​The Small Claims Tribunals (Tribunals) are part of the State Courts of Singapore. The Tribunals were established on the 1 February 1985 to provide a quick and inexpensive forum for the resolution of small claims between consumers and suppliers.


Jurisdiction of the Small Claims Tribunals

The Tribunals have jurisdiction to hear claims not exceeding $10,000.  Therefore, a claim cannot be split or divided to bring it within the Tribunals' jurisdiction. Where the Claimant and the Respondent consent in writing, the jurisdiction can be raised to $20,000 (Memorandum of Consent).

For the identification of the categories of the claims, reference can be made to the checklist.

All claims must be filed at the Small Claims Tribunals within one year from the date on which the cause of action accrued.



1. The Small Claims Tribunals Act only allows the Tribunals to hear a limited selection of cases. As such, the Tribunals must discontinue claims that it has no power to hear (i.e. claims that do not fall within the jurisdiction of the Tribunals).
2. The Tribunals may discontinue your claim at the following stages:
(a) Consultation Stage (by a Registrar). The Small Claims Tribunals Act (SCTA) allows you to appeal against a Registrar's decision to discontinue your claim. The appeal will be heard before a Referee.
(b) Hearing Stage (by a Referee).
3. The Tribunals looks mainly at the following factors when deciding whether to discontinue a claim.
(a) The nature of the dispute. Claims that do not fall within legal categories specified in the SCTA will be discontinued.
(b) The monetary value of your claim.

Do not worry if your claim is discontinued. It does not mean that you have 'lost' your case. The decision to discontinue is never based on how strong or weak your claim is. In most cases, you can still sue your opponent in the civil courts. Please consult a lawyer for more advice on what claims can be brought before the civil courts.



Filing a claim in the Tribunals

The procedure for bringing a claim in the Tribunals is very simple. Lawyers are not permitted to represent any of the parties in proceedings before the Tribunals. Unless the Tribunals decide that a claim is either vexatious or frivolous, costs are not awarded to the winning party. To file a claim at the Tribunals, a party is required to pay a lodgment fee. The applicable lodgment fees are as follows:

  Not exceeding $5,000 Exceeding $5,000 but not exceeding $10,000 Exceeding $10,000 but not exceeding $20,000
Consumer $10 $20 1% of claim amount
Non-consumer $50 $100 3% of claim amount


Attending consultation/mediation

After a claim is lodged or filed, the Tribunals will fix the claim for a consultation/mediation before the Registrar. The Tribunals will generally fix the consultation/mediation within 10 or within 14 days from the date of filing of the claim. If a claim is not settled at the consultation before the Registrar, it will generally be fixed for hearing within 7 or within 10 days from the date of consultation.


For a tourist claim, the Tribunals may fix both the consultation/mediation and the hearing within 24 hours of filing of the claim.


The Tribunals employ mediation extensively in their proceedings. At the consultation before the Registrar, the Registrar will mediate the claim, to assist parties in resolving the dispute. If the claim is fixed for Hearing before the Referee, the Referee may also explore the possibility of settlement, before adjudicating the claim.


Last updated on: 21/10/2016 10:06 AM
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