back to news and events search

Cross-Canada Guide To Small Claims Proceedings – April 2013

April 05, 2013


Small claims proceedings can be substantially different in each jurisdiction in Canada. In the guide below, RMC members from each province provide a helpful overview of the key issues in their jurisdiction including monetary limits, valid actions, limitation periods, evidence and costs. To review the rules to small claims proceedings in a jurisdiction simply select the relevant province.

Alberta

RMC Member Firms: Chomicki Baril Mah LLP and Scott Venturo LLP

Relevant Legislation

Provincial Court Act, r.s.a. 2000, c. p-31.

Court of inherent Jurisdiction

Alberta Provincial Court

Applicable Rules of Court

Rule 10.42 (costs) and Rule 12.61 (appeals).

Monetary Limits

Claims not to exceed $25,000.00. Portion in excess of $25,000.00 may be abandoned

Valid Actions

  • Contract
  • Debt
  • Damage deposit
  • Damages
  • Return of personal property or security

Non-valid Actions

Matters involving:

  • Defamation (libel and slander)
  • False imprisonment
  • Malicious prosecution
  • Matters involving governments
  • Ownership of land
  • Wills

Fees

Commencing an action:
$100.00 – value of $7,500 or less $200.00 – value exceeding $7,500

May apply to waive a portion of the filing fee in excess of $25 if can show financial hardship.

Limitation Period

As per Alberta Limitations Act, r.s.a. 2000, c. L-12.

Forms

Provided on line

Where to Commence

An action can be commenced in any Provincial Court in Alberta.

Rule 3.3 states that the appropriate judicial centre is the closest judicial centre, by road, to Alberta residencesplaces of business of all parties, or, if the judical centre cannot be determined by that method, the closest judicial centre, by road, to Alberta residence/place of business of one of the parties, as selected by the party starting the action.

Service

Duty and expense of the plaintiff commencing action.

Representation

Self- represented or represented by a lawyer or agent or student-at-law or corporation’s officer or employee or partner or employee of partnership

Evidence

May admit any oral or written evidence that the court, in its discretion, considers proper.

Judgment

Proceedings recorded. All parties will be sent a certificate of judgment. Interest awarded as per judgment interest regulation, alta reg 215/2011.

Costs

As provided in provincial court costs and fees regulation, alta reg 164/2010 and Rule 10.42 of Alberta Rules of Court.

Appeals

May appeal Judge’s decision to the court of Queen’s Bench. Appeals must be filed in the same judicial district that issued the judgment.

British Columbia

RMC Member Firms: Carfra & Lawton and Lindsay LLP

Relevant Legislation

Small Claims Act, RSBC 1996, c. 430Small Claims Rules, BC REG 261/93

Court of inherent Jurisdiction

British Columbia Provincial Court

Applicable Rules of Court

Small Claims Rules, BC REG 261/93

Monetary Limits

Claims not to Exceed $25,000 (exclusive of interest and expenses). Portion in excess of $25,000 may be abandoned.

Valid Actions

  • Damages
  • Contract
  • Debt
  • Relief from opposing claims for personal property
  • Recovery of personal property
  • Specific performance of an agreement relating to personal property or services

Non-valid Actions

Actions against:

  • A claim under the Estate Administration Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 122 Certain claims for injunctive relief
  • A proceeding to reciprocally enforce a Canadian or foreign civil judgment
  • Bankruptcy claims
  • Certain forms of relief under the Strata Property Act, S.B.C. 1998, c. 43
  • Claims between residential landlords and tenants
  • Claims for declaratory orders
  • Claims for harassment or other issue addressed by the Human Rights Code, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 210
  • Claims for relief under the Privacy Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 373
  • Claims for a remedy under the Personal Property Security Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 359, for recovery of personal property
  • Claims in libel, slander or malicious prosecution
  • Claims seeking a remedy that affects any interest in land
  • Claims for a stay of proceedings pursuant to the Commercial Arbitration Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 55
  • Claims for relief under the Judicial Review Procedure Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 241.
  • Relief under the Builders Lien Act, S.B.C. 1997, c. 45
  • The Federal Government
  • The Trustee Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 464
  • The Wills Variation Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 490
  • Trademark claims
  • Wrongful dismissal claims from a unionized workplace

Fees

Commencing an action:
$100.00 – value of $3,000 or less $156.00 – value of more than $3,000

Defending an action:
Reply only:$26.00 – value of $3,000 or less $50.00 – value of more than $3,000

Reply with Counterclaim: $100.00 – value of $3,000 or less $156.00 – value of more than $3,000

See schedule “A” to small claims rules: [en. B.C. Reg. 74/98; am. B.C. Regs. 10/2003, s. 2; 172/2003, s. 8; 458/2004; 459/2004; 285/2005; 371/2008.]

Limitation Period

As per British Columbia Limitation Act, [rsbc 1996], c. 266.

Forms

Available online.

Where to Commence

Claimant must commence the action in the registry nearest to where the defendant lives or carries on business, or to where the transaction resulting in the claim took place. If the defendant does not normally reside in British Columbia, or if the transaction or event that resulted in the claim took place outside of British Columbia, the permission of a registrar is required before service.

Service

Notice of claim must be served within 12 months of filing.

Individuals are to be served personally or by registered mail.

Companies may be served by registered mail to their registered office, by delivering a copy to the delivery address shown for that registered office in the office of the Registrar of companies, by leaving a copy at the place of business of the company with a receptionist or a person who appears to manage or control the company’s business, by leaving a copy with a director, officer, liquidator, trustee in bankruptcy or receiver-manager.

For service of other entitites see rules 2 and 18 of the small claims rules.

Representation

Self-represented or represented by a lawyer or student at law.

Corporations may be represented by a director, officer, or authorizied employee.

Partnerships may be represented by a partner.

Other entities/organizations may be represented by an owner or authorized employee.

Litigation guardians must act by solicitors.

Evidence

Oral and documentary evidence even if such evidence is not admissible in any other court under the laws of evidence.

Judgment

Oral or written reasons for judgment given. Most judgments are oral. Transcripts of oral judgments may be ordered.

Costs

Expenses but no legal costs are usually awarded to the successful party. Expenses include filing fees, service fees and any other reasonable charges or expenses the Judge or Registrar considers directly related to the conduct of the proceeding. See Small Claims Rule 20(2).

Appeals

Any party to a proceeding may appeal to the British Columbia Supreme Court a Provincial Court’s decision to allow or dismiss a claim within 40 days of the decision. Appeals may not be brought regarding procedural matters or costs orders. An appeal may be brought on a question of fact or law.

Manitoba

RMC Member Firms: Fillmore Riley LLP

Relevant Legislation

Court of Queen’s Bench Small Claims Practices Act C.C.S.M. c. C285

Court of inherent Jurisdiction

Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench

Applicable Rules of Court

The Court of Queen’s Bench Small Claims Practices Act and the Court of Queen’s Bench Rules where applicable

Monetary Limits

$10,000, general damages restricted to $2,000

Valid Actions

  • Breach of contract
  • Damages
  • Debt
  • Negligence
  • Return of personal property

Non-valid Actions

  • A matter appropriate to a family proceeding as defined in Section 41 of the Court of Queen’s Bench Act.
  • An allegation of malicious prosecution.
  • An allegation of wrongdoing by a judge or justice.
  • False imprisonment or defamation
  • The administration of a trust or an estate
  • The interpretation or enforcement of a testamentary disposition
  • The ownership of real property or an interest in real property

Fees

Commencing an action:
$50.00 – value of $3,000 or less $100.00 – value of $3,000 or less

Defending an action:
$25.00
$50.00
– with counter-claim value of $3,000 or less $50.00 – with counter-claim value of $3,000 or more

Limitation Period

As per New Brunswick Limitations Act, s.n.b. 2009, c l-8.5

Forms

Provided online

  • numbers 80a through 80u
  • bilingual format required complete only one version of form

Where to Commence

Judicial district in which the defendant resides or in which the cause of action arose and if defendant does not reside in New Brunswick, any judicial district.

Service

Duty and expense of the plaintiff commencing action.

Representation

Self- represented
or represented by a lawyer
or student-at-law
or
corporation’s officer or employee
or partner or employee of partnership

Evidence

Oral and documentary evidence allowed only if witness names and documents disclosed prior to trial.

Judgment

Proceedings recorded however no requirement for written reasons to be provided by a judge – interest awarded as per rule 60.08.

Costs

At discretion of judge – rule 59, scale 1, tariff ‘a’ applicable.

Appeals

Only on question of law. Appeal to the New Brunswick Court of Appeal – must file request for leave to appeal within 30 days of the filed decision of lower court.

New Brunswick

RMC Member Firms: Cox & Palmer

Relevant Legislation

Small Claims Act, SNB 2012, c 15

Court of inherent Jurisdiction

Small Claims Court of New Brunswick. Heard by adjudicators appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council.

Applicable Rules of Court

General Regulation – Small Claims Act, NB Reg 2012-103 and Rules of Court, NB Reg 82-73 where applicable.

Monetary Limits

Claims not to exceed $12,500.00 (inclusive of interest to the date of judgment) – portion in excess of $12,500.00 may be abandoned.

Valid Actions

  • Damages
  • Debt
  • Return of personal property

Non-valid Actions

The New Brunswick Small Claims Act does not apply to:

  • Breach of promise of marriage
  • False imprisonment
  • Family division
  • Libel
  • Malicious arrest
  • Malicious prosecution
  • Title to or interest in land
  • Slander
  • Wills or intestacies

Fees

Commencing an action:
$50.00 – value of $3,000 or less
$100.00 – value of $3,000 or more

Defending an action:
$25.00
$50.00
– with counter-claim value of $3,000 or less
$100.00 – with counter-claim value of $3,000 or more

Limitation Period

As per New Brunswick Limitation of Actions Act, SNB 2009, c L-8.5

Forms

Provided in General Regulation – Small Claims Act, NB Reg 2012-103 (available online)

  • numbers 1 through 26B
  • bilingual format required complete only one version of form

Where to Commence

Judicial district in which the defendant resides, the judicial district in which the cause of action arose, or if defendant does not reside in New Brunswick, the judicial district in which the claimant resides.

Service

Duty and expense of the plaintiff commencing action.

Representation

Self- represented
or represented by a lawyer
or student-at-law
or an unpaid agent, with leave of the adjudicator
or corporation’s officer or employee
or partner or employee of partnership

Evidence

Relevant oral and documentary evidence (which is not subject to privilege) is allowed so long as the presiding adjudicator is satisfied as to its authenticity.

Judgment

The decision of the adjudicator (with reasons) is required to be in writing and rendered as soon as possible after the hearing (decision must be filed with the clerk no more than six months after the hearing). Prejudgment interest may be awarded. Post judgment interest is to be calculated at a rate of 7% per year.

Costs

Costs awarded to a successful party shall consist of the following:

  • fees paid for filing;
  • reasonable and actual fees paid for service of any document;
  • the witness allowance paid to any witnesses by the successful party;
  • if a default judgment has been set aside, fees incurred by the party with respect to execution on the default judgment;
  • the fee paid for a transcript of evidence as a result of an appeal.

Additional costs not exceeding $500 may be awarded by the adjudicator if in the adjudicator’s opinion, an action has been brought or defended unreasonably.

Appeals

A party may appeal an adjudicator’s decision on the substance of a claim within 30 days of the date of the filing of the adjudicator’s decision.

A party who wishes to appeal a decision of an adjudicator, other than a decision on the substance of a claim, may appeal the decision by filing a notice of appeal by application within ten days after the date of the filing of the adjudicator’s decision.

A decision of the Court of Queen’s Bench on appeal may, with leave from a judge of the New Brunswick Court of Appeal, be appealed to the Court of Appeal on a question of law alone.

Newfoundland

RMC Member Firms: Cox & Palmer

Relevant Legislation

Small Claims Act, R.S.N.L. 1990 c. s-16.

Court of inherent Jurisdiction

Provincial Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, Small Claims Division, established under the Provincial Court Act, S.N.L. 1991, c. 15.

Applicable Rules of Court

Small Claims Rules, N.L.R. 52/97, regulations enacted under Small Claims Act, R.S.N.L. 1990 c. s-16, section 7.

Monetary Limits

Claims not to exceed $25,000, as per Small Claims Regulations, N.L.R. 69/04; portion in excess of $25,000 may be abandoned.

Valid Actions

A judge of the Provincial Court acting in the Small Claims Division has jurisdiction to try and adjudicate upon a claim for

  • debt, whether payable in money or otherwise;
  • damages, including damages for breach of contract;
  • specific performance of an agreement relating to personal property or services; or
  • recovery of personal property.

Non-valid Actions

A Judge of the Provincial Court acting in the Small Claims Division does not have jurisdiction to hear or adjudicate upon a claim or counterclaim

  • in which the title to land is brought into question;
  • in which the validity of a devise, bequest or limitation is disputed;
  • for malicious prosecution, false imprisonment, defamation; or
  • against a Judge of a Court, justice or public officer for anything done by him or her while executing the duties of his or her office.

Fees

The fees and costs which are payable to the clerk of the court and which may be payable as between parties are:

(a) for issuing a statement of claim, for claims $500 or over, $100 and for claims under $500, $50

(b) for an application to reopen a default judgment, $50;

(c) to issue a certificate of judgment or an order, $10;

(d) to issue a summons to a payment hearing,

  • once every 6 months, $10, or
  • more often than every 6 months, $25;

(e) for each search, $10.

Limitation Period

As per Limitations Act, S.N.L. 1995, c L-16.1.

Forms

Provided online at: http://www.court.nl.ca/provincial/courts/smallclaims/forms.html

  • Form 1 – Statement of Claim
  • Form 2 – Reply
  • Form 3 – Third Party Notice
  • Form 4 – Certificate of Service
  • Form 5 – Default Judgment
  • Form 7 – Subpoena to Witness
  • Form 8 – Offer to Settle
  • Form 10 – Judgment
  • Form 11 – Summons to a Payment Hearing
  • Form 12 – Notice of a Payment Hearing
  • Form 14 – Application to a Judge
  • Form 16 – Notice of Withdrawal
  • Form 17 – Consent Judgment

Where to Commence

As a general rule, in the judicial district in which the cause of action arose.

Service

Statement of Claim: duty and expense of the Plaintiff commencing action. Please note: the cost of service can normally be recovered by the successful party as per Rule 24 of the Small Claims Rules and the Schedule to the Rules outlining Fees and Costs.

Reply and Counterclaim: duty and expense of the Defendant/Plaintiff by counterclaim.

Representation

Self- represented
or represented by a lawyer
or student-at-law
or agent (of a company, partnership or an agent of a party otherwise capable of dealing with the claim, subject to subsection 4(2) of the Small Claims Act)

Evidence

Documents:
All documents to be relied on at trial are to be disclosed at least 3 days before trial.

However, a party shall not call an expert to give evidence of the experts opinion unless:

(a) that party serves a summary of the experts evidence on all other parties at least 14 days before the expert is called to give evidence; or
(b) a judge grants permission to allow the expert evidence regardless.

Evidence at Trial:
As a general rule, the rules of evidence in small claims court are very relaxed. A judge may conduct a trial without complying with the formal rules of procedure and in doing so may

(a) ask the parties to explain their cases, to respond to each other and to call witnesses; and
(b) receive evidence in any other way the judge considers appropriate.

Judgment

Judgment may be given either orally or in written form or both.

Costs

Very Limited as per rule 24 of the Small Claims Rules. A schedule of costs is outlined in the Rules, and payment of fees and costs in addition to those specified in the Schedule may be awarded, in the judge’s discretion, in an amount not exceeding $300.

Appeals

A party to a proceeding may appeal from a judgment or order of a judge to the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, Trial Division (General). The appellant shall give written notice of the appeal within 30 days of the judgment or order to the Court and to the other parties in the proceeding.

Nova Scotia

RMC Member Firms: Cox & Palmer

Relevant Legislation

Small Claims Court Act, rsns 1989, c 430

Court of inherent Jurisdiction

Small Claims Court of Nova Scotia, established pursuant to the Small Claims Court Act.

Applicable Rules of Court

While some procedure is noted in the Small Claims Court Act itself and applicable regulations, Nova Scotia’s Small Claims Court is – and is intended to be – a fairly informal process.

Monetary Limits

Claims cannot exceed $25,000, exclusive of interest. Any portion of the claim relating to general damages may not exceed $100.

Valid Actions

Generally, a claim may be brought for the payment of money and/or the return of goods. The following claims may be brought:

  • contract;
  • tort;
  • municipal rates and taxes;
  • expenses payable pursuant to the Animal Protection Act; and
  • requesting the delivery of specific personal property

Non-valid Actions

The following claims cannot be brought:

  • ownership or interests in land;
  • in respect of a dispute concerning the entitlement of a person under a will, or settlement, or on an intestacy;
  • for defamation or malicious prosecution;
  • claims against the provincial government;
  • false imprisonment;
  • disputes between a landlord and a tenant to which the Residential Tenancies Act applies (other than an appeal of an order of the Director of Residential Tenancies); and
  • for general damages in excess of $100

Fees

Notice of Claim: $91.47 where the claim is an amount less than $5,000; $182.94 where the claim is an amount not less than $5,000 and not more than $25,000; or $91.47 where the claim is for the recovery of personal property only.

Defence: no fee if without Counterclaim.

Counter Claim: $60.60.

Additional fees in respect of issuing subpoenas and enforcing a judgment are also noted in the Small Claims Court Forms and Procedures Regulations.

Limitation Period

As set out in the Limitation of Actions Act, RSNS 1989, c 258.

Forms

Forms 1 to 13 are available in the Small Claims Court Forms and Procedures Regulations. These forms include:

  • Form 1 – Notice of Claim
  • Form 2 – Defence/Counterclaim
  • Form 3 – Subpoena to Witness
  • Form 4 – Notice of Election to Transfer
  • Form 5 – Notice of Adjudication
  • Form 6 – Application for Quick Judgment
  • Form 7(a), (b), (c) – Order
  • Form 8 – Certificate of Judgment
  • Form 9 – Notice of Appeal
  • Form 10 – Summary Report
  • Form 11 – Execution Order
  • Form 12 – Recovery Order
  • Form 13 – Certificate of Satisfaction

Online versions of these forms are available at: http://www.courts.ns.ca/SmallClaims/index_claims.htm.

Where to Commence

A claim before the Small Claims Court shall be commenced in the county in which the cause of action arose or where the Defendant or one of several Defendants resides or carries on business.

Service

Service of a Notice of Claim shall be by personal service or such other manner of service as directed by the Small Claims Court.

Service of a Defence or Counterclaim shall be by registered mail or such other manner of service as directed by the Small Claims Court.

Representation

A Claimant or Defendant may appear at a hearing in person or by agent and may be represented by counsel. However, no agent or barrister fees of any kind shall be awarded to either party.

Evidence

An adjudicator may admit as evidence any oral testimony and any document or other thing relevant to the subject matter of the proceeding. This means that hearsay may be accepted but it will be up to the adjudicator to determine the weight to be given to any piece of evidence including hearsay.

However, the Small Claims Court Act also indicates that nothing is admissible in evidence at a hearing that would be inadmissible in a court by reason of any privilege under the law of evidence, or is inadmissible by any statute, and nothing overrides the provisions of any other Act which expressly limits the extent to or purposes for which any oral testimony, documents, or things may be admitted or used in evidence.

Judgment

An adjudicator is to make an Order no later than sixty days after the hearing of the claim and any defence or counterclaim.

Costs

The adjudicator may order the unsuccessful party to reimburse the successful party for such costs and fees as determined by the regulations, which include filing fees, witness fees, service fees and any other out of pocket expenses. Legal fees are not recoverable.

Appeals

A party to proceedings before the Small Claims Court may appeal to the Supreme Court (not later than 30 days after the adjudicator’s order or determination is filed) on the ground of (a) jurisdictional error; (b) error of law; or (c) failure to follow the requirements of natural justice.

A decision of the Supreme Court on appeal is final and not subject to appeal.

Ontario

RMC Member Firms: Blaney McMurtry LLP and Kelly Santini LLP

Relevant Legislation

Courts of Justice Act, r.s.o. 1990, c. c.43, Rules of the small claims, ontario regulation 258/98

Court of inherent Jurisdiction

Ontario Superior Court of Justice

Applicable Rules of Court

Rules of the Small Claims Court Courts of Justice Act, Ontario regulation 258/98

Monetary Limits

Claims not to exceed $25,000.00, exclusive of interest and costs

Valid Actions

Any action for the payment of money where the amount claimed does not exceed $25,000 exclusive of interest and costs, and any action for the recovery of possession of personal property where the value of the property does not exceed $25,000.

A claim can also be brought in Small Claims Court under the Parental Responsibility Act, 2000 against a parent of a child (under 18 years of age) in certain circumstances where a child takes, damages or destroys property.

Non-valid Actions

Any actions that do not fall within those described to the left

Fees

Commencing an action:
(Plaintiff’s Claim or Defendant’s Claim) $75.00

Defending an action:
$40.00 (there are no cross-claims or counterclaims in Ontario’s Small Claims Court – A Defendant’s Claim must be advanced by issuing and serving “defendant’s claim”)

Limitation Period

As per Limitations Act, 2002, S.O. 2002, c. 24, Schedule B

Forms

Available online at: http://www.ontariocourtforms.on.ca/english/scc

Where to Commence

Judicial district in which the defendant resides or carries on business or in which the cause of action arose.

Service

Claims must be served as follows:

Individual
On an individual, other than a person under disability, by leaving a copy of the document with him or her;

Municipality
On a municipal corporation, by leaving a copy of the document with the chair, mayor, warden or reeve of the municipality, with the clerk or deputy clerk of the municipality or with a lawyer for the municipality;

Corporation
On any other corporation, by leaving a copy of the document with an officer, director or agent of the corporation, or with a person at any place of business of the corporation who appears to be in control or management of the place of business;

See rule 8.02 for further service methods on other classes of parties.

Defence: Filed with the Court with fee, served by the court

Representation

A party may be self-represented, or represented by an agent, or may represented by a lawyer or student-at-law.

Evidence

At the trial of an undefended action, the plaintiff’s case may be proved by affidavit.

The Small Claims Court may admit as evidence at a hearing and act upon any oral testimony and any document or other thing so long as the evidence is relevant to the subject-matter of the proceeding. However, nothing is admissible in evidence at a hearing,

  • that would be inadmissible by reason of any privilege under the law of evidence; or
  • that is inadmissible by any Act.

Judgment

Oral or written reasons for judgment given. most judgments are oral. pre- and post-judgment interest can be awarded.

Costs

A successful party is entitled to have the party’s reasonable disbursements, including any costs of effecting service or preparing a plaintiff’s or defendant’s claim or a defence and expenses for travel, accommodation, photocopying and experts’ reports, paid by the unsuccessful party. An unsuccessful party may be ordered to pay to a self-represented successful party an amount not exceeding $500 as compensation for inconvenience and expense.

If a successful party is represented by a lawyer, student-at-law or agent, the court may award the party a reasonable representation fee at trial or at an assessment hearing.

An award of costs in the Small Claims Court, other than disbursements, shall not exceed 15% of the amount claimed or the value of the property sought to be recovered unless the court considers it necessary in the interests of justice to penalize a party or a party’s representative for unreasonable behaviour in the proceeding.

Appeals

An appeal lies to the Divisional Court (within 30 days of judgment) from a final order of the Small Claims Court in an action,

(a) for the payment of money in excess of $2,500, excluding costs; or
(b) for the recovery of possession of personal property exceeding $ 2,500.

Prince Edward Island

RMC Member Firms: Cox & Palmer

Relevant Legislation

Judicature Act, r.s.p.e.i. 1988, c. j-2.1

Court of inherent Jurisdiction

Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island, small claims section

Applicable Rules of Court

Rule 74 – PEI rules of civil procedure- small claims section rules. These rules are available online and are also published under separate cover together with the forms for small claims court.

Monetary Limits

Claims not to exceed $8,000 (inclusive of interest to the date of filing) – portion in excess of $8,000 may be abandoned

Valid Actions

  • Personal actions of debt, covenant, assumpsit and tort
  • Replevin
  • Recovery on a bond

Non-valid Actions

Rule 74 does not apply to actions other than those identified above

Fees

Commencing an action:
$50 (an additional $6 fee is required where the plaintiff is represented by counsel)

Defending an action:
$25

Limitation Period

As per statute of limitations, r.s.p.e.i. 1988, c. s-7

Forms

Provided online

  • a hard copy can be provided by the small claims division if requested
  • numbers 1a through 20j

Where to Commence

Any judicial district.

Service

Rule 8 of the small claims section rules- personal service or alternative to personal service of the claim within 6 months of the date of issue.

Representation

Self-represented
or represented by a lawyer
or student-at-law

(although not specified in the rules, it is common practice that a corporation must be represented by a lawyer)

Evidence

  • Oral and documentary evidence allowed. Any documents which will be relied upon at trial must be disclosed 14 days before pre-trial conference.
  • Further, may want to note s.7.01(2)2, which states – “If the plaintiff’s claim is based in whole or in part on a document, a copy of the document shall be attached to each copy of the claim, unless it is unavailable, in which case the claim shall state the reason why the document is not attached”.

Judgment

Oral or written decision. Pre- and post-judgment interest can be awarded as per judicature act.

Costs

Up to 15% of the amount claimed or value of property sought to be recovered (exclusive of disbursements). counsel fees of up to $300 (lawyer) or $150 (student-at-law) are allowed where the amount claimed exceeds $500.

Appeals

As of right, appeal to the P.E.I. Court of Appeal on an error of law or a finding of fact resulting in a palpable and overriding error

  • If leave to appeal is required by section 5.(3) of the Judicature Act, request for leave to appeal shall be filed within 15 days of decision or order
  • In all other cases, notice of appeal to be filed within 30 days of order

Saskatchewan

RMC Member Firms: McKercher LLP

Relevant Legislation

The Small Claims Act, 1997

Court of inherent Jurisdiction

Provincial Court of Saskatchewan

Applicable Rules of Court

The Small Claims Regulations, 1998

Monetary Limits

Claim not to exceed $20,000 (interest and costs not included and can be claimed in addition to $20,000)

Valid Actions

  • Damages
  • Debt
  • Recovery of personal property
  • Specific performance of agreement related to personal property

Non-valid Actions

Small claims action cannot be based on anything other than:

  • Damages
  • Debt
  • Personal property

Fees

Commencing an action:
$20 for claim $2,000 or less; for claim greater than $2,000, 1% of claim up to a maximum of $100

Limitation Period

As per The Limitation Act, 2004, c-L-16.1

Forms

Provided in the Regulations

Where to Commence

Pursuant to section 7 of The Small Claims Act, claim must be commenced where claim arose, where defendant resides or where plaintiff resides.

Service

Duty and Expense of Plaintiff. Plaintiff can request substitutional Service order if Service proves difficult.

Representation

By Lawyer, agent or self

Evidence

Judge may admit any evidence that he or she considers to be credible and trustworthy including any oral or written testimony or report

Judgment

Proceedings are recorded, however there is no requirement for a written decision.

Costs

Judge may award costs on terms and conditions as judge considers appropriate other than lawyer-related costs.

Appeals

Appeal to Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench within 30 days of judgment. Appeal on question of law can be made to Saskatchewan Court of Appeal with leave.

Québec

RMC Member Firms: Donati Maisonneuve and Stein Monast LLP

Relevant Legislation

Sections 953 to 998 of the Code Civil of Procedure

Court of inherent Jurisdiction

Court of Québec, small claims division

Applicable Rules of Court

N/A

Monetary Limits

$7,000.00, exclusive of interests

Valid Actions

Claim for a debt owed to a person, partnership or association in the name and for the account of that person, partnership or association, to a tutor, a curator or a mandatary in the execution of the mandator’s incapacity or to any other administrator of the property of another;

dissolution, resiliation or cancellation of a contract where neither the value of the contract or, where applicable, the amount claimed exceeds $7,000.00

Non-valid Actions

Actions involving small claims do not apply to:

  • Action by a legal person, partnership or association if at all times during the 12-month period preceding the application, more than five persons were bound to it by contract of employment, were under its direction or control
  • Actions for the recovery of a claim instituted by a person, partnership or association to whom the claim was assigned in return of payment
  • Actions for the payment of support
  • Class actions
  • Lease of a dwelling or land referred to in article 1892 of the Civil Code
  • Suits for slander

Fees

Application
Amount of claim ($) Natural person ($) Legal person ($)
$0.01 to $999.99 73.75 124
$1,000.00 to $2,999.99 105 156
$3,000.00 to $4,999.99 73.75 124
$5,000.00 to $7,000.00 167 218

Contestation
Amount of claim ($) Natural person ($) Legal person ($)
$0.01 to $999.99 62 73.75
$1,000.00 to $2,999.99 93.75 143
$3,000.00 to $4,999.99 124 174
$5,000.00 to $7,000.00 156 204

Cross Demand
Amount of claim ($) Natural person ($) Legal person ($)
$0.01 to $999.99 62 73.75
$1,000.00 to $2,999.99 67.25 81
$3,000.00 to $4,999.99 73.75 87.25
$5,000.00 to $7,000.00 81 93.75

Application for revocation of judgement
Amount of claim ($) Natural person ($) Legal person ($)
$0.01 to $999.99 62 73.75
$1,000.00 to $2,999.99 67.25 81
$3,000.00 to $4,999.99 73.75 87.25
$5,000.00 to $7,000.00 81 93.75

Writ of execution
Amount of claim ($) Natural person ($) Legal person ($)
$0.01 to $999.99 62 93.75
$1,000.00 to $2,999.99 87.25 118
$3,000.00 to $4,999.99 110 143
$5,000.00 to $7,000.00 136 156

Notice to clerk – Incidental application relating to the execution of a judgement (Opposition to a seizure)
Amount of claim ($) Natural person ($) Legal person ($)
$0.01 to $999.99 67.25 73.75
$1,000.00 to $2,999.99 73.75 81
$3,000.00 to $4,999.99 81 87.25
$5,000.00 to $7,000.00 93.75 93.75

Limitation Period

As per the Civil Code of Québec, LRQ, c C-1991

Forms

Provided on line www.justice.gouv.qc.ca

Where to Commence

  • Court of the Defendant’s domicile or last know place of residence;
  • Court of the Insured’s domicile where the action is brought against an insurer;
  • Court of the place where the cause of action arose;
  • Court of the place where the contract was formed.

Service

The clerk will notify a copy of the statement of claim to defendant together with a list of the exhibits filed by the plaintiff and a notice setting out the options available to the defendant (payment, contestation, mediation);

The clerk will also notify a copy of the contestation to the plaintiff, together with a list of the exhibits filed by the defendant

Representation

Natural persons must represent themselves. They may give a mandate to their spouse, a relative, a person connected by marriage or a friend to represent them (mandate must be gratuitous and be set out in a signed writing stating the reasons why the person is unable to represent himself or herself);

State, legal persons, partnerships and association may only be represented by an officer or another person bound exclusively to it under a contract of employment;

No attorney or collection agent may act as a mandatary (except when the case raises a complex legal issue – must be ordered by a judge, with the consent of the chief judge of the Court of Québec)

Evidence

  • Oral and documentary evidence allowed;
  • Possibility to file a written statement as testimony if filed at the office of the court at least 15 days before the hearing.

Judgment

Must include a summary of the reasons for the decision;

  • Recorded in writing and signed by the judge, special clerk or clerk who rendered it;
  • Must be rendered within 4 months of the hearing if a contested action; for other actions, 30 days after the record is completed.

Costs

Judgment will determine the costs, including the allowances payable to witnesses.

Appeals

Judgment is final and without appeal. Subject to the superintending and reforming power of the Superior Court only when there is want or excess of jurisdiction.

Do not miss the latest developments in Canadian insurance law

Subscribe