What happens if you are named as a respondent in a Dispute Notice?

When you receive a Dispute Notice, you need to respond to it. The response is your chance to explain your side of the dispute.

You can submit your response online, or send us a paper form.

It’s important to submit a response within the time frame set out on the Dispute Notice. If you don’t respond, the dispute won’t just go away. The dispute will proceed without you, and you may have a default order entered against you. This can be enforced like a court order.

How to Respond to a Dispute

  • 1 RECEIVE DISPUTE NOTICE PACKAGE

    If you are a respondent in a CRT dispute, an applicant will provide you with a Dispute Notice package.

  • 2 Submit your response

    Follow the instructions in the Dispute Notice package. Make sure you follow the timelines set out on the response form, and that you send the completed response form to the CRT.

    It’s important to respond to a dispute that is made against you. If you don’t respond, then the dispute will proceed without you and you may have a default order entered against you.

  • 3 (OPTIONAL) MAKE A THIRD PARTY CLAIM OR COUNTERCLAIM

    To make a counterclaim against the applicant, you will need to fill out the appropriate form and pay the required fee. If you think a third party is responsible for the claim, you will need to fill out the appropriate form and pay the required fee.

    To make a third party claim, you’ll have to follow the rules for providing notice that are under the section on Starting a Dispute. Be aware that the timelines for providing notice is shorter for third party claims.

  • 4 YOUR CASE MANAGER WILL CONTACT YOU TO START NEGOTIATION

    After you submit your Response form, the CRT will provide a copy of your Response to the applicant. Your dispute will then be assigned to a case manager. They will contact you to start the Negotiation phase of the dispute.

FAQ

  • Why did I receive a CRT Dispute Notice?

    If you received a CRT Dispute Notice, it’s usually because you are named as a respondent in a CRT dispute.

  • Why have I been named as a respondent in a CRT dispute?

    If you are named as a respondent in a CRT dispute, it means:

    • Someone has applied to the CRT for dispute resolution of one or more claims. That person is the applicant.
    • The applicant thinks you are responsible for at least one of the claims. That’s why they named you as a respondent.

    The CRT process is designed to encourage applicants and respondents to resolve disputes by agreement. That means you will have the chance to agree on an outcome for each claim in the dispute.

    If you don’t resolve the whole dispute by agreement, any unresolved claims can go through the Tribunal Decision Process. In this process, a CRT member resolves the claim by a binding decision. The member can also make orders to give effect to the decision. The orders can be enforced just like a court order.

  • How much time do I have to respond?

    The response deadline is shown in the Dispute Notice you received.

    Timing is very important. If you don’t complete these steps by the deadline for your response, the CRT process can continue without your input. The Tribunal can make an order against you, known as a default order.

    If you need more time to submit your response, you can request a time extension online (or by submitting a paper form).

  • What if I don’t want to do anything about being a respondent?

    If you don’t participate in the dispute resolution process, the CRT can still resolve the dispute. The Tribunal will rely on the information provided by the applicant and any other respondents to make a decision. This is known as a default order.

    This order can be enforced against you as a court order, even if you didn’t participate in the CRT process.

  • If there is more than one respondent, can they pay the fees and money for any claim instead of me?

    No. Every respondent named in a CRT dispute has to pay the response fee (currently waived if you submit your response online) and respond to any claims made against them in the dispute.

    Failure to do either of these things could result in a default order against a respondent.

  • What if I think somebody else is responsible for the claim the applicant made against me (third party claim)?

    If you think another person is responsible for the claim the applicant made against you, you can make a claim against them too.

    For example: Lee is named as a respondent in a dispute. The applicant claimed that Lee knocked over a fence. Lee’s car did collide with the fence. But Lee had some mechanical work done to the car’s brakes the day before the collision. Lee claims the brakes didn’t work properly after the mechanical work and is making a claim against the mechanic who did the work.

    You basically start one or more claims against this other person and ask the CRT to join the disputes together to be resolved at the same time. You can make the claim by following these steps:

    • Submit your response online (or by paper form).
    • You can start a counterclaim or third party claim right from your online response form. (If using a paper form, mark the option to add claims to the dispute, and then follow the regular application process and pay the fee. In your application, ask the CRT to join the new dispute to the one you responded to.)
    • Provide a copy of the new Dispute Notice to every respondent you named in your counterclaim or third party claim.
  • I don’t want the CRT to resolve my strata dispute. What is the exemption process?

    If you don’t want the CRT to resolve your strata property dispute, you can try to have it moved to the Supreme Court of BC. There are two ways to try this.

    1. You can ask the Civil Resolution Tribunal to decide not to resolve your dispute. You can send an email to the CRT asking it to decide not to resolve your dispute. Your email also needs to explain the reasons for your request. If an application has already been filed with the CRT, make sure to include your dispute number. Section 11 of the Civil Resolution Tribunal Act (CRT Act), says the CRT may decide not to resolve your dispute for any of the following reasons:
      • The dispute has been resolved through a legally binding process.
      • The request for resolution does not disclose a reasonable claim or is an abuse of process.
      • Issues in the claim or dispute are too complex or impractical for the Tribunal to resolve.
      • The claim may involve a constitutional question or the Human Rights Code.
      • The CRT is satisfied that the Supreme Court would grant an order that the Tribunal not resolve the claim or dispute. (For more information on this, see below.)

      The CRT’s decision about whether to resolve your dispute is discretionary. That means it’s up to the CRT to decide whether to allow your request.

    1. You can also make an application to the BC Supreme Court. You can apply for an order that the CRT not resolve your strata property dispute. Section 16.2 of the CRT Act says the court may order that the CRT not resolve a strata property dispute for any of the following reasons:
      • The Tribunal does not have jurisdiction to resolve the claim.
      • It is not in the interests of justice and fairness for the Tribunal to resolve the claim.

      When deciding whether it is in the interests of justice and fairness for the CRT to resolve a claim, the court may consider whether:

      • The use of electronic tools in the CRT process would be unfair to one or more parties in a way that the CRT cannot accommodate.
      • An issue raised by the claim or dispute is important enough for the Supreme Court to make a precedent-setting decision.
      • The claim involves the constitution or the Human Rights Code.
      • Whether the dispute is sufficiently complex to benefit from being resolved by the Supreme Court.
      • All the parties in the dispute agree that it should be resolved by the Supreme Court.
      • The dispute should be heard together with another dispute being heard by the Supreme Court.

      For more information about making a Supreme Court of BC application, see the Supreme Court of BC Online Help Guide.

  • I don’t want the CRT to resolve my small claims dispute. What is the exemption process?

    If you don’t want the CRT to resolve your small claims dispute, you can try to have it moved to the BC Provincial Court. There are two ways to try this.

    1. You can ask the Civil Resolution Tribunal to decide not to resolve your dispute. You can send an email to the CRT asking it to decide not to resolve your dispute. Your email also needs to explain the reasons for your request. If an application for dispute resolution has already been filed with the CRT, make sure to include your dispute number. Section 11 of the Civil Resolution Tribunal Act (CRT Act), says the CRT may decide not to resolve your dispute for any of the following reasons:
    • The dispute has been resolved through a legally binding process.
    • The request for resolution does not disclose a reasonable claim or is an abuse of process.
    • Issues in the claim or dispute are too complex or impractical for the Tribunal to resolve.
    • The claim may involve a constitutional question or the Human Rights Code.
    • The CRT is satisfied that the BC Provincial Court would grant an order that the Tribunal not resolve the claim or dispute. (For more information on this, see below.)

    The CRT’s decision about whether to resolve your dispute is discretionary. That means it’s up to the CRT to decide whether to allow your request.

    1. You can also make an application to the BC Provincial Court. You can apply for an order that the CRT not resolve your small claims dispute. Section 16.2 of the CRT Act says the court may order that the CRT not resolve a small claims property dispute for any of the following reasons:
    • The Tribunal does not have jurisdiction to resolve the claim.
    • It is not in the interests of justice and fairness for the Tribunal to resolve the claim.

    When deciding whether it is in the interests of justice and fairness for the CRT to resolve a claim, the court may consider the factors set out in section 16.2 of the CRT Act. These include whether:

    • The use of electronic tools in the CRT process would be unfair to one or more parties in a way that the CRT cannot accommodate.
    • All the parties in the dispute agree that it should be resolved by the BC Provincial Court.
    • The claim should be heard together with a dispute currently before the court.

    There are more factors set out in section 16.2 of the CRT Act.

    An application for an exemption from the BC Provincial Court can only be made after an application for dispute resolution has been filed with the CRT. The application for an exemption must be made within 14 days of filing a CRT response. For more information about making a BC Provincial Court application, see the BC Provincial Court website.