Frequently Asked Questions - Small Claims
1. I have been served a Summons. What will happen if I don't show up for Court?
The Judge will likely grant a judgment to the Plaintiff for the total amount of the claim.
2. How do I get witnesses to attend Court on my behalf?
If they are willing to come on their own, you can simply ask them to attend Court on the specified date and time. If you wish, you can have the Court Office prepare a subpoena which compels them to attend. You would be responsible for serving the subpoena on the witness and for paying them the prescribed fee of $15.00 plus mileage if the witness lives more than 10 kilometers from the location of where the witness is attending Court.
3. My case has been scheduled for a trial but my witness is unable to attend Court. Is it okay to just bring a written statement from this witness to Court?
Written statements are not typically accepted. Evidence should be provided in person, by the person who knows the information first hand. This is because the other party has a right to cross-examine the witness and this cannot be done without their being present in Court. In some circumstances, some Court offices allow witnesses to give evidence over the telephone so you may wish to check with the Court Office.
It is also important to note that except in exceptional circumstances in the discretion of the judge, you cannot repeat what someone else has told you (unless that person is the other party to the case). If this information is important, that person needs to attend.
4. Do I have to make an appointment to file my Claim?
It is recommended that you call before your arrive at the court office.
Provincial Court offices are open from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm and appointments are not always necessary. However, it is helpful to call ahead. You can save time by confirming that the Small Claims Clerk will be available when you arrive. This is particularly so if you wish to attend over the noon hour.
You can find a list of court offices and their phone numbers here.
5. What kinds of Court costs are recoverable?
The Court has a wide discretion to allow costs other than legal fees. For example, costs may be awarded for:
6. I live in one province and the person I wish to sue lives in another province. Where should I take my case?
The claim should be filed at the court office that is closest to the place where the incident occurred. The Plaintiff may also agree to file the claim at the court office closest to where the Defendant resides.
This is also true if the Plaintiff and the Defendant live in different communities. For example, if the Plaintiff lives in Estevan and the Defendant lives in Prince Albert, the claim should be filed in the court office closest to where the incident took place.
If you cannot determine where the incident occurred, then the claim should be filed at the court office where the Defendant resides. For example, if there was a dispute about goods purchased by mail or over the internet, the claim should be filed closest to where the Defendant resides.
7. What are the fees for filing a claim?
The fees payable for issuing a summons are:
- Claims of $2,000.00 or less - $ 20.00
- Claims over $2,000.00 and up to $30,000 - 1% of the claim (rounded up to the nearest dollar) up to a $100.00 maximum.
Fees go up by $1 for every $100 that you are claiming. For example:
- if the amount of your claim is $2,500, the fee is $25.
- if the amount of your claim is $7,500, the fee is $75.
- if the amount of your claim is $9,950 or over, the fee is $100.
8. How can I pay my filing fees?
Fees can be paid at the court office with cash or cheque. Credit cards are not accepted. Cheques can be made payable to "Small Claims Court". Please do not send cash in the mail.
If you are filing your claim by mail, please ensure that you include your telephone number so that the staff can contact you when needed.