In the Small Claims Court you can make a claim for up to $25,000 with some limitations. You can also make a claim for the return of goods or “personal property” valued to a maximum of $25,000. You cannot make a claim in the Small Claims Court that relates to land ownership, wills and estates, malicious prosecution, wrongful imprisonment or defamation (libel and slander). You also cannot make a claim in the Small Claims Court for what are known in law as “general damages” in an amount greater than $100. The remainder of the Small Claims Court’s jurisdiction relates to residential tenancy appeals (appeals from decisions over rented property made by Residential Tenancy Officers) and disputes between lawyers and their clients over fees and other retention issues.
Though lawyers frequently appear before the Small Claims Court to present claims and defences on behalf of their clients, it is not necessary for those appearing before the Court to be represented by lawyers. In fact, the informality by which Small Claims Court proceedings are conducted is conducive to claimants (those making claims) and defendants (those responding to claims) representing themselves. However, the information set out in this webpage is designed as general information only and should not be taken or construed as legal advice.
Resources to Help You Prepare for an Action
LEGAL INFORMATION SOCIETY OF NOVA SCOTIA:
7 IMPORTANT THINGS TO DO WHEN
INFORMATION BROCHURE >>
USING A SUBPOENA IN SMALL CLAIMS COURT >>
ENFORCING A COURT ORDER >>
Is it worth making a claim?
Read this brochure:
IS SMALL CLAIMS COURT FOR YOU? >>
Devez-vous faire appel à la Cour des petites créances?
See a list of more frequently incurred COSTS & FEES >>
Making a Claim
You can pick up a claim form at a Small Claims Court near you.
FIND A COURTHOUSE >>
The staff can answer any questions you
may have. However, staff are only allowed to provide general information. It is not intended to be legal advice.
If the defendant is a business, you can get the correct name of the business by calling the Registry of Joint Stock Companies at 902-424-7770. From outside Halifax, call Access Nova Scotia, toll-free, at 1-800-225-8227. You can also go the website of the REGISTRY OF JOINT STOCK COMPANIES >>
Once the claim form is filled out, you file it with the clerk and pay the fee. The clerk fills in the number of days you will have to give notice of the claim to the defendant (usually 20 days), and the date of the hearing of your claim.
You can also fill out the claim forms online: INTERACTIVE SMALL CLAIMS FORMS >>
Note About French Translations: The translation of the Small Claims Court Act, the Small Claims Court Forms and Procedures Regulations and the Small Claims Court Taxation of Costs Regulations has not been approved by the Provincial Legislature and thus is non-official. It is to be used for information purposes and does not commit the Province of Nova Scotia to any change from the English-only structure that exists in the civil courts at present.
Representing Yourself In Small Claims Court
Everyone is entitled to represent themselves in the Courts (except in Bankruptcy Court where individuals act through a Trustee in Bankruptcy). However, there are often many forms and documents to be filled out, witnesses to subpoena, and so on. If you are not familar with legal and court procedures, and the law as it applies to your case, then you may want to reconsider self-representation.
If you are representing yourself in Small Claims Court, you can also fill out the claim forms online: INTERACTIVE SMALL CLAIMS FORMS >>
More information and links to additional web-based resources can be found HERE >>
Funding for French translations is provided by the Department of Canadian Heritage under the Canada-Nova Scotia Agreement on the Promotion of Official Languages.
Financement de la traduction en français : ministère du Patrimoine canadien, dans le cadre de l'Entente Canada-Nouvelle-Écosse sur la Promotion des langues officielles.