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Bronwyn Eyre, Saskatchewan justice minister and attorney general.

Saskatchewan small claims court to raise claims limit

Monday, November 13, 2023 @ 2:49 PM | By Terry Davidson

In a bid to provide greater access to justice, Saskatchewan’s small claims court is having its monetary claims cap increased.

According to a Nov. 10 news release, the province’s government has passed new regulations that will see the claims ceiling raised to $50,000 — up from the current maximum of $30,000. The increase, which comes into force on April 1, 2024, will make Saskatchewan’s small claims limit the second highest in Canada — reportedly second to Alberta, which recently increased its limit to $100,000.

Saskatchewan’s small claims court is a part of its provincial court system.

Justice Minister Bronwyn Eyre

Justice Minister Bronwyn Eyre

Justice Minister Bronwyn Eyre spoke of increased access to justice.  

“Pursuing matters through provincial court provides a more user-friendly, cost-effective way to resolve matters, often without the need for a litigant to hire a lawyer,” states Eyre in the release. “Provincial courts also operate in more communities across the province, so applicants have increased options for filing their claim, which reduces travel.”

Steven Dribnenki, president of the Canadian Bar Association’s Saskatchewan branch, said the increase “in claimable damages will help more … people resolve certain civil disputes in a quick and cost-effective manner.”

A heavyweight in Saskatchewan’s home building industry also commented on the news. Regina and Region Home Builders’ Association president and CEO Stu Neibergall said his organization “supports the decision to increase the … monetary limit.”

“Elevating the cap … not only reflects the evolving economic landscape, but also provides a more accessible avenue for parties involved in construction disputes to seek timely and cost-effective resolution, contributing to a more robust and trustworthy housing industry,” he said.

According to the release, Saskatchewan’s small claims ceiling was last raised in 2016 following a review by justice officials.

“The new limit demonstrates the Government of Saskatchewan's ongoing commitment to enhancing access to justice and aligns with feedback received from the legal community through the review process,” it states.

A Courts of Saskatchewan information webpage explains that small claims court “is meant to be an easier and less expensive way to resolve disputes.”

“People can approach the court knowing that the staff can help prepare the necessary forms and that the judge is skilled in settling disputes,” it states. “While lawyers can handle small claims cases, most people choose to represent themselves. The emphasis when issuing claims is on facts rather than procedural or legal technicalities.”

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