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Counter Claims & Third Party Claims

If you are being sued in Small Claims Court you can Counter Claim if you think the person suing you in fact owes you money and/or make a Third Party Claim if you think someone else is responsible for the damages.

Counter Claim

If you believe that the person suing you owes you money you can make a counterclaim as well as disputing the claim or instead of disputing the claim.

If you want to make a counterclaim you can go to the Small Claims Court that issued the Summons and ask for the form. If you are making a counterclaim it will be part of your Reply and is served in the same way.

The judge will look at the counterclaim and the plaintiff's claim at the same time and decide who owes money to whom. The amount of one claim is set off against the amount of the other claim. For example, you may be sued by someone for an unpaid repair bill for your car. You may want to defend the claim because the work was not satisfactory. If you paid someone else to fix the car properly, you could start a counterclaim for that cost.

You can counterclaim for more than the monetary limit, which is currently $50,000, but you cannot get a judgment for more than the limit. This could happen if, for example, the other party sues you for $50,000 and you claim they owe you $60,000. If the judge upholds both claims you would get a judgment for $10,000. However, if the judge found that you did not owe the other party anything you could only get a judgment of $50,000 not the full $60,000 you were asking for. If you get a judgment for the maximum amount in Small Claims Court you cannot sue in Small Claims or any other court for the rest. If you decide not to use Small Claims Court for your counterclaim you can sue in the Court of King's Bench for the whole amount.

Third Party Claim

If someone is suing you but you think another person is responsible for the loss you can add them into the claim as a defendant.

If you want to add a third party as a defendant you must apply to the court for a Notice of Third Party Claim. The clerk will assist you in preparing a concise written statement of the third party claim. A judge will then review the third party claim. If the judge is satisfied that there may be a valid third party claim, the judge will issue a Notice of Third Party Claim.

The Third Party Claim must be served at least 30 days before the court date in the summons. It can be served by any of the methods that can be used to Serve a Reply.

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