On October 4, 2004, the BC Government introduced Bill 64, the Justice Modernization Statutes Amendment Act. The proposed legislation amends the Small Claims Act to increase the monetary jurisdiction of the Provincial Small Claims Court for claims up to $50,000. Presently, the Small Claims Court jurisdiction is limited to claims for $10,000 or less. In addition, Bill 64 allows the Crown to be sued in Provincial Small Claims Court.
Small Claims Courts procedures are designed to be “user friendly”. As a result, pursuing a claim in Small Claims Court has several advantages for claimants: claims are processed relatively quickly, are less costly and are easier for individuals to pursue without legal representation.
The legislation will also amend the Court Rules Act to allow for special rules promoting the expeditious and efficient conduct of cases under $100,000 in the Supreme Court.
Bill 64 is at the first reading stage. The Government has not indicated when the legislation may become law.