Small claims court cases can now be resolved online

As of June 1, any claim under $5,000 will be heard and dealt with in an online tribunal. (Photo: The Canadian Press)
As of June 1, any claim under $5,000 will be heard and dealt with in an online tribunal. (Photo: The Canadian Press)

As with so much of our daily life these days, Canadians live much of that life online. We shop, bank, order food, listen to music and watch video online. Now, if you live in British Columbia, you can attempt to resolve a dispute destined for a small claims court online.

As of June 1, any claim under $5,000 will be heard and dealt with in an online tribunal. B.C. residents who can’t go online will be able to access the tribunal via phone or mail.

Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton said that the new technology is the first online tribunal in the world that integrates into the existing provincial justice system. "The world is watching because everyone is really interested in what we're doing," she said. "We're a leader in justice innovation."

By diverting lower limit monetary claims to the online tribunal, the ministry said the province’s overloaded justice system will get some breathing room.

"It's extremely helpful access to justice for British Columbians," Anton said. "You don't have to go down to court ... You can think about your claim after work. You can work at it at your convenience."

Last spring, B.C.’s innovative justice system completed another world first by holding a live town hall on Twitter.
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