Actions brought in what is called the Small Claims Court occur in the Superior Court of Justice. Accordingly, what is known as the Small Claims Court is actually somewhat of a misnomer. It is perhaps better to think of the Small Claims Court as a civil litigation court department assigned to handle a subset of cases involving claims for compensation up to $25,000 per Plaintiff plus legal costs and interest. Another difference is that cases brought in the Small Claims Court are usually heard by Deputy Judges. The Deputy Judges are lawyers with at least ten years experience who are appointed to act as part-time judges in the Small Claims Court. Still another key difference is that Small Claims Court cases are conducted in accordance to Rules of the Small Claims Court which are a trimmed down set of procedural rules that help ensure small claims cases progress expeditiously from beginning to end.
Although the Small Claims Court only handles the smaller claims brought to litigation, these lawsuits are still treated as very important - money matters are never truly 'small'. Furthermore, it is also recognized that these claims can, and often do, involve the same complex issues litigated in the unlimited court, regardless of the amount of the claim.
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