Starting a Dispute
Things you may need to do before you apply
Minor injury determinations under the CRT’s motor vehicle injury jurisdiction — before applying, you must have received a decision from the insurer stating their position is that the injury is a minor injury under the Insurance (Vehicle) Act. Or you must have asked the insurer for this decision.
Strata disputes — before applying, you must request a hearing with your strata council. If you apply without first requesting a hearing, the CRT might refuse to resolve your dispute.
How to apply for CRT dispute resolution
1 Apply from the Solution Explorer
Use the Solution Explorer. It’s anonymous and free. Simply answer some questions about your dispute, and the Solution Explorer will properly classify your dispute and give you the correct application form.
If the CRT can resolve your type of dispute, at the end of your exploration you’ll get a Summary Report. Click the green “Apply” button to fill out your application for dispute resolution.
If you don’t have access to a computer to apply online, or prefer to apply by email, mail or fax, then download a paper form.
2 Pay the application fee
You can pay your application fee online, or by mailing a cheque or paying in person at a ServiceBC location.
We’re committed to access to justice for all British Columbians. If you can’t afford the application fee, you can ask the CRT for a fee waiver. You can request this at the end of your online application, or by submitting a paper form.
Learn more about CRT fees.
3 Get your Dispute Notice package
Once the CRT accepts your application and confirms the application fee has been paid, we’ll send you a Dispute Notice package.
It has the information you submitted about your dispute and your next steps.
4 (If required) Serve the Dispute Notice package to all parties
In most cases, the CRT will serve other parties with the Dispute Notice on your behalf.
In some situations, you’ll have to serve the Dispute Notice yourself. The CRT will let you know if you have to serve the other parties.
If so, you must serve a copy of the Dispute Notice and instructions for response to all parties in the dispute.
This must be done within a certain timeframe, and by certain delivery methods only. If you don’t follow these rules, the CRT may refuse to resolve your dispute.
For more information, see your Dispute Notice package.
5 (If required) Submit Proof of Service
If you are required to serve the Dispute Notice yourself, you must submit a Proof of Service form to prove that you served them and by what method.
You can submit this form online. Your Dispute Notice has the link and login details. Or you can submit the form by email, mail, or fax.
You must submit your Proof of Service form within 90 days of the day the Dispute Notice was issued. If you don’t, the CRT may dismiss your dispute.
6 Wait for the other parties to respond
After the other parties have been served, you’ll have to wait for them to respond.
We’ll send you a copy of their response when we receive it, or let you know if they don’t respond within the applicable timeframe.
If they do respond, we’ll let you know what the next steps are. This will depend on whether they agree with your claim, disagree with your claim, make a counterclaim against you, or make a claim against a third party.
If they don’t respond, you can apply for a default decision and order.
Can I hire a lawyer or have someone else help me with my application?
The CRT is designed to be used without being represented by a lawyer.
But you are welcome to have a helper. This helper can be a lawyer if you want, or a trusted friend or family member. Helpers can help you fill out paperwork and deal with the CRT. However, a helper can’t speak on your behalf.
For Strata and Small Claims disputes, if you need someone to speak on your behalf, and you aren’t a minor or someone with impaired mental capacity, you can ask the CRT for permission to have a representative. Our online application form guides you through this.
For disputes under our motor vehicle injury jurisdiction, you’re allowed to be represented by a lawyer. If you want someone else to represent you, you must ask the CRT for permission. Our online application form guides you through this.
Learn more about helpers and representation.
How do I name parties in my application for dispute resolution?
Sometimes it can be complicated to name the other parties, especially if you are dealing with a strata corporation or a business.
The online application form and CRT staff can help you figure out how to name the other parties properly. This is important, because if you want to enforce a decision against them, you’ll need to have named them properly. This includes making sure you’ve spelled their legal name correctly.
Learn more about identifying parties.
Do I need to start my claim within a certain time period?
Any legal claim that can go to a court or a tribunal almost always has to be started within a set period of time. After this time runs out, a court or tribunal can refuse to consider your claim, no matter how strong your case would have been.
The time limit is called a limitation period. It’s like a countdown that only stops once a case is started with the CRT or a court.
Learn more about limitation periods.
Can the CRT refuse my application?
The CRT may refuse to issue a Dispute Notice if you do not provide the requested information or payment by the requested date.
The CRT may also refuse to issue a Dispute Notice if the claim is not in CRT jurisdiction, or the limitation period has expired.
If the CRT refuses to issue a Dispute Notice, you may re-apply in the future.