General Rules and Glossary
About the CRT generally
These rules provide an introduction to the CRT rules as well as rules about format and interpretation of the rules, participation during the CRT process, CRT fees and forms, and the CRT process and procedures.
Purpose of these Rules
1) These rules are meant to help the tribunal and parties resolve disputes through the tribunal.
2) These rules must be applied in a way that
a) takes reasonable steps to recognize and address the needs of tribunal participants,
b) is appropriate in the circumstances of each dispute, including consideration of fairness and proportionality,
c) recognizes any relationships between parties to a dispute that will likely continue after the tribunal proceeding is concluded,
d) facilitates speedy, accessible, inexpensive, informal and flexible processes,
e) encourages early and collaborative dispute resolution,
f) makes reasonable accommodations for the diverse circumstances of persons using the tribunal,
g) recognizes the value of certainty and finality in the resolution of disputes and compliance with outcomes, and
h) promotes understanding of the dispute resolution processes for the tribunal’s participants and for the public in general.
Format and Interpretation of the Rules
3) These rules place high importance on fairness and access to justice and are written to be brief and understandable.
4) In exceptional circumstances, the tribunal can waive the application of a rule or timeline to facilitate the fair, affordable, and efficient resolution of disputes.
5) In calculating time under these rules, all references to days are counted as calendar days.
6) All parties in a dispute being resolved by the tribunal must
a) make themselves available to participate in the dispute resolution process,
b) behave and communicate in a respectful manner, and
c) follow the directions provided by tribunal members and facilitators.
7) If an application for dispute resolution is made by multiple applicants, those applicants must nominate one applicant to be the primary applicant to
a) start the dispute resolution process, and
b) serve as the contact person for the multiple applicants.
8) No person is allowed to record a facilitation discussion or tribunal decision process without permission from the tribunal.
9) The official versions of the tribunal’s forms are the
a) electronic versions posted on the tribunal’s website, and
b) paper versions authorized by the tribunal.
10) The tribunal’s forms must be used in accordance with these rules and the instructions on the forms.
11) If a tribunal form or rule indicates a fee is required in order to take a step, the fee shown in the CRT Fees must be paid before the step will be completed.
12) A person who cannot afford to pay a fee can ask the tribunal to waive payment of fees by
a) completing the steps required by the Fee Waiver Request Form, and
b) providing any other information requested by the tribunal.
13) In deciding a request to waive the payment of fees, the tribunal will consider the person’s ability to pay, based on the information about that person’s financial situation.
14) If the tribunal decides that a person should not have qualified for a fee waiver, the tribunal may order that person to pay the fees.
Information and Evidence
15) The tribunal can impose restrictions on the format, size, or amount of information and evidence submitted or exchanged during the dispute resolution process.
16) If information or evidence submitted is not in an acceptable format or quality to support a fair and appropriate dispute resolution process, the tribunal can require the person who submitted the information or evidence to resubmit it in a different format.
17) Parties must only submit original documents and physical evidence when they are directed or ordered to do so.
Communications and Party Contact Information
18) Every party or representative of a party must provide
a) an email address or the reasons why that party or representative cannot provide an email address,
b) a mailing address, and
c) a telephone number.
19) The tribunal will send communications by email unless it is satisfied that the party is unable to use email.
Monitoring and Use of Addresses for Tribunal Communications
21) Every party or representative of a party must
a) take the steps necessary to avoid disclosure of or inappropriate access to or use of their addresses for tribunal communications by people other than the party or the party’s representatives,
b) closely monitor and use their addresses for tribunal communications until the dispute is fully resolved, and
c) notify the tribunal immediately in the event of any change to their addresses for tribunal communications.
22) At any time during the dispute resolution process, the tribunal can require a party or representative to use one or more communication types other than the ones selected by that party or representative.
Timing of Communications
23) Electronic information and communications are considered received 24 hours after they are sent, unless the electronic communication is made to provide a Dispute Notice to someone.
24) Information and communications sent by ordinary mail are considered received at noon on the 10th day after they are postmarked.
25) Information and communications sent by registered mail and courier delivery requiring a signature are considered received at the time shown on the delivery receipt.
26) Information and communications sent by fax are considered received on the date and time noted on the fax confirmation sheet.
Confidentiality of Settlement Discussions
27) Discussions, negotiations and other communications made for the purpose of attempting to settle claims by agreement in the tribunal process, including information exchanged as part of those communications, are confidential and must not be disclosed during the tribunal decision process or in any court proceeding or other legally binding process unless
a) the parties agree that they can be disclosed,
b) the parties are required by a court or tribunal to disclose them,
c) it is evidence or information exchanged during settlement discussions that would ordinarily be disclosed or produced in a tribunal decision process, court proceeding or other legally binding process, or
d) the content of those communications or information is abusive, or includes threats of bodily harm made during or in connection with negotiation or settlement processes.
Translation and Interpretation for People who need help Communicating
28) A party can ask a family member, friend, or other person to provide support and assistance by translating written communications and interpreting spoken communications if
a) that party has difficulty understanding or communicating in the English language, or
b) the ability of that party to communicate is limited for another reason.
29) A person must not provide translation or interpretation support or assistance for any party to that dispute if
a) the person will be named as a witness by a party to a dispute, or
b) the person has a direct interest in the outcome of a claim in the dispute.
30) At any time during the dispute resolution process, a facilitator or tribunal member can
a) restrict the participation of a person providing support and assistance in the dispute resolution process, and
b) direct any party to take further steps in relation to translation or interpretation of communications.
31) The tribunal can decide which party must bear the costs of translation or interpretation.
Representation of Parties in the Tribunal Process
32) A child who is under 19 years old, or a person with impaired mental capacity
a) must participate in the tribunal process through a litigation guardian, and
b) is not required to request permission from the tribunal to be represented.
33) A litigation guardian acting for a child or a person with impaired mental capacity must provide a signed declaration to the tribunal stating that the litigation guardian
a) has the proper authority to act for that child or person with impaired mental capacity, and
b) has no interest in the dispute adverse to the child or incapable adult.
34) If an application for dispute resolution involves a personal injury, a child or person with impaired mental capacity must also be represented by a lawyer or a person supervised by a lawyer unless the litigation guardian is the Public Guardian and Trustee.
35) At any time, a party can ask for permission to be represented in a dispute by providing information requested by the tribunal.
36) In considering a request for permission to be represented, a tribunal employee or member may consider whether
a) any other party in the dispute is represented and if so, whether that representative is a lawyer or other person supervised by a lawyer,
b) every party in the dispute has agreed to representation,
c) the person proposed as the representative is appropriate, and
d) in the interests of justice and fairness, the party should be permitted to be represented.
37) A refusal of a request for permission to be represented must be made by a tribunal member or staff, as delegated by the Chair.
38) If a party is represented, the representative can be
a) a practicing lawyer or a person supervised by a lawyer in B.C.,
b) a spouse, a relative, or a friend who has agreed to act as a representative, or
c) another person proposed by the party and permitted by the tribunal.
39) A party who is represented must be present, or otherwise fully informed and providing direct input, during facilitation, unless the facilitator excuses the party from doing so.
40) A party that is a corporation, partnership or other form of organization must act through one of the following:
a) if the party is a strata corporation, by an authorized member of the strata council;
b) if the party is an incorporated entity, by a director, officer or authorized employee;
c) if the party is a partnership, by a partner or authorized employee; or
d) if the party is an unincorporated entity using a business name, by the owner of the business or any authorized employee.
41) An insurer who is providing coverage to pay damages in a dispute can request to be added as a party to the dispute.
42) An insurer who is a party in a dispute must act through
a) a director or authorized employee of the insurer, or
b) another person permitted by a tribunal employee or member to represent the insurer.
43) A person acting for or representing a corporation, partnership or other form of organization must have the authority to bind the party at all stages of the tribunal dispute resolution process.
44) A facilitator or tribunal member can extend or shorten any timeline for any step or phase of the dispute resolution process.
45) The tribunal can pause the dispute resolution process and resume it at a future date.
Some terms from the Civil Resolution Tribunal Act have been simplified in these rules. The following glossary is intended to be used for convenience and reference only.
- “Case manager” in the Act is the same as “facilitator” in the rules.
- “Case management” in the Act is the same as “facilitation” in the rules.
- “Civil Resolution Tribunal Act” in the Act is the same as “the Act” in the rules.
- “Initiating notice” in the Act is the same as “Dispute Notice” in the rules.
- “Initiating party” in the Act is the same as “applicant” in the rules.
- “Request for tribunal resolution” in the Act is the same as “Dispute Application” in the rules.
- “Responding party” in the Act is the same as “respondent” in the rules.
- “Serve” in the Act is the same as “provide notice” in the rules.
- “Hearing” in the Act is the same as “tribunal decision process” in the rules.