The B.C. Provincial Court or “Small Claims Court” strives to serve the public by providing a system of justice that is accessible to all, regardless of whether they’ve hired a lawyer. If you intend to represent yourself, be aware of important deadlines for Small Claims matters.

What is the deadline to file a Reply?

Once you’ve been served with a Notice of Claim, under Small Claims Rule 3(4), a Reply must be filed at the court Registry in which the Notice of Claim was filed:

  1. within 14 days after service if the defendant was served in British Columbia or within 30 days after service if the defendant was served outside British Columbia; and
  2. before the registrar has made a default order or set a date for a default hearing.

Is it possible to obtain an extension to file a Reply beyond the deadline?

In certain circumstances, you may be able to obtain an extension for filing the Reply by contacting opposing counsel and seeking their consent for late filing.

If you rush to meet the filing deadline and inadvertently omit information, Small Claims Rule 8(1) allows you to amend your filed Reply without permission from the Court at any time before the Settlement Conference begins or, if a Settlement Conference will not be held, at any time before the trial or trial conference (see Small Claims Rule 8(1) for further details). At any time after that, you will need the permission of the Court to amend your filed Reply.

In all instances, every effort should be made to comply with the applicable filing deadline set out in Small Claims Rule 3(4).

What happens after I file a Reply?

After a Defendant has filed their Reply, the Registry must serve a copy of the filed Reply on all other parties. Once this is done, the Registry will schedule a Settlement Conference, which typically takes place a few months after all parties have filed their Reply. All parties of record will receive a Notice of Settlement Conference indicating the date/time of the proceeding. As of May 2023, Settlement Conferences are conducted by way of video call (i.e. Microsoft Teams).

Prior to the scheduled date for the Settlement Conference, all parties must submit their respective document packages (not exceeding 20 pages in length) to the Registry within 14 days of the Settlement Conference. Within 7 days of the Settlement Conference, the document package must also be served on the other parties of record.

For more information about the Settlement Conference, please click here.

NOTE: The information contained on this website is for information purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice. Please contact our litigation department at 604-635-3000 to discuss any legal issues you may have.