There are designated Small Claims Courts located in different regions within Ontario.
Small Claims Court hears claims that are less than $35,000.00. If the claim is for more than $35,000.00, then the claim must be brought to the Superior Court.
The types of claims can include:
Claims for money owing:
- unpaid outstandings for goods or sold or services rendered
- unpaid loans
- unpaid rent
- NSF cheques; and
Claims for losses/damages:
- property damage (example – tenant damages the rental unit)
- Damages to belongings (example – clothes damaged at the dry cleaners)
- personal injuries
- breach of contract
*There is a time limitation of two years to bring a claim. This means you cannot bring a claim to the Small Claims Court if two years pass after you discover the cause of action. Consult a lawyer for more information.
Generally, the Small Claims Court process occurs as follows:
- Draft and file Plaintiff’s Claim with the Small Claims Court
- Court issues the Plaintiff’s Claim when filed (Court File Number is given)
- Serve the person you are suing with the Court issued Plaintiff’s claim
- If the person sued doesn’t respond to the claim within a deadline:
– the Judge can order a default judgment
- If the person sued response by filing a defence:
– Settlement Conference
The steps above must be taken in accordance with the Rules of the Small Claims
Court. Consult a lawyer for more information.