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Ask a Paralegal: Understanding Small Claims Matters in Ontario

When it comes to making a claim, what is considered a small claims matter in the province of Ontario?

What is a "Small Claims" Matter in Ontario?

Small claims matters in Ontario refer to civil disputes involving a monetary value of up to $35,000 CAD. This court handles cases like unpaid invoices, property damage, or personal injury where the amount in question doesn't exceed the specified limit. The goal of the Small Claims Court is to provide an accessible, less formal, and faster avenue for resolving such disputes.

Does it Cost Money to File a Small Claims Case?

Yes, filing a small claims case involves certain costs:

· Filing Fees: There's a fee to file a claim or defense,

· Representation Costs: If you hire a paralegal or lawyer, their fees will add to the cost.

· Additional Expenses: These might include serving documents or accessing professional advice.

How Do I Take a Person or Company to Small Claims Court?

· Assess Your Claim: Ensure your case falls within the monetary limit and is appropriate for Small Claims Court.

· Prepare the Necessary Documents: This includes a Plaintiff's Claim form detailing your case.

· File the Claim: Submit your claim at a Small Claims Court office and pay the filing fee.

· Serve the Defendant: Legally deliver a copy of the claim to the person or company you're suing.

Prepare for Court: Gather all relevant evidence and documents to support your case.

How Do I Respond If Someone Takes Me to Court?

Review the Claim: Understand the allegations and the amount claimed.

File a Defense: If you disagree with the claim, file a Defense form within the specified time limit.

Consider Settlement: Before the court date, explore options for settlement.

Gather Evidence: Prepare your supporting documents and evidence.

Attend Court: Be present on the scheduled date for the hearing.

How Can a Paralegal Help?

Guidance on Procedure: Paralegals can guide you through the filing and court processes.

Document Preparation: They help in preparing and reviewing all required legal documents.

Representation: Paralegals can represent you in court, presenting your case effectively.

Negotiation and Settlement: They can negotiate on your behalf to reach a settlement.

Legal Advice: Paralegals provide valuable legal advice specific to your case.

Remember, while this article provides a general overview, each case is unique. Consulting a paralegal can offer tailored advice and representation specific to your situation in the Small Claims Court of Ontario.

Ready to discuss your small claims matter? Yuliya Molchanova is a paralegal in Mississauga and the founder of Y M Paralegal Services. She specializes in helping you with your small claims court matters and Landlord and Tenant Board disputes. She will work closely with clients to provide exceptional legal services, catered specifically to you. For a free, 30-minute consultation about your legal needs, Get In Touch.

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