ends for details.

  • What if I don’t agree with the decision?

    If you don’t agree with a CRT decision, you have options.

    Strata Decisions:

    If your Dispute Notice was issued: You can:
    Before December 31, 2018 Ask the BC Supreme Court for permission (“leave”) to appeal the decision.
    After January 1, 2019 Ask the BC Supreme Court for judicial review of the decision.

     

    Small Claims Decisions:

    If your decision is a: You can:
    Merit decision File a Notice of Objection form with the CRT, then file a Notice of CRT Claim with the BC Provincial Court.
    Default decision If you’re a respondent and had a default decision made against you, you can ask the CRT to cancel the decision by filing a Request Cancellation of Decision form.

     

  • What if I have concerns about how my dispute was handled?

    The CRT is committed to resolving disputes in accordance with the Civil Resolution Tribunal Act, the CRT Rules, and our Code of Conduct.

    If you have a concern about the way a CRT employee or member handled your dispute, please contact us. Include details of your concerns about the professionalism of CRT staff, or why you feel a tribunal member didn’t follow the CRT Code of Conduct.

    The CRT will deal with your complaint as an opportunity for improvement.

    However, the CRT can’t change a decision based on the outcome of a complaint. If you don’t agree with the decision in your dispute, you have options, such as applying for a judicial review or filing a Notice of Objection.