Small Claims Court Overview

New Brunswick

Small claims are brought in the Small Claims Court of New Brunswick for amounts up to $12,500.

Action Timeline

File and serve claim

The claimant files a Claim Form in the Clerk’s Office of the judicial district where the defendant lives.

For claims of $3,000 or less the filing fee is $50. For claims of more than $3,000 the filing fee is $100.

After filing the Claim, the claimant must serve a stamped copy of the Claim Form and a blank Response Form on the defendant.

The claim must be served within one year of filing with the Clerk’s Office.

This is done when the action is initiated.

The defendant has the opportunity to respond

If the defendant wants to dispute the claim, he must file a Dispute Notice with the Clerk. There is a filing fee of $25.

If the defendant brings a Counterclaim, there is a fee. The filing fee is $50 where the counterclaim is for $3,000 or less and $100 where the counterclaim is for an amount over $3,000.

A counterclaim cannot exceed $12,500.

Within 30 days after the date of service.

Application for default judgment

If the defendant does not file a response, the claimant can apply to have a default judgment.

Thirty days after service of the claim.

Settlement conference

The parties can agree to settle the case at any time.

The parties can use the services of a mediator to help them settle the claim.

Before beginning the hearing, the adjudicator will ask the parties if they have tried to settle the matter. If they have not, the adjudicator will give them an opportunity to settle before the hearing begins.

Before hearing.

Possible Outcomes Timeline

Settlement

If parties settle, they must sign and file a settlement agreement. A notice of withdrawal may be filed and served on all parties when the terms of the agreement have been met.

Any time before the hearing.

Withdrawal of the claim or counterclaim

A claimant may withdraw the claim, if no response has been filed or with written consent of the parties or with leave of the court, if a response has been filed.

A defendant may withdraw a counterclaim if no response has been filed or with written consent of the parties or with leave of the court, if a response has been filed.

The Notice of Withdrawal must be filed with the Clerk’s Office and served on all other parties.

At any time.

Award of a default judgment

If the defendant fails to appear on the date set for the hearing, the court may award a default judgment in regards to the claim and dismiss the counterclaim, if any has been filed by the defendant.

When a defendant fails to appear at a hearing.

Judgment

If there is a trial and both parties appear, the adjudicator will hear the case of both the claimant and the defendant, and will make a written judgment using the information presented. The clerk will send copies of the adjudicator’s decision to all parties.

Within six months.

A written decision will take effect on the day it is filed with the court clerk.

Further Options Timeline

Application to set aside a default judgment

The defendant can ask the court to  set aside a default judgment by filing an Application for Order by Small Claims Court, an Affidavit to Set Aside a Default or Interim Judgment, and a Response in the Clerk’s Office and serving them on the other parties at least 10 days before the scheduled hearing on the application.

Upon learning of the default judgment.

Application to set aside judgment after hearing

The defendant can ask the court to set aside the judgment and order a new hearing by filing an Application for Order by Small Claims Court and an Affidavit to Set Aside a Default or Interim Judgment in the Clerk’s Office and serving them on the other parties at least 10 days before the scheduled hearing on the application.

Upon learning of the judgment.

Appeal to a higher court

The appellant, or party who appeals the decision of the lower court, can apply to the Court of Queen’s Bench, Trial Division by filing a Notice of Appeal by Application to appeal a ruling or a Request for Appeal by Way of New Hearing to appeal the Adjudicator’s final decision. In either case, there is a $75.00 filing fee

Within 10 days of the ruling being appealed.

Within 30 days after the date of filing of the adjudicator's decision.

Canada

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