Small Claims Costs and Penalties (20:XV)

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The court expects parties to act reasonably and follow the rules. Parties who do not follow the rules or are unsuccessful may be liable for certain costs and penalties.

A. Costs to Successful Party[edit]

Generally, the unsuccessful party must pay the successful party’s expenses272. Any reasonable expenses directly related to the proceedings may be claimed. This includes filing fees, costs for document reproduction, and other costs incidental to the trial process.

A list of expenses should be brought to trial and can include expenses incurred due to the lateness, unpreparedness, or general misconduct of a party273 as long as the party claiming the expenses has actually spent that amount of money274.

Wages lost for attending court cannot generally be recovered275. Where a claim before the small claims court has been withdrawn and there are no appropriate grounds to recall it, neither costs nor penalties can be assessed276.

In circumstances where the successful party has acted unfairly, withheld information, misled the court, or wasted the court’s time, the successful party may have to pay the unsuccessful party’s costs277.