Types of Cases

The BC Provincial Court deals with these types of cases:

Criminal Cases

The Provincial Court deals with more than 95% of the criminal cases in BC. Provincial Court judges conduct preliminary hearings and trials of people charged with offences under the Criminal Code of Canada and other federal laws. They do not conduct jury trials – those take place in the Supreme Court of BC. Learn more

Family Cases

Separation and parenting :
Under the BC Family Law Act and other BC laws, the Provincial Court deals with issues that arise between separated couples. These issues include guardianship, parenting arrangements, child and spousal support payments, and protection orders. Provincial Court judges hold conferences to help parties agree on these issues. They also conduct hearings to decide issues the parties cannot agree on. Learn more

The Provincial Court does not deal with divorce, adoption, or the division of family property – only the BC Supreme Court can deal with those matters.

Child protection:
Provincial Court judges conduct conferences and trials when social workers concerned about neglect or mistreatment remove children from their parents’ care. Under the Child, Family and Community Services Act judges hold case conferences to help parents and social workers plan for the children. Judges also conduct hearings when the parents and social workers disagree. Learn more

Small Claims Cases

The Provincial Court usually deals with civil lawsuits for $5001 to $35,000. However, some lawsuits for these amounts must be taken to the Civil Resolution Tribunal or the BC Supreme Court.

The Civil Resolution Tribunal also deals with most disputes under $5001.

In Small Claims cases, Provincial Court judges hold settlement conferences to help parties settle disputes by agreement. They conduct trials when parties cannot agree. Learn more

Traffic, Tickets and Bylaw Cases

Provincial Court judicial justices conduct trials involving traffic and other tickets and municipal bylaw offences. Learn more

Youth Court Cases

In Youth Court, Provincial Court judges deal with young persons aged 12 to 18 charged with criminal offences. They apply the Criminal Code and the special procedures set out in the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Learn more