Small Claims Court FAQs

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:

  1. Draft and file Plaintiff’s Claim with the Small Claims Court
  2. Court issues the Plaintiff’s Claim when filed (Court File Number is given)
  3. Serve the person you are suing with the Court issued Plaintiff’s claim
  4. If the person sued doesn’t respond to the claim within a deadline:
    – the Judge can order a default judgment
  5. If the person sued response by filing a defence:
    – Settlement Conference
    – Trial

The steps above must be taken in accordance with the Rules of the Small Claims
Court. Consult a lawyer for more information.

You initiate the process by drafting a Plaintiff’s claim and filing it with the Small Claims Court. When filing, you will receive the issued claim with the Court file number from the Court. You then serve the person you are suing with the Court issued Plaintiff’s Claim. These processes/procedures must be conducted in accordance with the Rules of Small Claims Court. Consult a lawyer for more information.

Will small claims affect credit score?

The only time the small claims proceeding will be reported to your credit score is when there is a judgment ordered against you. This can occur in the following ways:

  1. No defense filed – Default Judgement awarded to another side
  2. If defence filed:

– Claim settles before trial and you don’t fulfill the terms of the settlement
– Claim goes to trial and the judge finds in favor of the other side and awards

Not only is your credit score affected, but you may also face enforcement measures
brought upon by the other side based on the Judge’s order, such as garnishment of
your earnings from employment, writ of seizure of your land or property, or hold on
your bank account. When you are sued, discuss your legal options with a lawyer so
you can avoid the enforcement measures.

If you are seeking compensation from a former employer, you can:

  1. Make an employment standards claim to the Ministry of Labour or
  2. Sue your former employer in court.

However, you cannot pursue both and you must choose only one. If you want to sue for $35,000 or less, you can do this in Small Claims Court. If you want to sue for more than $35,000, you must do this in Superior Court. Consult a lawyer for the best
The course of action for recovering your damages or losses.

You can reach out to a licensed paralegal or a lawyer who has the knowledge and experience with the Small Claims Court proceedings. At Juzkiw Law, we offer a free 30-minute consultation for the inquiries you may have regarding the Small Claims matter.

When you bring a claim and obtain a judgment from the Small Claims Court for the money owed, you become the creditor and the person who owes you money becomes a debtor.
As a creditor, you can request an “Examination Hearing” once you have a judgment from the Court if the debtor is not making the payments as ordered by the Court or if you want to garnish the debtor’s earnings. The debtor’s financial information will be disclosed in the hearing. Consult a lawyer for more information.

At trial, the outline of your case and the supporting evidence will be presented in front of the judge. You may require witnesses to testify in support of your case at the trial.
The other side will also be given an opportunity to present their account of events and supporting evidence. Depending on the evidence presented, the Judge may find in favor of the Plaintiff(s) or the Defendant(s).
Contact Juzkiw Law for more information on how to prepare for your trial and how to proceed at your trial.

You can either file the Plaintiff’s Claim in-person with the designated Small Claims Court within Ontario or file the claim online. When you file your claim, you must file at the Small Claims Court location that has the jurisdiction to hear your claim. Consult a lawyer for more information on how to file your claim.

When you file a Plaintiff’s claim as an infrequent claimant, the filing fee is $102.00.
When you file a Plaintiff’s claim as a frequent claimant, the filing fee is $215.00.
When you file a Defence, the filing fee is $73.00.
If you have any inquiries about the Small Claims Court fees or the Small Claims
Court proceedings, contact Juzkiw Law.