Introduction to Small Claims (20:I)
Law Students' Legal
Advice Program Manual.
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August 2021: We are currently updating the pages with the 2021 edition.
Most people with legal claims under $25,000 are not lawyers and do not have the benefit of legal representation. It can be challenging to choose how to resolve a dispute and how much to claim. While this guide primarily focuses on the Small Claims Court, it briefly reviews other options for resolving disputes.
If you are a party to a small claims action, take the time to read this guide in its entirety. If you fail to comply with the rules, the process may be delayed, your claim or defence may be weakened, and you may be liable to pay costs and penalties to the other party. Reading this guide will help you be more prepared and minimise confusion.
This guide is meant to explain the general Small Claims Court process; it is not legal advice. Read the guide along with the Small Claims Court rules and obtain legal advice where necessary.
In contract law, a promise made by someone about a certain state of affairs, like "the plumbing was replaced last year" or "I had a vasectomy two years ago." See "misrepresentation."
(1) The assertion of a legal right to an order or to a thing; (2) the remedy or relief sought by a party to a court proceeding.
In law, a person named as an applicant, claimant, respondent, or third party in a court proceeding; someone asserting a claim in a court proceeding or against whom a claim has been brought. See "action" and "litigant."
A court proceeding in which one party sues another for a specific remedy or relief, also called a "lawsuit" or a "case." An action for divorce, for example, is a court proceeding in which the claimant sues the respondent for the relief of a divorce order.
(1) A reply, a rebuttal, an answer to a court proceeding or an application, or (2) a statement as to why a particular claim or application should not succeed.
In law, a calculation of the allowable legal expenses of a party to a court proceeding, as determined by the Supreme Court Family Rules. The party who is most successful in a court proceeding is usually awarded their "costs" of the proceeding. See "account," "bill of costs," "certificate of costs" and "lawyer's fees."