It can be difficult in the service industry to ensure you’re paid in a timely manner — especially if the client you’re dealing with is irresponsible or unresponsive. Don’t despair; turn to a new resource that might be your greatest asset in the fight to get paid.
The Civil Resolution Tribunal is an arm’s length government association, staffed by lawyers, who are there to try to help lighten the load on BC Small Claims Court. They were created to assist with tenancy disputes, however, they can also be used to settle any claims under $5000.
The Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) is Canada’s first online tribunal for resolving strata and small claims disputes. On July 13, 2016, the CRT began accepting strata property disputes. As of June 1, 2017, the CRT started accepting small claims disputes up to $5,000.
For a $100 filing fee, the CRT offers new ways to resolve disputes and legal issues in a timely and cost-effective manner.
They claim to:
- encourage a collaborative, problem-solving approach to dispute resolution, rather than the traditional courtroom model.
- aim to provide timely access to justice. It does this by providing legal information, self-help tools, and dispute resolution services to help solve problems, as early as possible.
- be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from a computer or mobile device that has an internet connection. Your interaction with the other participant(s) and/or the CRT can be done when it is convenient.
- CRT services are also available by phone.
Direct and active participation will help you reach a resolution with the other participant(s). The CRT will only make a decision for you only if you and the other participants can’t agree on your own solution (which is the case if they are unresponsive). If one party does not participate, they can make a default ruling for the other party which is enforced by the courts, so it is in your client’s best interest to respond to their letter of complaint. If a complaint is filed, they must respond on behalf of the claimant. This could be the fastest way to collect on money owed to you, if under $5000.