First in the province
Cape Breton’s newest small claims court adjudicator, Tuma Thomas William Young, right, was sworn in Friday by Supreme Court Justice Patrick Murray during a brief ceremony in Sydney. An assistant professor in Indigenous Studies at Cape Breton University, Young is the first Indigenous person to hold such a position in the province. “I may be the first but hopefully not the last,” said Young, adding his appointment is a further example of improving access to the court system. Small claims court allows an individual or business to seek recovery for up to $25,000 with some limitations. The court does not deal with land ownership, wills and estates, malicious prosecution, wrongful imprisonment or defamation (libel and slander). The court does have jurisdiction over residential tenancy appeals (appeals from decisions over rented property made by Residential Tenancy Officers) and disputes between lawyers and their clients over fees and other retention issues. Young’s first sitting as an adjudicator is Jan. 30 in Sydney.