In general, individuals must represent themselves before the Small Claims Division. However, if you are unable to appear before the court yourself, you can give one of the following people a mandate to represent you:
- your spouse;
- a blood relative;
- a relative by marriage or civil union;
- a friend.
The mandate must be recorded in a signed document, and must be performed free of charge. The document must also state the reason why you need to be represented.
The mandate may be given at any stage in the proceedings. However, if it is filed on the day of the hearing, the judge can decide whether or not it is admissible.
Legal person, partnership or association
A legal person, partnership or association, as well as the State, must be represented by:
- an officer;
- an employee.
The officer or employee cannot be a lawyer.
It is preferable for the officer or employee to hold a written mandate from the legal person, partnership or association represented.
Representation by a lawyer
Representation by a lawyer is formally prohibited at the Small Claims Division.
However, if a case raises a complex issue on a point of law, the judge, on initiative or on a party's request, may authorize the parties to be represented by lawyers, with consent from the chief judge of the Court of Québec.
If either party wishes to be represented by a lawyer for this reason, it must file a written request at the court office.
The lawyer’s professional fees and costs are then paid by the Minister of Justice.