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.