In Nova Scotia small claims court is a great option for getting a ruling on issues that involve amounts totalling less than $25,000. The two main benefits are that A) every step of the way it’s quicker and B) for most people it ends up being significantly less expensive, yet you still end up with an enforceable judgement from a Nova Scotia Court.
The limit to the amount of money that can be awarded is $25,000. The idea is that you can avoid the cost of using a lawyer to represent them and do it yourself. That said, a ruling is final so there is some risk doing it wrong by “playing lawyer”. As a result, many people choose to retain a lawyer to represent them especially for larger claims.
If the amount you are seeking from the court is under $5000, it costs $100 to file. If the amount you are seeking is over $5000, it is approximately $200 to file. You then have to personally serve the defendant (or arrange for someone to personally serve them, often a bailiff which typically costs approximately $100). A court date will be set the day you file the lawsuit and you have some input into the date selected. In most cases is set within two months.
You’ll get a copy of any defense the other side files.
At the hearing, you present your evidence to the Judge and the defendant presents theirs. Your evidence can be just your words or any paperwork you may have. You are allowed to bring witnesses who may also give evidence. The defendant also brings their own evidence and any witnesses. Generally, after the Judge has heard all of the evidence, they will give a decision right then. However, in some cases they can choose to “reserve their decision”. This means they want to think about it for a little while and possibly look up some law before issuing a written decision.
You can also check out our other blogs on Small Claims Court:
If you have any questions about how to sue someone in small claims court, we'd be happy to help. You can call us at (902) 826-3070 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a meeting with one of our lawyers at our Tantallon law firm. You can also schedule a no commitment Issue Review Consult for $100+HST where you have the opportunity to explain your situation to a lawyer and get basic advice before deciding whether or not you'd like to retain us.
By Dianna M. Rievaj – Managing Lawyer
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