Sample Notice of Claim for Small Claims (20:App C)
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a) Claims in Debt
Claims in debt are quantified. Usually, the parties can agree on the amount owing.
SAMPLE: The claimant’s claim is for a debt in the amount owing to the claimant on account for (or, for the price of) goods sold and delivered (or services rendered) by the claimant to the defendant at their request. The goods sold (or services rendered) were: (description of goods or services) and were delivered (or rendered) on or about the 29th day of July 2007 at 3875 Point Grey Road in the City of Vancouver, BC. The claimant has demanded payment of this sum by the defendant but the defendant has refused or neglected to pay.
If the defendant has partially paid the original amount owing, this should be detailed in the Notice of Claim.
b) Claims for Damages
Damages are a claim for a loss where the parties do not agree on an amount owed. These claims often refer to breach of contract, misrepresentation, or negligence.
SAMPLE: The claimant’s claim is against the defendant(s) (and each of them jointly and severally) for the sum of $3,000 for damages to the claimant’s house resulting from a roof installed on or about the 10th day of June, 2007, at (or near) 2120 West 2nd Avenue in the City of Vancouver, British Columbia, due to the roof being negligently installed by the defendant... causing damages of the above amount. The defendant’s said negligence consisted of... (e.g. improper installation or materials).
SAMPLE: The claimant had a contract with the defendants to paint the claimant’s house for $3,000. The defendants never painted the house. The claimant had to pay XYZ Painters $3,950 to paint the house. This happened in Coquitlam, British Columbia, in May of 2007.
The statement of facts should be broken down into separate paragraphs. Facts should be listed as one fact per numbered paragraph.
In a claim for damages, the claimant may not know what the amount should be. In such cases, the claimant should claim a figure that he or she would accept in settlement, or if doubtful of the amount, $25,000 should be claimed and the court will determine the appropriate amount of damages. Furthermore, Small Claims court can award aggravated and punitive damages. Aggravated damages are considered compensatory and may be awarded even if not plead specifically; see Epstein v Cressey Development Corp.  2 WWR 566 (BCCA). Punitive damages are not compensatory and must be plead specifically; see Gillespie v Gill Et. Al.  B.C.P.C. No. 2021. For a discussion of aggravated damages see Kooner v Kooner  B.C.S.C. No.62. For a discussion of aggravated and punitive damages, see Siebert v J & M. Motors Ltd.  B.C.J. No.876.
c) Other Remedies
The Notice of Claim is designed for claims in debt and for damages, but other claims are available, such as specific performance of a contract, quantum meruit or return (recovery) of an item.
SAMPLE:The claim is against the defendant for the return of their lawn mower, which was borrowed by the defendant who refused to return it. This happened in Surrey, British Columbia, in July of 2007.
In cases such as this, ignore the dollar amount for the “How Much” section. Indicate instead what the claimant seeks, e.g. “The claimant asks for an order that her lawn mower be returned to her”. The client should consider the possible condition of the goods when deciding whether or not to ask for damages instead.
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