The judge renders a judgment after hearing all the parties during the trial. The judge can:
grant the plaintiff’s claim in its entirety;
grant part of the plaintiff’s claim; or
dismiss the plaintiff’s claim.
If applicable, the judge also rules on the cross-application filed by the defendant against the plaintiff.
The judge can render judgment “from the bench”, in other words verbally at the trial in the presence of all the parties. The judge may also take the case under advisement and render judgment in writing at a later date, not more than 4 months after the end of the trial.
The judgment also rules on costs, which may include the amounts paid to file an application or defence, and the reimbursement of any other costs granted by the judge. In general, the losing party must pay the costs.
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Effect of judgment
A judgment does not have effect for an unlimited period. To be valid, a right resulting from a judgment must be exercised within 10 years of the date of the judgment.
Judgments rendered at the Small Claims Division are final and cannot be appealed.
Small claims judgments are public. In other words, anyone can consult judgments and the associated parties’ files. However, a judge can order that certain elements remain confidential.