How to file a case in Small Claims Court in the Philippines

Blood, sweat, and tears: these are what workers and employees make and go through in their everyday hard work. That is why they should be compensated well and paid rightfully for their services.

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But what if you’re the worker, and your client or employer is not paying on-time or rightfully? That can be a big problem, especially if you’ve already invested a lot in your work. If that’s the case, it’s time for you to go to your nearest Small Claims Court and get that payment you deserve.


There could be many reasons why you’re going to need to go to a small claims court for such problem. Whether you’re a freelancer, regular employee, or part-time employee, you’re entitled to take such action if:

  • when the client/company is late in payment
  • when the client/company refuses to release payment
  • when the client/company cannot be contacted after services have been completed

When these situations arise, you may proceed with taking such action, given that these conditions are also met:

  • payment owed is under ₱1,000,000
  • there is a concrete and tangible agreement that the client will pay you in exchange for your services (such as text, chats, email, etc.)
  • contracts are not necessary but will undeniably provide more gravity and credibility to the case
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Provide that the certain required conditions are met, you may now proceed with filing a case in a small claims court. Here are the steps in doing so:

1. Find your small claims court.

You can do this the small claims court of your residence, of the client’s residence, or of the company’s business location. These courts may also go by the names such as metropolitan trial courts, municipal trial courts, or municipal circuit trial courts.

You may contact them via call or email. After you reach out to them, they will also ask you a few questions to know if your case is appropriate for a small claims court.

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2. Fill out some paperwork.

After the review process, the court will assist you in filling out the necessary papers to pursue your case. They will send the following documents (which may vary depending on the court) either through email or download link:

  • Form 1 – SCC (Statement of Claim)
  • Form 1-A – SCC (Additional Plaintiffs Defendants)
  • Form 1-B – SCC (Information of Plaintiff)
  • Any evidence that can support your claim (e.g., screenshots of the agreement, screenshot of client’s/company’s failure to pay, screenshot of project)
  • Affidavit

Remember to always double-check the information when you fill-out these forms. After checking your forms, it’s time to get them notarized in a Notary Public.

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3. Submit your forms.

The court will then ask you to submit the papers and submit them via email. After they check your papers, you will be asked to present yourself in their office, submit the physical copies, and pay the filing fee.

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4. Attend the hearing.

The court will arrange a date for your hearing after a few days. On the day of hearing, bring your affidavit and any evidence to support your claim. Remember to be on time, dress appropriately, and have proper conduct while inside the courtroom.

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In cases like these, you do not need a lawyer; you cannot have a lawyer to represent in the first place. Same goes for your client or company.

Moreover, a small claims case is not a criminal case, but rather a civil case only. It is only meant for different types of payment issues.

Also read

Ram Mancelita
Ram Mancelita
"Experiencing Cebu one post at a time."

Editor | Cebu City

[email protected]


  1. good morning po san ako pede magfile ng small claims po.tina oh asan ksi po ako ng foreman ng pera for almost 17k para sana ipaayos ang bubong ko.tapos di nya nabili ng materyales.hindi na rin po sya nagpakita.rodolfo tamayo from queson city po

  2. Sir/Ma’am.

    I paid 300,000 pesos to a broker which promised us to reserve a house and lot unit. A year has already passed yet, they failed to deliver as they promised. When we sent a demand letter, the agents promised to pay 20,000 pesos a month until the whole amount is covered. They only paid once, and stopped paying already. Is this a SMALL CLAIN CASE?

    Where can we file the case? We live in Cavite.

    Thank you very much for your help.\\


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