Administrative Law: RoadSafetyBC | Human Rights Tribunal | Residential Tenancy Branch | Employment and Assistance Appeal Tribunal | Crime Victim Assistance Program
Have a dispute with your landlord? Seeking assistance after being victimized by crime? Are you being discriminated at work? Or maybe you received a driving prohibition and want it reviewed? These are all things lawyers experienced in administrative law can help you resolve.
Administrative law describes a process where disputes are decided by government-appointed tribunal members instead of a judge in a courthouse. These tribunals are typically established to have jurisdiction over specialized areas, such as driving, human rights, tenancy disputes, immigration reviews, and more.
These tribunals share many of the powers the court has in deciding matters. They can award damages, identify fault, uphold driving suspensions, issue orders and can otherwise grant or reject applications brought before them. These tribunals were established with the goal of removing time-consuming matters from the court system to speed up cases that require a judge.
As a result, there are more tribunals now than ever. At Acumen Law Corporation, we have a range of expertise covering many areas of administrative law. Some of the tribunals we have presented cases to include:
Whether you’re appealing a prohibition for drunk driving or for having too many traffic violations, RoadSafetyBCis the adjudication tribunal that decides whether or not you can go back on the road. This is the area we have the most experience practicing.
Our lawyers have successfully protected the driving privileges of British Columbians for years. We have been successfully challenging driving prohibitions long before BC enacted its Immediate Roadside Prohibition scheme.
Decisions made by the RoadSafetyBC tribunal are made under the authority of the BC Superintendent of Motor Vehicles. The decision-making powers of RoadSafetyBC are vast. They cover everything from Immediate Roadside Prohibitions for drunk driving, driving prohibitions made due to medical reasons, prohibitions for unlicensed drivers, to prohibitions for bad driving records.
Due to our years of experience in challenging driving prohibitions, we are often able to get driving prohibitions overturned entirely, or have the lengths of the prohibitions reduced substantially.
Human Rights Tribunal
Matters that involve an element of discrimination can be brought before the BC Human Rights Tribunal for a decision. Maybe you felt you were treated differently by a potential employer because of your ethnic background. Perhaps you were treated differently by law enforcement officials due to your gender identity. These are matters that lawyers experienced in working with the Human Rights Tribunal can help you resolve.
When bringing a case to the Human Rights Tribunal, the tribunal must first decide whether or not to accept a complaint for filing. If it does, the tribunal may then first mediate between the parties involved to come up with a settlement. If no agreement can be made, the tribunal could hold a hearing to decide whether the complainant was discriminated against. If a complaint is successful, the tribunal may order in favour of the complainant.
Depending on the case, remedies that may be awarded include compensation for lost wages or expenses, compensation for injury, an order for a party to take action, or an order that whatever was denied due to discrimination be properly issued.
Residential Tenancy Branch
Trying to get that damage deposit back? Or maybe you’re the landlord and your tenant hasn’t paid the rent or utilities? Perhaps you’re trying to evict someone because they broke the tenancy agreement? Legal remedies involving tenant-landlord relationships are often decided by the Residential Tenancy Branch.
It is important to remember that applications for dispute resolution at the Residential Tenancy Branch have to be made within two years of tenancy ending. The first step involves filing an application for a dispute resolution hearing, or a notice to end tenancy to the RTB.
Hearings are generally conducted by telephone. Both sides of the dispute are given a chance to provide evidence, including statements from witnesses. You are allowed to have a lawyer represent you at this hearing. Once the hearing ends, an arbitrator has 30 days to render a decision.
Some of the most common reasons to request a RTB dispute resolution include conflicts over rent increase, eviction notices, repairs made to the property, or unpaid rent or damages.
Employment and Assistance Appeal Tribunal
The Employment and Assistance Appeal Tribunal is where cases are decided when you’re appealing decisions concerning income assistance, disability assistance, hardship assistance, childcare subsidies or another type of supplemental income provided by government.
The types of appeals that can be brought to this tribunal include disputes over refusal, discontinuance, reduction or insufficient supplementary incomes. So if you feel your income assistance was unfairly reduced by government, this is the place to go for your appeal. As with other tribunals, you can and should be represented by a lawyer, especially when your case comes to a hearing.
In these matters, it is imperative to act fast. You only have seven business days upon receiving a decision from government affecting your supplementary income to get your Notice of Appeal into the hands of the tribunal. A week is not a lot of time to protect your income assistance. Act fast.
Crime Victim Assistance Program
If you’ve been victimized by crime in BC, you may be eligible for benefits through the Crime Victim Assistance Program. This program provides benefits to victims for things such as medical services, protective measures, childcare, transportation, and can also include benefits to immediate family members of victims. In cases involving death, this program can also help cover funeral expenses and more.
Generally, applications to the Crime Victim Assistance Program must be made within one year from the date of the crime. Decisions on whether to issue victim assistance or not are decided by the Director of Crime Victim Assistance. The director may choose to refuse victim benefits, or may reduce or suspend current crime victim assistance benefits.
Whether you want to apply for crime victim assistance, have been rejected or have had your benefits suspended, consider consulting an Acumen lawyer. We have experience to help you bring take your case up for reconsideration. If you have already received a decision from the Crime Victim Assistance Program, it’s important to know you only have 60 days to appeal. Remember, help is only a phone call away.