facebookHow to File a Small Claim with CASE and the Small Claims Tribunal
090524 Small Claims

How to File a Small Claim with CASE and the Small Claims Tribunal

profileJustin Oh


Imagine eagerly waiting for the arrival of your favourite childhood band to Singapore. You’ve bought the tickets, paid extra for priority queueing and even memorised all the lyrics in preparation for an experience that would most probably be another core memory.

However, due to poor management by the concert organiser and unforeseen circumstances, the concert was cancelled. That was exactly what happened to me and hundreds of others during the All Time Low concert over the weekend. In such a case, one would expect at least a partial refund or another All Time Low concert that affected fans could enter for free. However, all the organiser could do was add further insult to injury by offering everyone a $30 discount on a future concert per ticket holder, regardless of how much you paid for the ticket(s).

Source: Giphy

Of course, this is just one of many cases where a supplier has essentially duped their customer with a good or service that was not delivered as promised. Luckily for us consumers, there is hope thanks to the “lemon law“!

If you’ve been cheated by a supplier and want to claim a refund or settle a dispute, here’s what you can do in Singapore to get your money back!

TL;DR: How to File a Small Claim with CASE and the Small Claims Tribunal

If you’re reading this article, you’ll most likely have already contacted the supplier and/or tried to dispute a transaction with a chargeback on your credit card.

Thus, the next course of action would be to either file a complaint with the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE), or sue the supplier in the Small Claims Tribunal (SCT).

You could choose either or both, depending on your situation.

FeesAdmin Fees: From $10.90
Membership Fees: From $8.72
From $10
ProcessOnline submission of complaint (no fees) with a follow up course of action from CASE officer (with applicable fees)Online submission of claim (with fees) followed by delivery of claim.

Physical court consultation and possible hearing if no settlement was reached before consultation date.

In this article

Filing a Complaint with CASE

According to Singapore Legal Advice, CASE can help us in two ways. If you are a CASE member, they will assign a Consumer Relations Officer (CRO) to you and have them correspond with the supplier on your behalf. Otherwise, they can help you draft a letter to the supplier that details your concerns and the recourse you want to receive.

While CASE does not have any legal authority as they are a non-profit, non-governmental organisation, there have been casesĀ where numerous complaints filed with them resulted in a successful dispute settlement.

CaseĀ in point, 68 Sentosa Sky Lantern Festival attendees who filed a complaint with CASE were given full refunds as the event fell far short of what was advertised. CASE also waived its fees for affected consumers so that more could file their complaints.

This is also the better method for foreigners in Singapore as, unlike the SCT route, you do not need to return to Singapore for a consultation.


While submitting a complaint is free of charge, subsequent actions from CASE, such as drafting a letter and assigning a CRO to correspond on your behalf, incur fees.

Membership TypeOrdinaryFamilyStudentLife
Fees, Membership Duration, Details$27.25
1-year, extended to applicant, spouse and up to 2 children above 18 years old
1-year. The student must be above 12 years of age in any educational institute. Students under 18 will need the consent by parents
Administration ChargesRange of Claims
Below $5,000
Range of Claims
$5,000 to $10,000
Range of Claims
$10,001 to $20,000
Range of Claims
Above $20,000 [Every $10,000 or part thereof ]
Admin Fees (GST inclusive)$10.90$21.80$54.50$54.50

Yes, it might sound dumb to pay more money for a chance to resolve what should have been done right. However, you may already be a CASE member yourself:

For CASE Institutional Member, there are currently more than 60 of such Unions and Organisations. You will be entitled to full waiver of all fees. Examples include NTUC membership and PAssion Card.
Note: NTUC Membership refers to silver NTUC Plus Card and not NTUC Link Card.

If you do not want to pay the membership fee, you can easily avoid it by signing up for a free PAssion membership! It is open to all Singaporeans aged 15 and above. Otherwise, you have to be a member of a union to enjoy the membership fee waiver (you may find the full list when submitting the complaint).

As for the admin fees, there is no way to avoid them. However, there is a chance that CASE will waive these fees, as evidenced by the Sentosa Lantern incident.


  1. Prepare your relevant documents (receipts, a screenshot of the attempt to contact the supplier, any evidence you have)
  2. Go to https://www.case.org.sg/submit-a-complaint/ and click on “Submit Online Complaint”
  3. Fill in the necessary details
    • If you are a CASE, union or PAssion member, toggle the CASE member to “on” to bring up the relevant fields to fill
    • As of the time of writing, I could not find a membership number for the PAssion, and the expiration date field is coded incorrectly. So just fill in what you can!
  4. On the Complaint Information page, you will be asked if the vendor/supplier is CaseTrust Accredited. If you are unsure, click on “View all CaseTrust accredited business” and press ctrl+f to do a search for the name of the vendor!
  5. Provide all the relevant documents and evidence
  6. Fill in the remaining details and submit your case!

After submitting your complaint

You’ll receive an automated acknowledgement email which informs you that a CRO will reply you within three working days. From there, they will advise you on your recourse and any fees needed (via PayNow or Paypal).

Suing via the Small Claims Tribunal

Want to really put pressure on and take it up a notch? Consider suing via the Small Claims Tribunal! The SCT is a part of the State Courts of Singapore and provides a quick and more affordable way for consumers and suppliers to resolve their issues without needing a lawyer.

Do note that the SCT only hears claims of up to $20,000 or $30,000 if both you and the supplier give consent. Moreover, you have to file your claim within two years from the occurrence of the unfair practice or the earliest date when you could reasonably have discovered the unfair practice, whichever is later.

SCT Fees

Claim amountIndividualOther entity*
Up to $5,000$10$50
Above $5,000 but up to $10,000$20$100
Above $10,000 but up to $20,0001% of the amount claimed3% of the amount claimed
Above $20,000 but up to $30,0001% of the amount claimed3% of the amount claimed


The process of filing a claim can be more tedious than CASE, as you would need to deliver your claim to the supplier and possiblyĀ go to court if the supplier doesn’t settle it with you online before your consultation date. But of course, it is well worth it as this puts legal pressure on the supplier. Here are the steps:

1) File Your Claim

When: within 2 years of the date of the cause of action

Log in toĀ CJTS. Under theĀ Online ApplicationsĀ tab, selectĀ Claim Form.

Follow the instructions to fill in the required information and pay the filing fees. Your application will only be processed after you have paid.

After you have paid, you will need to:

  • Choose a consultation date and time.
  • Save and print a copy of the claim and Notice of Consultation to serve on the respondent.

2) Serve The Claim

When: within 7 days of filing the claim

After filing the claim, you must serve the claim and Notice of Consultation on the respondent within 7 days. You can deliver it personally to the supplier’s address or via registered mail.

Don’t forget to say “You have been served” if you deliver it personally!

3) Upload the Declaration of Service

When: before the first consultation

After serving the claim, you must upload the Declaration of Service inĀ CJTS. Under theĀ Online ApplicationsĀ tab, selectĀ Submit Supporting Documents. This should be filed before the first consultation.

This Declaration of Service must include all of the following:

  • Date and time when the Notice of Consultation was served on the respondent.
  • Name of the person who served the notice. If the notice was served by a courier company, state the companyā€™s details.
  • The mode in which the notice was served (For example, personal delivery or registered post).
  • Detailed outcome of serving the notice, such as whether the service was successful or unsuccessful.

After you file

Attend the consultationĀ at the scheduled date and time.

Before going to court, you can attempt to resolve the dispute online with the respondent through eNegotiation or eMediation in CJTS.

Source: State Court

Should both parties be unable to settle the dispute during the consultation, theĀ Registrar may arrange for further consultations, order mediation, or arrange a hearing.

If push comes to shove and you do attend a hearing, both parties will take turns to present your case and supporting evidence. At the end of the hearing, the tribunal magistrate will make a decision based on the merits of the case and according to the law.

For more information on the full process, refer to this website.

Related Articles

About Justin Oh
Your average Zillennial who is obsessed with anime, games, movies and of course, personal finance. Join me as I break down personal finance into easily digestible and fun bits!
You can contribute your thoughts like Justin Oh here.

šŸ”„ What's Popular

    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles

Stay updated with the latest finance tips!

Receive bite-sized finance on Telegram here.
šŸ’¬ Comments (0)
What are your thoughts?

No comments yet.
Be the first to share your thoughts!

šŸ”„ What's Popular

    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles

Join our Community!

Discuss your thoughts with like-minded members in these community groups!

Stay updated with the latest finance tips!

Receive bite-sized finance on Telegram here.