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 for free, or send us a paper form. There is a fee for responding by email, mail, or fax.

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, the CRT or an applicant will serve you with an official Dispute Notice and instructions for response.

  • 2 Submit your response

    Follow the instructions for response. Make sure you follow the timelines set out in the instructions, and that you send the completed response form to the CRT (or respond online for free).

    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 serve the third party with the Dispute Notice and instructions for response. There are strict timelines for service of third party disputes.

  • 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.

    For most disputes, your dispute will then enter the negotiation phase of the dispute resolution process. The exception is minor injury determinations in motor vehicle injury disputes, which will go straight to a CRT decision.

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, an independent CRT member makes a decision about the dispute. The order 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 and instructions for response 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 CRT can make an order against you (this is 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 participate in the CRT process?

    If you don’t participate in the dispute resolution process, the CRT can still resolve the dispute.

    The CRT will rely on the information provided by the applicant and any other respondents to make a decision without your input. This is known as a default order.

    This order can be enforced against you like 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 a response fee (though it’s free if you submit your response online) and respond to any claims made against them in the dispute.

    Failure to respond 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.

    In this scenario, the mechanic would be the third party. To make a third party claim, Lee would start one or more claims against the mechanic. Lee would also ask the CRT to join the disputes together to be resolved at the same time. To make a third party claim:

    • Submit your response online (or by paper form).
    • Start a counterclaim or third party claim right from your online response form (or submit a paper form).
    • Serve the new Dispute Notice and instructions for response to every respondent you named in your counterclaim or third party claim.
  • I don't want the CRT to resolve my motor vehicle injury dispute. What is the exemption process?

    The CRT has exclusive jurisdiction over some types of motor vehicle injury disputes. These are accident benefit claims and minor injury determinations. The CRT is the only place that can resolve your dispute for these types of claims.

    If you don’t want the CRT to resolve your motor vehicle injury dispute for liability or damages, you can try to have it moved to the BC Provincial Court or to the BC Supreme Court. There are two main ways to try this.

    If you believe the dispute will likely result in an award beyond the CRT’s monetary jurisdiction for motor vehicle accident and injury claims of $50,000, you can ask the CRT to determine whether your award will likely exceed its jurisdiction. Contact the CRT to explain your request. If an application has already been filed with the CRT, make sure to include your dispute number.

    You can also make an application to the BC Supreme Court. You can apply for an order that the CRT not resolve your motor vehicle injury dispute. Section 16.2 of the CRT Act says the court may order that the CRT not resolve a dispute for any of the following reasons:

    • The CRT does not have jurisdiction to resolve the claim.
    • It is not in the interests of justice and fairness for the CRT 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 16.3 of the CRT Act, which 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.
    • An issue raised by the claim or dispute is important enough for the 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 court.
    • All the parties in the dispute agree that it should be resolved by the court.
    • The dispute should be heard together with another dispute being heard by the 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 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. 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 CRT 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 CRT not resolve the claim or dispute. (See below for more information.)

      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 CRT does not have jurisdiction to resolve the claim.
      • It is not in the interests of justice and fairness for the CRT 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 CRT 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 CRT not resolve the claim or dispute. (See below for more information.)

    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 CRT does not have jurisdiction to resolve the claim.
    • It is not in the interests of justice and fairness for the CRT 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.