Legal Alert: N.B. Reinstates Small Claims Court Effective January 1, 2013
December 21, 2012
In 2010, N.B.’s government abolished its Small Claims Court, which provided people with a simplified process to have “adjudicators”, rather than judges, adjudicate claims of up to $6,000. The government created Rules 79 and 80, two “expedited” court processes that saw Court of Queen’s Bench judges deal with claims of in excess of $30,000 and up to $75,000 and not exceeding $30,000 respectively.
The current N.B. government has enacted a regulation effective on January 1, 2013 to reinstate a Small Claims Court in N.B. Although the regulation does not expressly state that the new Small Claims Court will also be effective on January 1, 2013, it is a good likelihood it will be. Therefore it appears that effective January 1, 2013:
- N.B. will once again have a Small Claims Court providing people the option of having “adjudicators”, rather than judges, adjudicate claims not exceeding $12,500 under a simplified process;
- Rule 80, the expedited process established to handle claims of not exceeding $30,000 will be repealed, and no longer available for claims filed after December 31, 2012; and
- Rule 79 will remain in force in its current form.
Click here to read the N.B. Regulation that will bring the new Small Claims Court Act into effect.
Click here to read N.B.’s new Small Claims Act effective January 1, 2013.
If you have a claim not exceeding $12,500, and the legal deadline for filing it is after January 1, 2013, and you wish to take advantage of the new Small Claims Act, you may wish to file it after January 1, 2013; note that the new Small Claims Act will not have the effect of extending any legal deadline for filing your claim. If you have a claim greater than $12,500 but not exceeding $30,000, and you wish to take advantage of Rule 80, you should file your claim by December 31, 2012; otherwise, you will have to bring the claim under Rule 79.
Click here to read McInnes Cooper’s full analysis of this legislative change.
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