Making a Claim in the Small Claims Tribunals in Singapore

Last updated on November 1, 2019

To make a claim at the Small Claims Tribunals (SCT), you can file your application through the State Courts’ online Community Justice and Tribunals System (CJTS).

There will be a non-refundable lodgement fee that has to be paid to process your claim. Below are several features of the SCT taken from the Small Claims Tribunals Act.

Quantum of Dispute (i.e. Amount of Money You Can Claim for)

First of all, be mindful of the jurisdiction of the Small Claims Tribunals. The SCT only hears disputes involving claims not exceeding $20,000.

However, if both parties give their consent, the SCT can hear claims not exceeding $30,000.

The Types of Disputes that the Small Claims Tribunals can Preside Over Include:

  1. Sale of goods – e.g. when you purchase a phone
  2. Provision of services – e.g. when you engage the services of a home designer
  3. Damage to your property
  4. Tenancy disputes for the lease of residential property not exceeding 2 years
  5. Contracts to buy or sell foreign currency with a licensed money-changer under the Money-changing and Remittance Business Act
  6. Cancellation of contracts under the Consumer Fair Trading (Cancellation of Contracts) Regulations 2009
  7. Refund of motor vehicle deposits in accordance with the Consumer Fair Trading (Motor Vehicle Dealer Deposits) Regulations 2009
  8. Opt-out under the Consumer Fair Trading (Opt-Out) Regulations 2009

The SCT does not hear disputes involving hire-purchase, employment, loans, stocks and shares, foreign exchange, rental and charters, legal fees, co-broking, insurance, or motor vehicle disputes.

Limitation Period

In addition, if the cause of action happened more than 2 years ago, the SCT will not hear the claim.

For example, if you purchased a $4,999 LCD TV and found it to be defective, but the retailer refused to refund your fees, the SCT will not hear your claim if the purchase occurred more than 2 years ago.

What If My Claim Does Not Fall Within the Jurisdiction of the Small Claims Tribunals?

It does not mean that you have no remedy. You can still sue in the other civil courts, just not the SCT.

What Happens after I Lodge a Claim at the Small Claims Tribunals?

The Registrar will conduct the initial mediation and consultation. If both sides cannot come to a settlement, the claim will be heard by a referee. The parties will present their side of the story themselves, and cannot be represented by a lawyer. Witnesses may even be called in. Finally, the referee will make a decision to either enforce or reject the claim.

An advantage of the SCT is that the loser does not have to bear any legal costs incurred.

For more information on the SCT, please visit the State Courts website.

Before Making a Claim
  1. Differences between Criminal Law and Civil Law
  2. Limitation Periods: What's the Deadline for Suing in Singapore?
  3. Mediation in Singapore
  4. Arbitration and Mediation: When They Can be Useful for Business Disputes
  5. 6 Things You Need to Know about Third-Party Funding in International Arbitration
  6. Can I Sue a Foreigner in Singapore?
  7. Should You Sue? 8 Things to Think About Before Suing
  8. What to Do If Someone Sues Your Singapore Business
  9. Arbitration: When and How to Arbitrate Business Disputes in Singapore
  10. How to Write a Cease and Desist Letter in Singapore
  11. Using Neutral Evaluation to Resolve Civil Disputes in Singapore
Making a Claim - The Beginning of a Dispute
  1. Law on Writ of Summons in Singapore
  2. Engaging a Queen’s Counsel in Singapore
  3. Letters of Demand and Their Usages in Singapore
  4. Making a Claim in the Small Claims Tribunals in Singapore
  5. Security of Payment Act: Claiming Progress Payments for Construction Work Done
  6. Negotiating a Settlement in a Business Dispute
  7. What if I Cannot Find the Party I Want to Sue?
  8. First Meeting With Your Business Dispute Lawyer: What to Expect
  9. Received a "Without Prejudice" Letter? Here’s What It Means
The Litigation Process
  1. Admissibility of Evidence in the Singapore Courts
  2. Civil Litigation in Singapore
  3. Default Judgments and Summary Judgments in Singapore
  4. Memorandum of Appearance in Singapore: What It is and How to File
  5. After the Lawsuit: Who Has to Pay Whom, and How Much?
  6. Affidavits in Singapore: What Are They & How to Prepare One
  7. How to Get a Writ of Seizure and Sale to Enforce a Judgment
  8. Subpoenaed to be a Court Witness in Singapore: What You Need to Do
  9. Who is an Expert Witness and How to Use Expert Evidence in Singapore
  10. Legal DNA Test: What is It For, How It’s Conducted, Cost & More
  11. Originating Summons: What It Is and How to File in Singapore
  12. Destroying and Tampering With Evidence in Singapore
Remedies Available for Civil Litigation
  1. Types of Injunctions in Singapore
  2. Specific Performance: Obtaining this Equitable Remedy in Singapore