If negotiating with a merchant and sending a formal notice have not solved your problem, you can file a complaint with the small claims court.
What is small claims court?
The Small Claims Court Division of the Court of Québec hears cases in which the amounts claimed do not exceed $15,000. When you appear before the small claims court, you must represent yourself, without the help of a lawyer.
If your claim is just over $15,000, you can lower it to $15,000 to file a complaint with the small claims court.
To claim an amount higher than $15,000, you must take your case to the Civil Division of the Court of Québec.
Procedure to file a complaint with the small claims court
To learn more about filing a complaint with the small claims court and to get details about each step of the process, visit the Justice Québec website, which, among other things, provides a small claims court application form. You can use this form to formalize your request.
To help you prepare your case, you can also consult:
- a lawyer or a legal support organization for assistance in preparing your case;
- the Éducaloi page on the Small Claims Court Division of the Court of Québec;
- the Guide des petites créances (in French only), published by the Jeune Barreau de Montréal;
- the document titled "Representing Yourself in Court in Civil Matters," published by the Fondation du Barreau du Québec;
- the “aide-mémoire” (in French only) from the Table de concertation en matière de petites créances (small claims issue table);
- the video clip from the Court of Québec on the judge’s role in the Small Claims Division.
Moreover, Community Justice Centres offer information sessions to help you prepare your case. Consult their calendar for more information.
To consult judgments that have been rendered in cases similar to yours, refer to the Société québécoise d'information juridique website. If legal warranties are at issue, you can also refer to the Examples of judgments concerning legal warranties tool on the Office website.
Recovery of a small claim
You've got a judgment in your favor, but the convicted merchant does not pay you the debt? The ministère de la Justice website details the measures you can take and the assistance you can get in the case of a judgment for an amount of $2,000 or less.
Last update : May 3, 2021
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