BC Ministry of Attorney General seeks feedback on adopting the Uniform Civil Enforcement of Money Judgments Act

15 April 2020

By Kevin Zakreski

The Ministry of Attorney General for British Columbia has issued a consultation paper (PDF) that asks the public to comment on whether British Columbia should enact the Uniform Civil Enforcement of Money Judgments Act, with some departures and additions. As the consultation paper puts it, the ministry’s goals in this consultation are “to solicit input and discussion into reforming the existing Court Order Enforcement Act, to assess support for the adoption of the Uniform Civil Enforcement Money Judgments Act, and to identify potential departures from that Act.”

The Uniform Civil Enforcement of Money Judgments Act was approved by the Uniform Law Conference of Canada in 2004 and is the subject of a report published by BCLI in 2005. The Uniform Act represents fundamental reform of the current system of enforcement of judgments for the payment of money, which BCLI described in its report as “archaic, fragmentary, and inefficient.” That report recommended that British Columbia adopt the Uniform Act, because it “will realign British Columbia’s civil enforcement system on a foundation that is coherent, streamlined, and unified.”

The ministry consultation paper seeks feedback on adopting the Uniform Act, which the ministry proposes to implement generally as recommended by ULCC and BCLI, subject to a number of departures and additions. These departures and additions are described in detail in the consultation paper, which sets out the following 19 topics for public comment:

  • pro-rata sharing and judgment creditors;
  • preservation orders;
  • limitation periods for registering and enforcing judgments and for the expiry of judgments;
  • approach to seizure and exemption of income;
  • expiry of a notice of seizure for wages;
  • section 52 of the Court Order Enforcement Act—preference to three months’ wages;
  • deeming of election upon seizure of account;
  • obtaining information about judgment debtor’s assets;
  • interests in land that are not registered in the land title office;
  • intellectual property;
  • trusts;
  • severance of joint tenancy;
  • prohibition on seizing property that may be exempt;
  • co-owners not able to apply for exemptions if not dependents;
  • scope of protection from seizure for registered plans;
  • additional property exemptions;
  • appointment of receivers;
  • how to deal with claims to proceeds from disposition by a court bailiff; and
  • should the act include the doctrine of marshalling?

Responses may be sent by email to PLD@gov.bc.ca. The deadline for providing feedback is 1 May 2020 [update: deadline extended to 29 May 2020].

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