Which court will hear your case?

Courts of first instance

The courts of first instance are the courts that hear cases for the first time. In Québec, the courts of first instance in civil proceedings are generally:

  • the Court of Québec, made up of:

    • the Civil Division, which includes the Small Claims Division;
    • the Youth Division, which hears cases involving adoption and child and youth protection, among other matters;

  • the Superior Court.

It is important to note that all applications for support payments or an injunction are heard by the Superior Court.

At which court should you file your application?

Certain criteria are used to determine which court will hear your case. 

Amount of the claim

The amount of your claim is one of the criteria. The Civil Division of the Court of Québec hears cases up to a limit of $85,000. 

Claims of $15,000 or less will be heard by the Small Claims Division. 

Claims between $15,000.01 and $84,999.99 are heard by the Civil Division of the Court of Québec.

Claims of $85,000 or more are heard by the Superior Court.

Other criteria

Other criteria may take precedence over the amount of the claim, including:

  • the status of the suing party:

    • a claim by a person who is part of a class action will be heard by the Superior Court,whatever the amount of the claim; 
    • a claim of less than $15,000 filed by a legal person who employed no more than 10 people in the 12 months leading up to the application will be heard by the Small Claims Division;
    • a claim of less than $85,000 filed by a legal person who employed more than 10 people in the 12 months leading up to the application will be heard by the Civil Division of the Court of Québec or, if the claim is for $85,000 or more, by the Superior Court;

  • the nature of the dispute:

    • a matter of family law, such as a support payment, will be heard by the Superior Court whatever the amount of the claim;
    • a matter of municipal or school administration, such as property or school taxes, will be heard by the Civil Division of the Court of Québec.

Retourner en haut