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BC Court rules on appropriate use of Fast Track litigation

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

In the recent BC Supreme Court decision Ritts v. Bing Thom Architects Inc., 2018 BCSC 252, the court ordered a matter removed from the Fast Track process.

Rule 15-1 provides an expedited means for parties to pursue litigation. In this circumstance, the plaintiff filed the matter under Rule 15 and, when the defendant objected to the suitability of the action for the Fast Track process, the plaintiff responded by setting the matter down for a five day trial. 

The defendant argued the matter was not suitable for the Fast Track process as it met none of the requirements for fast-track litigation: the claim was not expressly limited to $100,000, the trial was set for more than three days, and the parties did not both consent to the process.

The judge found the process followed by the plaintiff was “clearly improper”, and ruled 15(1) did not apply to the action. This decision may provide some guidance for parties to expressley limit the action to $100,000 in the pleadings where they wish to use the Fast Track process but none of the other rules apply.