Small Claims Court Overview

Newfoundland and Labrador

Small claims are brought in the Provincial Court. The court has jurisdiction over claims not exceeding $25,000.00.

Action Timeline

File and serve claim

The plaintiff files a statement of claim and reply, and serves these on the defendant.

The filing fee is $50 for claims up to $500.00 and $100 for claims $500 and over.

Within 12 months of filing the claim with the court.

The defendant has the opportunity to respond

The defendant may pay the amount claimed directly to the plaintiff, admit all or part of the claim and propose a payment schedule, or dispute the claim and/or counterclaim.

If the defendant disputes the claim, he or she has a set amount of time to file a reply with the court.

Within 10 days after receiving the statement of claim.

Application for default judgment

If the defendant does not file a reply with the court, the plaintiff can apply to have a default judgment.

After the timeframe noted above for the filing of a reply by a defendant.

Settlement Conference

The parties must attend a settlement conference to try to settle the claim. The parties must be served with the notice of the settlement conference by the court.

Before a trial date is set.

Notice must be sent by the court at least 14 days before the settlement conference.

Possible Outcomes Timeline


A party offers to settle by serving the other party with an offer to settle. To accept the offer to settle, the other party must serve and file an acceptance of offer any time before the trial.

Offer and acceptance may be made any time before trial.

Withdrawal of the claim or counterclaim

A party who wishes to withdraw his or her claim must serve a notice of withdrawal with the court and on the other party.

At any time.

Award of a default judgment

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

When a defendant fails to appear at a settlement conference or hearing.


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

At, or as soon as possible after, the hearing.

Further Options Timeline

Application to set aside a default judgment

When there is a default judgment, the party who failed to appear at the date set for the settlement conference or hearing (in respect of the claim filed) can apply to have this judgment set aside.

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 Trial Division.

Within 30 days of the judgment or order.



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