How are cases referred to mediation?
In designated Registries other than Robson Square, cases up to $10,000 are referred to mediation under Small Claims Rule 7.2 when they fall within designated categories.
Parties may also volunteer their cases to our Program for mediation. For more information on this option, see Rule 7.2 (2) (c).
Cases in Robson Square are referred to mediation under Rule 7.4 as a part of the Robson Square Pilot Project
Who mediates the cases?
Our Program has a pool of qualified mediators, called Small Claims Mediators (SCMs). They have received professional training in resolving small claims matters. For more information, please see Small Claims Mediators.
What exactly happens in a mediation session?
The mediator and the parties will sit around a table in a private room to talk about the dispute. Parties are given the chance to raise issues and express their views. The mediator will be there as a neutral party who will keep the discussion balanced and help the parties to focus on possible solutions.
The mediator will not force the parties to reach a settlement. It is the parties who make the decision to settle the case. Any agreement reached in a mediation session must be agreed upon by all parties.
I cannot make it to my mediation date. What do I do?
One option you may wish to consider is to attend by telephone. You may apply to attend by telephone to the Small Claims registry where your case was filed.
If you need to change the mediation date, it is possible to apply to the court for an adjournment (please see Rule 7.2 (11) and Rule 7.4 (18).
What if we reach a settlement?
When a settlement is reached, the mediator will record the terms of the parties' agreement in a Mediation Agreement, which is then signed by the parties. The Mediation Agreement may be filed with the Court and each party will receive a copy. The Mediation Agreement will have enforcement clauses which allow for a party to enforce the Agreement in court should the other party fail to fulfill their obligations under the Agreement.
What if we don’t reach a settlement?
When a case does not settle in the mediation, it is referred back to the Small Claims registry to schedule a trial conference in Robson Square or a trial preparation settlement conference in the Rule 7.2 mediation registries. You will receive a notice from the registry with the date for your next appearance.
What happens if I don’t attend the mediation session?
The mediator is required to fill out a Verification of Non-Attendance Form and to give it to the party(ies) who attended.
A claimant may file a Verification of Non-Attendance with the registry and make a request for a default judgment.
A defendant may file a Verification of Non-Attendance with the registry and make a request that the claim be dismissed.