What is a Dispute Notice, and how do I serve it?

If the CRT accepts your application for dispute resolution, it will issue a Dispute Notice.

Usually, the CRT will serve the Dispute Notice and instructions for response on all respondents. In certain circumstances, the CRT will let you know that you have to serve the respondents. If this happens, you must serve the Dispute Notice package on every respondent in the dispute within 90 days from the day the Dispute Notice was issued.  If you don’t serve the respondents within 90 days, the CRT may dismiss your dispute.

For motor vehicle injury disputes, the CRT will serve the Dispute Notice on ICBC or other insurer. ICBC or the insurer will notify the CRT if it won’t accept service on behalf of any of the respondents. If this happens, the CRT may notify you that you need to serve the respondents yourself.

If the CRT tells you that you need to serve the Dispute Notice and instructions for response, you need to take 4 steps to serve to the respondent(s):

  • 1 Review the Dispute Notice provided by the CRT

    If the CRT accepts your application for dispute resolution, it will send you a Dispute Notice and instructions for response. Here’s what a sample Dispute Notice looks like.

    Review it to make sure the parties are correct. Make sure to check the names and addresses carefully. Report any errors to the CRT immediately.

  • 2 Identify the type of respondent you're serving

    The methods for serving a Dispute Notice and instructions for response will depend on the type of respondent. You have to identify the type of respondent and serve the Dispute Notice and instructions for response properly according to the CRT Rules.

    Person or Sole Proprietor

    • Email
    • Registered mail or courier delivery requiring signature
    • Delivery in person

    Adult with Impaired Mental Capacity

    • Email
    • Registered mail or courier delivery requiring signature
    • Delivery in person

    The Dispute Notice package must be provided to the adult or the person with whom the adult normally lives and to the adult’s committee of estate, representative appointed under a representation agreement or attorney appointed in an enduring power of attorney. The Dispute Notice package must also be provided to the Public Guardian and Trustee.


    Child

    • Email
    • Registered mail or courier delivery requiring signature
    • Delivery in person

    The Dispute Notice package must be provided to the child’s parent or guardian unless the tribunal orders otherwise.


    Strata Corporation

    • Registered mail or courier delivery requiring a signature or delivery in person to the most recent address in the Land Title Office
    • Delivery in person to a strata council member

    Company as defined by the Business Corporations Act

    • Registered mail or courier delivery requiring a signature or delivery in person to the address shown for the registered office with the Registrar of Companies
    • Delivery in person to the place of business of the company, to a receptionist or a person who appears to manage or control the company’s business there
    • Delivery in person to a director, officer, liquidator, trustee in bankruptcy or receiver manager of the company

    Extraprovincial Company as defined by the Business Corporations Act

    • Registered mail or courier delivery requiring a signature or delivery in person to the address shown for the head office in the office of the Registrar of Companies if that head office is in BC
    • Registered mail or delivery in person to the address shown in the office of the Registrar of Companies for any attorney appointed for the extraprovincial company
    • Delivery in person to the place of business of the extraprovincial company, to a receptionist or a person who appears to manage or control the company’s business there
    • Delivery in person to a director, officer, liquidator, trustee in bankruptcy or receiver manager of the extraprovincial company

    Society incorporated under the Society Act, or Co-operative association incorporated under the Co-operative Association Act

    • Registered mail or courier delivery requiring a signature or delivery in person to the address for service with the BC Corporate Registry
    • Delivery in person to a director, officer, receiver manager or liquidator of the society or co-operative association

    Partnership

    • Registered mail or courier delivery requiring signature, or delivery in person to a partner
    • Delivery in person to the partnership’s place of business, to a receptionist or to a person who appears to manage or control the partnership’s business there.

    Trade union, municipality, extraprovincial society, unincorporated association, party outside Canada

    • Complete a Request for Directions on How to Provide Notice Form and provide it to the Tribunal, and completing the steps and following the directions provided by the tribunal

    Municipality in BC

    • Registered mail or courier delivery requiring a signature to the clerk, deputy clerk, or similar official
    • Delivery in person

    ICBC or other insurer

    The tribunal will serve ICBC or other insurer using email for motor vehicle injury claims and small claims disputes involving a motor vehicle accident.

    ICBC or the insurer will contact the CRT within 7 days of being served, if it is not accepting service on behalf of any of the respondents. If this happens, the CRT will notify you that you have to serve the respondent yourself.

  • 3 Serve the Dispute Notice and instructions for response on each respondent

    The methods for serving a Dispute Notice and instructions for response depend on the type of respondent. The applicant has to identify the type of respondent and serve the Dispute Notice package properly according to the CRT Rules.

    Once you have identified the type of respondent, you can decide on a method for service:

    Email
    Send the Dispute Notice package to the respondent’s email address.

    The respondent must send you a reply confirming receipt, or the CRT will not accept the email as service. Keep both of these emails.

    If you don’t receive a reply from the respondent confirming receipt of the Dispute Notice package, you must use another method.


    Registered mail

    Send the Dispute Notice package by registered mail to the respondent’s address.

    Use the Canada Post registered mail service, not XpressPost.

    Make sure you keep the Canada Post tracking number provided when sending it by registered mail. You need to give the tracking number to the CRT when you confirm you served the Dispute Notice to the respondent.


    Delivery in person
    Leave the Dispute Notice package with the respondent.

    Don’t try to hide it inside of something. The respondent has to be able to see that it’s a Dispute Notice package.


    Courier
    Send the Dispute Notice package by courier to the respondent’s address.

    The courier must get a signature from someone at the respondent’s address. Keep the delivery confirmation information.


    Examples of providing notice:

    1. An applicant has to serve a Dispute Notice package to a person. The applicant sends it by email to the respondent. The respondent confirms receipt by reply before the deadline.
    2. An applicant has to serve a Dispute Notice package to a person. The applicant sends it by email the respondent. The respondent does not confirm receipt by email before the deadline. The applicant then decides to send the Dispute Notice package by registered mail. After the applicant sends the Dispute Notice package by registered mail, she receives a delivery confirmation from Canada Post.
    3. An applicant has to serve a Dispute Notice package to a strata corporation. The applicant delivers a copy of the Dispute Notice package in person to a strata council member.
    4. An applicant has to serve a Dispute Notice package to a BC company. The applicant decides to send it by registered mail. The applicant gets the address for the registered office for the company from the Registrar of Companies. The applicant then mails the Dispute Notice package to that address.

  • 4 Complete the Proof of Service form

    After you serve the Dispute Notice and instructions for response on the respondent, complete the Proof of Service form.

    This can be done online by logging in to your dispute, or submitting a paper form.

    You must submit the Proof of Service form to the CRT within 90 days of the day the Dispute Notice was issued.

Next Steps

  • I served a respondent. What happens if they don’t respond?

    You’ll have to prove that you followed the instructions for serving the other party, and that you submitted the Proof of Service form to the CRT. (Log in to your dispute to submit your Proof of Service online.)

    If the CRT agrees that you properly served the respondent(s), a CRT member can issue a Default Order. This means the dispute resolution process will continue without input from the party that didn’t respond.