A tiny dog was at the center of a dispute between neighbors that played out in BC’s Small Claims Court last week.
The dispute between neighbors was heard by a member of the province’s Civil Resolution Tribunal on February 16.
The case revolved around “Candy,” a Pomeranian mix dog who allegedly caused damage when a neighbor entered her owner’s yard.
According to a summary of the lawsuit by Trial member Kristin Gardner, the neighbor who brought the case to the CRT entered the yard one day in June 2019 and was bitten “multiple times on the foot and leg” by Candy.
Janice Richardson tried to get $1,000 for pain and suffering from her neighbor.
Candy’s owner, Mi Nguyen, told the tribunal it had never been proven that the dog bit Richardson and said even if she had been injured it would likely have been only minor scratches.
An account from the dog owner‘s mother, who witnessed what happened, included that she did not see Richardson being bitten, but heard the dog bark and sent Candy inside. She said she saw “three small wounds” on Richardson’s feet that could have been scratches, and Richardson laughed at them.
It is not disputed that the mother apologized and offered Richardson a bandage, and that offer was declined.
There is some debate from the court member as to whether the mother actually wrote her statement herself, as it is written in the third person and electronically signed, but it has been accepted as what the woman told Nguyen about the incident.
But because of the bite, the case wasn’t actually in front of the CRT. The main question was whether Richardson had waited too long to prove her claim.
The statute of limitations provides a two-year period for most claims, and if that period expires, the right to pursue the claim expires, Gardner explained in her reasoning for her decision.
Richardson, who submitted her application to the CRT in June 2021, said she intentionally did so a day before the deadline.
But Nguyen said it was likely the incident would have happened before the date Richardson claimed. There are some discrepancies regarding the timeline, but evidence presented in the case led Gardner to side with the dog owners, meaning Richardson’s lawsuit was filed too late.
Because of this, the “substance” of her claim was not addressed and the entire case was dismissed.