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I filed a dispute with the Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT). A settlement was reached. Two terms of the settlement were

  1. the defendant will make available my property for me to pickup
  2. parties agree this agreement extinguishes any claims either party has against the other

Though I rented a truck to pickup my property, the defendant failed to return it. He has admitted he still has it. The CRT can't enforce orders, they leave that to small claims court. At this point I prefer to get money, instead of enforcing the term that he must allow me to pickup my property.

Am I able to start a new dispute for monetary compensation, or would that be in violation of term #2? In other words if someone breaks a settlement, does it nullify the extinguishment of other claims and remedies?

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You cannot sue again

The matter is res judicata - the only options are enforcement or an agreement between the parties.

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    Unless the settlement expressly says otherwise that the suit can be reinstated in the event of a default. – ohwilleke Sep 20 at 0:08
  • I can't sue for the same thing, but couldn't I sue for breach of contract i.e. the settlement? – dutyanalysing Sep 22 at 8:38
  • @dutyanalysing the settlement isn’t a contract - it’s a court order. If someone fails to comply with it you enforce it. A settlement reached through negotiation or (non-court ordered) mediation is a contract - those you can sue on. – Dale M Sep 22 at 12:19
  • @DaleM So sometimes a settlement is a contract and sometimes it's not? What do you mean by court order? – dutyanalysing Sep 24 at 0:12
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The Civil Resolution Tribunal is part of the court system, and the decisions they issue, called "consent resolution orders", are legally binding just like court decisions are. Enforcement is done through the court system; the next step involves the BC provincial courts.

(A settlement through the CRT is roughly equivalent to a decision in small-claims court. Among other things, it means the issue has been decided and cannot be re-litigated.)

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I don't know the rules in Canada, but given the shared history, I'd guess the options are the same as in the United States.

Over here, the settlement typically leads to a dismissal of the case with prejudice, meaning that there's no more you can do within that case, forcing you to bring a new suit for breach of the settlement agreement.

The exception would be in cases where the court agrees to retain jurisdiction over the case to enforce the settlement. This rarely happens unless the parties explicitly ask for it, and parties rarely make that request, probably because they usually don't agree to a dismissal of the case until everyone has performed.

So if the court hasn't retained jurisdiction, the only option is likely a new action for breach. Even if the court had retained jurisdiction, though, I'd expect that you could still choose for yourself whether to go back to the court or to file a new suit.

  • So you're saying you can start a new action and sue for breach of contract i.e. the settlement that had been agreed on? – dutyanalysing Sep 23 at 9:19
  • That would be the normal course. – bdb484 Sep 23 at 16:36
  • You seem to be talking about out-of-court settlements. As I understand it, the CRT is part of the court system, functioning more-or-less in parallel with the small-claims courts. – Mark Sep 27 at 23:41
  • @Mark what difference does that make? – dutyanalysing Sep 28 at 7:12
  • @dutyanalysing, the difference is in what you do next. A CRT settlement is enforced through the court system in the same way that any other judgement is. An out-of-court settlement is enforced through the court system by filing a suit for breach of contract. – Mark Sep 28 at 19:57

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