Small Claims Court Overview


Small claims are brought in the Small Claims Court. The court has jurisdiction over claims not exceeding $10,000.00.

Action Timeline

File and serve claim

The claimant files a Small Claim and a blank copy of a Notice of Intention to Appear with the court and serves these on the defendant.

After serving the defendant, the claimant must file a Declaration of Service with the court.

The fee is $50 for claims under $5,000 and $75 for claims more than $5,000 and up to $10,000.

Small Claim must be served on the defendant within 30 days after the claim was filed at the court.

The court will set a date for the hearing within 60 days after the date of filing the claim or at such other time as the judge sees fit.

The defendant has the opportunity to respond

From the date of service, the defendant has a set amount of time to file a Notice of Intention to Appear.

The defendant can also file a counterclaim against the claimant. The counterclaim must be served on the claimant.

At least 7 days before hearing date.


Application for default judgment

If the defendant does not file a Notice of Intention to Appear, the claimant can apply to have a default judgment.

After the timeframe noted above for the filing of a notice of intention to appear.

Possible Outcomes Timeline

Withdrawal of the claim

At any time, if no response has been filed, or with the written consent of all parties or with the leave of the court, either party can file a notice of withdrawal (Form 5) with the clerk.

At any time before the hearing date.

Award of a default judgment

If the defendant does not appear on the date set for the hearing, the court may award a default judgment in regards to the claim.

When a defendant fails to appear at a hearing.


If there is a trial and both parties appear, the judge will hear the case, and render a judgment using the information presented by the claimant and defendant.

On (or after) the date of the hearing.

Further Options Timeline

Application to set aside a default judgment

Upon learning of the judgment.

Appeal to a higher court

The appellant, or party who appeals the decision of the lower court, can appeal to the Court of Appeal.

Within 30 days after the signing of a decision.



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