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Lawsuits and Youth

If you are under 19, there are a number of laws about your involvement in lawsuits you should know about. These laws are intended to protect you.

  • You cannot start a lawsuit in Small Claims Court or Supreme Court on your own. You must have a “litigation guardian”. A litigation guardian could be your mom or dad or it could be another adult who lives in BC. If your case is in Small Claims Court and involves personal injury, the litigation guardian must be represented by a lawyer.
  • Sometimes the litigation guardian is the Public Guardian and Trustee. The Public Guardian and Trustee is appointed by the government (but is separate from the government) to help protect the legal and financial interests of children.
  • If you are offered money to settle a lawsuit that involves an injury to you that resulted from someone’s negligence, either the Public Guardian (if the settlement is $50,000 or less) or the court (if the settlement is more than $50,000) must approve the settlement. To learn more, go to the Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia’s website. 

If you are sued, you must have a litigation guardian (an adult who helps you). If your parents receive the court documents they must act as your litigation guardian and should file the proper documents in court to respond to the lawsuit. If they don’t, contact the Public Guardian and Trustee.

Last reviewed date: 2021/ Apr