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Applications heard by the Small Claims Division

The Small Claims Division will only hear certain types of disputes.

Eligible applications

The Small Claims Division hears applications about:

In addition, your application must not exceed the maximum amount for small claims.

Disputes with merchants

If you are in a dispute with a merchant, contact the Office de la Protection du Consommateur to find out if you can use its free online dispute resolution tool: Parle consommation This hyperlink will open in a new window..

Ineligible applications

The Small Claims Division does not hear applications about:

  • Leases for dwellings This hyperlink will open in a new window., which are under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Tribunal Administratif du Logement. For example, you cannot file a claim against a lessor or landlord regarding a lease with the Small Claims Division.
  • Child support, which is under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Superior Court. For example, you cannot initiate proceedings before the Small Claims Division to claim unpaid child support from your former spouse.
  • Defamation suits. For example, you cannot sue a person for defamation before the Small Claims Division who you believe has harmed your reputation on social media or in your workplace.
  • Class actions, which are under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Superior Court. For example, you cannot file a claim before the Small Claims Division for an issue that affected a large number of people.
  • Claims filed by a person, company or association who purchased debt from someone else. For example, if you buy a vehicle that was not free of all debts from an individual (see Qu’est-ce que le RDPRM This hyperlink will open in a new window.? (in French)), you cannot sue the seller in the Small Claims Division.

Dividing a claim of over $15,000 into multiple claims

You cannot divide a claim of over $15,000 into multiple claims of less than $15,000 in order to file a claim against someone in the Small Claims Division.

For example, you cannot file two small claims applications of $10,000 each if your client contractually owes you $20,000.

Proceedings against the Government of Canada

You cannot sue the Government of Canada in the Small Claims Division.

File an application with the Superior Court of Québec or the Federal Court of Canada, Trial Division, if you wish to initiate small claims proceedings against a department or agency of the Government of Canada.

Last update: October 25, 2023

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