If you are thinking about suing someone or if someone is suing you, learn about how to Get Started. You will discover that all Small Claims Court cases start with filing a Notice of Claim. The person who makes the claim is called the claimant. The party named in the lawsuit is the defendant and must file a Reply to a Claim.
To access standard court forms and get more information about available help guides, see the section on Court Forms.
In Small Claims Court, the process your case will follow depends on the court location where your claim was filed.
In Vancouver, if you have financial debt (such as credit card debt), your case will be heard at a Summary Trial. If your case does not involve personal injury and is for an amount less than $5000, it will be heard at a Simplified Trial – which is a simplified, hour long session with a judge or adjudicator to decide the case.
Most Vancouver cases over $5000 go to Mediation, which is paid for by the Ministry. Mediation is alternative to court, where a third party assists the parties to settle their dispute.
If the dispute is not resolved, there will be a Trial Conference – often called a Pre-Trial Conference. This meeting helps all parties to prepare for the trial. At the Trial, both the claimant and defendant have a chance to present their case, submit evidence, call witnesses, cross-examine the other party’s witnesses and make closing statements.
Once your case has been decided, you made need to know how to collect on the judgement, or how to file an appeal. You can find this information in Court Decisions.