BCLI welcomes updates to money judgments enforcement legislation
November 6, 2023
BY Kira Davidson
BCLI is pleased to mark two legislative developments that will update and modernize the civil enforcement of money judgments in BC. These legal changes will make it easier for parties to collect the money they are owed following a civil judgment.
On October 26, 2023, the Money Judgment Enforcement Act (Bill 27) received royal assent. First introduced in May 2023, this legislation implements recommendations made by BCLI in its 2005 report based on the Uniform Law Conference of Canada’s Uniform Civil Enforcement of Money Judgments Act. We are heartened to see that our work from such a significant project has been implemented by the BC Government. Although many years have passed since the report was published, we take this as a reminder that law reform often requires taking durable, long-term approaches. The Act is set to enter into force in 2025.
On November 1, 2023, the Legislative Assembly also introduced Bill 43, the Money Judgment Enforcement Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions Act. This bill builds on Bill 27 by introducing 74 legislative amendments that are necessary for the Money Judgment Enforcement Act to be effectively enforced.
The Ministry of Attorney General explained some of the changes that are to be made to the money judgments enforcement process in its media release earlier this month:
One important change will make it possible for monetary orders from the CRT [Civil Resolution Tribunal] to be directly registered in a new money judgment registry. The CRT will also be authorized to register a judgment on behalf of a successful party, making it easier for CRT clients to collect their judgments.
The transition provisions will ensure that people can choose to continue to use a writ of seizure and sale or collect money from a garnishing order they obtained before the Money Judgement Enforcement Act came into force. If a writ expires after one year and a judgment is not satisfied yet, it will transition to the Money Judgment Enforcement Act. At the same time, a person can choose to transition to the new act even if the writ has not expired.
Most of the other changes replace references to the Court Order Enforcement Act with references to the Money Judgment Enforcement Act. Other changes include replacing references to outdated ways of enforcing a money judgment (such as a writ of seizure and sale), with “enforcement proceedings” under the Money Judgment Enforcement Act.