WINNIPEG — A new report from the Manitoba Law Reform Commission recommends the monetary limit on small claims court be raised.
Currently, claims up to $10,000 qualify to be handled in small claims proceedings. The Commission says increasing the limit would improve access to the court to more Manitobans, and free up judicial resources at the Court of Queen’s Bench so judges can “focus on criminal matters and more complex civil matters.”
Manitoba’s monetary small claims court limit was implemented in February 2007. Alberta has the highest limit at $50,000, which the province implemented in 2014. Prince Edward Island has the lowest at $8,000.
When Manitoba’s small claims process was first enacted in 1972, the monetary limit was $1,000.
When surveyed, 95 percent of respondents indicated that the monetary limit should be increased. When asked what an appropriate monetary limit would be, 27 percent said the limit should be between $10,000 and $20,000, 35 percent said it should be $25,000, 22 percent thought the limit should be $30,000, and 12% thought the limit should be higher than $30,000.
The general damages limit in Manitoba is $2,000. The Commission is also recommending an increase to an amount proportionate to the increase in the
monetary limit for small claims.
The full report can be read below: