Rules of the Small Claims Court

Rule 1 - General - A Summary

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on Rule 1 of the Small Claims Court! Whether you're navigating court proceedings for the first time or seeking clarification on the rules, we've got you covered. Let's delve into the key provisions outlined in Rule 1 to help you understand the ins and outs of the process.

Small Claims Court Rules: A Primer

Rule 1 of the Small Claims Court sets the foundation for proceedings within the jurisdiction. Here's a breakdown of the essential points:

1. Citation

The rules governing Small Claims Court proceedings are officially known as the Small Claims Court Rules. Familiarizing yourself with these rules is crucial for navigating the legal landscape effectively.

2. Definitions

Rule 1 provides definitions for various terms used throughout the court proceedings. From terminology related to court processes to the classification of documents, having a clear understanding of these definitions is essential.

3. General Principle

A cornerstone of the Small Claims Court Rules is the principle of liberal interpretation. This principle ensures that proceedings are conducted fairly, efficiently, and with minimal financial burden on all parties involved.

4. Matters Not Covered

In instances where the rules do not adequately address a particular matter, the court has the authority to issue directions and orders based on relevant legislation, including the Courts of Justice Act and the Rules of Civil Procedure.

5. Orders on Terms

The court has the discretion to impose terms and provide directions when issuing orders, ensuring that all parties are aware of their rights and obligations.

6. Standards for Documents

Documents submitted as part of court proceedings must meet certain standards of legibility to ensure clarity and comprehension.

7. Electronic Filing and Issuance

Rule 1 outlines procedures for electronic filing and issuance of documents, including requirements for software usage, signatures, and the retention of original documents.

8. Small Claims Court E-Filing Service Portal

Detailed guidelines are provided for electronic filing and issuance through authorized portals, including limitations on document types and permissible submissions.

9. Small Claims Court Submissions Online Portal

Similar procedures are established for electronic filing and issuance through alternative authorized portals, with specific limitations and protocols outlined for submissions.

10. Forms

Prescribed forms are provided for use in Small Claims Court proceedings, with allowances for variations as necessary to accommodate specific circumstances.

11. Telephone and Video Conferences

Procedures are established for conducting certain proceedings via telephone or video conference, including the process for requesting such arrangements and considerations for implementation.

12. Representation

Only representatives authorized under the Law Society Act may act on behalf of parties in Small Claims Court proceedings, ensuring competency and adherence to professional standards.

13. Ceasing to be a Representative

Requirements are outlined for notifying the court when ceasing representation of a party, ensuring transparency and effective management of legal proceedings.


Navigating the Small Claims Court can be complex, but with a solid understanding of Rule 1 and its provisions, you can approach proceedings with confidence. If you have any further questions or require assistance, our team is here to help. Stay informed, stay empowered, and let's navigate the legal landscape together.

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John Diefenbaker, House of Commons Debates, 1 July 1960