The Small Claims Tribunals (SCT) of the State Courts resolve specific types of low-value disputes between consumers and suppliers in a quicker and less expensive way than if the same dispute went for a civil trial.
Common types of small claims include disputes that involve goods, services or residential tenancy agreements not exceeding 2 years. The claim limit is $20,000 (or $30,000 if there is a Memorandum of Consent (PDF, 91 KB) signed by both parties). Find out more about the cases that are eligible.
This is the process for filing a claim.
If you file a claim, you are the claimant.
The party against whom the claim is filed is the respondent. If you have received a notice about a claim filed against you, refer to Respond to a small claim.
Lawyers are not allowed to represent parties for SCT matters.
File and serve a small claim
Find out the documents you need to prepare, fees you need to pay, and steps to file and serve a claim.
Resolve the dispute online
You and the respondent may choose to resolve the dispute online through eNegotiation or eMediation. If you reach an agreement, you do not need to attend court. This may speed up the small claims process.
If the dispute is not resolved, you will attend a consultation with a registrar. If you are not able to settle the case at the consultation, your claim may proceed to a hearing before a tribunal magistrate, who will decide the outcome of the claim.
File an application, if needed
You may file an appeal against a small claims order in some cases, or set aside an order made in your absence if you missed a court session. If the SCT makes an order in your favour but the other party does not comply, you may apply to enforce it.
You can apply to withdraw your claim if the SCT has not issued an order. Log in to the Community Justice and Tribunals System (CJTS), click the Online Applications tab and select Withdrawal Request Form. This application is subject to the SCT's approval.
If the application is approved, the claim will conclude. There will be no further proceedings at the SCT. Filing fees are not refundable.