What is the Small Claims Tribunals?

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

All claims are filed using an electronic case filing and management system called CJTS (Community Justice and Tribunals System). CJTS allows parties involved in disputes to file claims and access Court e-services from the comfort of their homes or any place with an internet connection. For more information on CJTS, please refer to this promotional brochure.

An order of the Tribunals made on claims filed before 1 November 2019 may be enforced as though it was an order of a Magistrate's Court, while an order of the Tribunals made on claims filed on or after 1 November 2019 may be enforced as though it was an order of a District Court.

Jurisdiction of the Tribunals

With effect from 1 November 2019, the Tribunals hear claims not exceeding $20,000. This limit can be raised to $30,000 if both parties agree to it and file a Memorandum of Consent online. A claim cannot be split or divided to bring it within the Tribunals' jurisdiction.

All claims must be filed within 2 years from the date on which the cause of action accrued, that is, the day the facts arose to give rise to a right to sue. Prior to the amendments to the Small Claims Tribunals Act, the limitation period was one year from the date on which the cause of action has accrued.

The amendments do not apply to claims that would have expired under the old Act.  The extended limitation period of 2 years only applies to causes of action that accrued on or after 1 November 2018 (less than 1 year before the amendments).

The Tribunals only hear specific types of cases. Click here to find out if your claim is covered by the Small Claims Tribunals.

Main Stages of a claim at the Tribunals

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Proceedings at the Tribunals begin when a claim is filed.

A person who files a claim is a “claimant”. A claimant files a claim against a “respondent”. A respondent can also file a "counterclaim" against the claimant in the same claim.

All parties are required to submit their claims / counterclaims online through CJTS.

 

The applicable fees for filing a claim or counterclaim are:

Claim / Counterclaim Amount             Individual             Other Entity
Up to $5,000$10$50
Between $5,000 and $10,000$20$100
​More than $10,000 and up to $20,000​1% of amount claimed3% of amount claimed​

More than $20,000, up to $30,000*

* Consent of both parties required. A Memorandum of Consent must be filed/uploaded.

1% of amount claimed3% of amount claimed

   
 After a claim is filed, a Consultation date will be fixed for parties to appear before the Registrar in Court. At a Consultation, the Registrar will:

  • Assess if a claim is within the Tribunals’ jurisdiction
  • Give parties an opportunity to discuss their cases with a view to resolving their dispute amicably
  • Where parties are unable to settle a matter, fix the matter for a Hearing before a Tribunal Magistrate, or make such other orders as it deems fit

Note: Lawyers are not allowed to represent any of the parties in proceedings before the Tribunals.

After a case is fixed for Hearing, the Hearing can occur within 24 hours of the date of the Consultation. At the Hearing, both parties will have a chance to present their cases to the Tribunal Magistrate. The Tribunal Magistrate will consider the parties’ documents or other evidence, the evidence of witnesses (if any) and make a decision on the case in accordance with the law.

An order made by the Tribunal Magistrate is binding on the parties. An order of the Tribunals made on claims filed before 1 November 2019 may be enforced as though it was an order of a Magistrate’s Court,, while an order of the Tribunals made on claims filed on or after 1 November 2019 may be enforced as though it was an order of a District Court. 

For more information on Orders of Tribunals, please see the State Courts brochure “Orders of Tribunals”.

Last updated on: 8/11/2019 3:17 PM
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