The material provided here is for informational purposes only and is not to be relied upon as legal advice.
The Small Claims Court is under the jurisdiction of the Manitoba
Court of Queen's Bench and is a way to settle monetary disputes
that do not exceed $7,500. You may ask to have costs and/or
interest added to your judgment at the hearing. The Small Claims
Court can only award a monetary judgment; or, in the case of
a motor vehicle accident, determine liability.
Anyone 18 years of age or older; a parent or guardian on behalf of a child; or a business collecting outstanding debts may file a Small Claim.
In a Small Claim action all persons and/or companies named are parties to the action. The parties are identified as plaintiff(s) [the party filing the claim] and defendant(s) [the party the claim is against].
The Small Claims Court procedure is set out in The Court of Queen's Bench Small Claims Practices Act. You may purchase a copy of the Act from Manitoba Statutory Publications (200 Vaughan Street, Winnipeg).
Note: All cheques are payable to the "Minister of Finance".
A claim may be filed at any one of 13 Court of
Queen's Bench offices in Manitoba (see the "
Small Claims Court Locations
" Section). The filing fee is payable by cash, cheque, or money order.
Parties filing from outside Manitoba must also pay a separate $150 as security
for costs, payable by cash, certified cheque or money order.
The security is held in court until the matter is concluded and the appeal
period has expired.
The hearing of the claim must be held at the court centre nearest where the defendant resides or where the incident happened. A court date will be set at the time of filing. Once served, the date may only be changed by consent of all parties. As a plaintiff you must have the full and complete name and address of all parties involved in the action.
If the defendant is a firm or partnership, you must have the name and address of the owner(s) and the business name. If the defendant is a corporation, you must have the full registered name and address of the corporation and business name (if used).
It is suggested that the plaintiff do a business name search at the Business & Corporations Names Branch [1010 - 405 Broadway, Winnipeg, (204) 945-2500] to make sure the claim is filed against the proper business name. The judgment may not be enforceable if the name is incorrect.
The court office will provide you with enough copies of the filed claim to serve each defendant, and one for yourself. A notice of intention to appear will be attached to each copy to be served. The defendant should complete and file this document with the court at least 7 days before the hearing.
See Appendix 1(a) & Appendix 1(b)
You may make a claim for an assessment of liability arising
from a motor vehicle accident. The claim is for the amount of
your deductible or for the amount of damages, whichever is less.
You must file your claim within two years less a day from the
date of the accident. You must have:
(a) the full name and address of the driver and the registered owner of all vehicles involved in the accident;
(b) the date, time, and place of the accident;
(c) your MPI claim number; and
(d) the amount of the damages to your vehicle, or your deductible, whichever is less.
See Appendix 2(a) & Appendix 2(b)
The defendant may file a counterclaim against the plaintiff if
he/she feels the plaintiff owes him/her money or he/she has suffered
damages. The defendant must complete the counterclaim and serve
it on the plaintiff not less than five days prior to the court
date. A counterclaim may be served by personal service, alternate
service, or registered mail, as set out in the "
Service of the Claim
" Section. The person who delivers or mails a copy of the
counterclaim to each named plaintiff must complete a separate
declaration of service for each plaintiff served.
Service of the claim means the method you may use to deliver a claim to each defendant being sued (or in the case of a counterclaim, each plaintiff). The type of service used may be different for each party.
(a) Personal Service - hand deliver a copy of the claim to and leave with
the defendant; or
(b) Alternate Service - hand deliver a copy of the claim to and leave with an adult at the residence of the defendant; or
(c) Registered Mail - mail a copy of the claim to the defendant by registered mail to their last known residential address. If there are several defendants you must send one copy of the claim to each defendant in separate envelopes. Ensure the name and address of each defendant appears on the postal receipt. You must obtain a screen print from Canada Post confirming the successful delivery of each envelope.
Leave a copy of the claim with the manager or the person operating the business, or by registered mail, as set out above, to the business address.
Leave a copy of the claim with a director, officer, or manager of the corporation, or by registered mail, as set out above, to the attention of the president at the address of the corporation.
Leave a copy of the claim with one partner of the partnership, or by registered mail, as set out above, to one of the partners.
If MPI is involved, you must serve a copy of the claim to the MPI legal department by alternate service or by registered mail, as set out above.
In a case where personal service, alternate service, or registered mail has been unsuccessful, an application for substitutional service may be presented to the court for an order allowing you to serve the parties in a different manner. Each case is assessed individually. Contact a Small Claims office for this procedure.
Claims must be served on each defendant within 30 days of filing. If you are unable to serve the claim within that time period you may apply to the court office for an order to extend the time for service. A copy of the order extending time must be served with the claim.
The person who delivers or mails a copy of the claim to each named
defendant must complete a separate declaration of service for
each defendant served. The declaration should be on file not
less than 10 days before the hearing.
If a party requires the attendance of a person to
give evidence at the hearing, they should attend the court office
to obtain a subpoena to a witness. A subpoena may be served in
one of two ways:
(a) Personal Service: hand a copy of the subpoena to and leave with the witness; or
(b) Registered Mail: mail a copy of the subpoena to the witness by registered mail to the residential address of the witness, as set out above.
Note: A subpoena cannot be enforced unless it was personally
served not less than the fourth day before the hearing.
Your claim will be heard and decided by a hearing officer.
You should be prepared to present your case on the date and time
set for the hearing, whether the defendant is in attendance or
not (as long as the defendant was properly served). It will be
necessary for you to produce all information to prove your case.
This means all relevant evidence such as letters, contracts,
cancelled cheques, invoices or statements of account, pictures,
diagrams, et cetera, and most important of all, witnesses with
The plaintiff may discontinue the claim prior to the hearing date by writing
to the court office where the claim was filed. It is the plaintiff's responsibility
to notify all parties of the discontinuance before the hearing
date to avoid costs being awarded in favour of the defendant.
If a Counterclaim has been filed, the Counterclaim could still
proceed, unless the defendant discontinues it.
A certificate of decision will be issued to all parties following the hearing
confirming the decision of the court. This becomes a judgment registered with
the credit bureaus across Canada. The judgment is good for 10 years. Contact
the court prior to expiry for information on how to extend the
judgment if it is still unsatisfied.
The party who is successful and receives a judgment is referred to as the creditor, and the party that the judgment is against is referred to as the judgment debtor. There are several methods available through the court to assist you in collecting the judgment. The creditor may use one or more of the following methods of enforcement. You may obtain these documents from the court.
You may take garnishment proceedings against the wages of the judgment debtor. You must serve the notice on the judgment debtor's employer by personal service or registered mail, as set out in the Service of the Claim Section. Under the terms of the notice, the employer (called the garnishee) must pay a portion of the wages owing to the judgment debtor into court. The notice is subject to exemptions under the law, and the judgment debtor may take steps to have the garnishment set aside.
A notice of garnishment remains in effect for one year after it is served on the garnishee. Depending on how much money is owed on the judgment, a creditor may have to obtain subsequent garnishments in order to collect the full judgment.
(b) Bank/Credit Union Accounts
Notices of garnishment served on bank/credit union accounts are effective only on the day they are served. The garnishment requires the financial institution (garnishee) to pay into court all funds up to the amount stated in the notice.
This document is registered at the nearest Land Titles Office against
the judgment debtor's property (the name of the judgment debtor
must appear on the land title). This creates what is called a
lien on the property of the judgment debtor and the property
cannot be sold without having the lien removed.
This document directs a sheriff's officer to seize and sell belongings of the judgment debtor equal to the amount owing on the judgment. Any costs of this enforcement proceeding for such things as towing, storage, appraisal, auctioning, advertising and the sheriff's fee are deducted from the money collected from the sale of the seized belongings. Because this method of enforcement can cost several hundred dollars it is suggested the creditor contact the nearest sheriff's office for further information.
Note: The filing fees for garnishments,
certificates of judgment, and writs of seizure and sale may be
added to the judgment.
A notice of satisfaction or letter stating the judgment has been paid
in full must be filed with the court to complete the court record.
Either a plaintiff or defendant may
appeal a decision of the Small Claims Court within 30 days of
the date the certificate of decision was signed. The party who
appeals the decision is called the appellant, and the person
responding to the appeal is called the respondent.
An appeal is filed at the Court of Queen's Bench nearest where the claim was heard. A date, time and place will be set for the hearing. A Court of Queen's Bench judge will hear the appeal as a new trial. This means that the evidence to be heard at the hearing may be the same, similar or totally different from the first hearing. The filing fee for an appeal is $35.
If the appellant was not present at the first hearing, the appellant must first obtain the permission (or leave) of the court to have the appeal heard. Along with the $35 filing fee, the appellant must pay a separate $150 as security for costs, payable by cash, certified cheque, or money order. The security is held in court until the matter is concluded and the appeal period has expired.
A further appeal may be made from the decision of the Court of Queen's Bench to the Manitoba Court of Appeal, but only on a question of law.
For further information or assistance, a court officer at one of the following Small Claims offices may be able to assist you in person or by telephone:
|Brandon||1104 Princess Avenue||726-6240|
|Dauphin||114 River Avenue West||622-2087|
|Flin Flon||104 - 143 Main Street||687-1670|
|Minnedosa||70 - 3rd Avenue Southwest||867-2238|
|Morden||301 Wardrop Street||822-2882|
|Portage la Prairie||20 - 3rd Street Southeast||239-3383|
|St. Boniface||227 Provencher Blvd.||945-8010|
|Selkirk||101 - 235 Eaton Avenue||785-5122|
|Swan River||201 - 4th Avenue South||734-2252|
|The Pas||300 -3rd Street East||627-8420|
|Thompson||59 Elizabeth Drive||677-6798|
|Virden||232 Wellington Street West||748-4288|
|Winnipeg||100C - 408 York Avenue||945-3138|
Forms can be purchased from:
Statutory Publications Office
200 Vaughan Street
Telephone: Toll Free in Manitoba: 1-800-321-1203
In Winnipeg and outside Manitoba: 204-945-3101
All orders must be prepaid. You may choose one of the following payment methods:
- Cash and Interac accepted when ordering in person at our 200 Vaughan Street office in Winnipeg
- Visa, MasterCard, Cheques and Money Orders Payable to the Minister of Finance
You can find information on the Laws of Manitoba at:
Once you are at this Internet site, click on "Enter Manitoba Laws" to find specific information.
The Law Fees and Probate Charge Regulation regulate all court fees. You can find
these fees online at:
You must attend to the Small Claims Court in which your court file is located.
Court staff can photocopy the documents for a minimum charge of $2.50
($1.00 for the 1st page and then .50 cents for each additional page).
Some court offices have coin-operated photocopiers for your use.
Yes, court staff can complete a search by using your full name.
Court staff cannot provide you with legal
advice. You may wish to represent yourself in proceedings before
the Court, however, it is recommended that you consult with a
lawyer about your rights and all available remedies or outcomes
that can be sought from the Court.
Contact the court office by phone or fax and court staff can complete a search
using your file name or file number.
You may address the Hearing Officer as Sir or Madam, as the case may be.
When you make your final payment on the judgment to the creditor,
have the creditor sign a Notice of Satisfaction (available at
the Small Claims Court). If you are not able to get the creditor
to sign the Notice of Satisfaction and you wish to have the judgment
removed from your credit rating, you must file a Notice of Motion
($75 filing fee) and Affidavit with the Small Claims Court for
an order declaring that the judgment is satisfied. A hearing
will be scheduled before a Court of Queen's Bench Judge, at which
time you should bring any and all documents to prove you have
paid the debt in full.
The material provided here is for informational purposes only and is not to be relied upon as legal advice. Court staff cannot provide you with legal advice or complete court documents for you.
Last update - April 2005
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