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Check if you can file

Refer to the following to find out the conditions for filing your claim at the Small Claims Tribunals (SCT).

You can file if your claim...

You cannot file if your claim…

Note: The examples in this table are not exhaustive. Refer to the Small Claims Tribunals Act for more information.

Take a pre-filing assessment

Take an online pre-filing assessment on the Community Justice and Tribunals System (CJTS) to check whether your claim can be heard by the SCT.

This test is not conclusive and is not intended to be legal advice. You may seek legal advice if you are unsure whether your claim is within the SCT’s jurisdiction.

Note: You will receive a pre-filing assessment ID after completing the pre-filing assessment. Take note of this ID as you will need to provide it to file a claim.

Types of claims the SCT can hear

The SCT can only hear the types of cases specified in the Small Claims Tribunals Act.

This includes claims arising from a contract in which goods are sold or bought in exchange for money.

Example: Purchase of a TV.

This includes claims arising from a contract to provide services involving skill or labour, or both, in exchange for money.

Example: Renovation contract.

This includes claims in tort for damage caused to any property, which may be incurred by owners of a property as a result of careless, reckless or improper acts by others.

This does not include damage to property related to any of the following scenarios:

This does not include the lease of industrial or commercial premises, or license of any premises for any period of time.

The unfair practice must be defined by Section 4 or the Second Schedule of the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act.

It must involve a contract for the sale of goods or provision of services, or a hire-purchase agreement.

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The refund of motor vehicle deposits must be under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) (Motor Vehicle Dealer Deposits) Regulations.

The SCT can also hear other statutory claims under any written law. Examples include:

  • A Town Council filing a claim to recover conservancy and service charges.
  • The Housing and Development Board filing a claim to recover outstanding improvement contribution.
  • A Management Corporation Strata Title filing a claim to recover management fund or sinking fund contributions.

Claim limit

Claims with a total value not exceeding $20,000 can be heard at the SCT. This limit can be raised to $30,000 if there is a Memorandum of Consent (DOCX, 38 KB) from both parties.

Note: Where the value of the claim exceeds the prescribed limit, you may abandon the excess to enable the SCT to hear your claim. No claim shall be divided into separate SCT proceedings for the sole purpose of bringing the amount claimed for each proceeding within the claim limit. If you are unsure, you may seek legal advice on your available options.

Time limit

All SCT claims must be filed within 2 years of the event which creates your cause of action. A cause of action is the set of facts which entitles you to start a court action against another party.

Example: A shopkeeper who does not get paid after delivering goods to a customer may have a cause of action to claim the price of the unpaid goods.

Other conditions

If either party is a bankrupt, you cannot start or proceed with a claim unless you have permission from the Official Assignee.

If you are claiming as a corporate entity that is in liquidation or winding up, you cannot start a claim unless you have permission from the Official Receiver or liquidator.

If the respondent is a corporate entity that is in liquidation or winding up, you cannot proceed with a claim against them unless you have permission from the High Court.

Note
If either you or the respondent are bankrupt or insolvent, you may seek legal advice on your available courses of actions.

The tribunal can only hear claims that are served on a respondent in Singapore.

Note
The tribunal may discontinue your case if it is of the opinion that your claim is beyond its jurisdiction. If your claim is discontinued, you may still pursue it in another court.

Need help?

The information here is for general guidance as the courts do not provide legal advice. If you need further help, you may want to get independent legal advice.

Find out more

Resources

Refer to A Guide to Small Claims (PDF, 716 KB).

2021/07/23

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