With a claim limit of $25,000.00, Small Claims Court can still be daunting. We can
represent you or give you advice in defending or prosecuting a claim. (more)
SMALL CLAIMS COURT
There are a number of advantages that having an experienced Small Claims Court
lawyer may have over representing yourself. Even though the processes in the
Small Claims Court are simpler than in the higher level Superior Court, navigating
through the procedural requirements can still be challenging, and dealing with the
other party say be stressful. Presenting evidence effectively and making the most
persuasive arguments are what lawyers are trained to do. Experience in these areas
and knowledge of the law can make the difference between winning and losing.
Steps in a Small Claims Court
Here is a brief outline of the general steps involved in a Small Claims Court matter. This
is for informational purposes only and should not be substituted for legal advice.
To start a lawsuit (called an action), a plaintiff completes a form called a Claim, submits
it to the appropriate Court (in Ottawa there is a Small Claims counter) and serves it
personally on the defendant(s). The action usually has to be started within two years of
the loss suffered, or else you may be out of time.
Once a Claim is served on the defendant(s), they have twenty days to file a Defence
with the Court. They may also bring a claim against the plaintiff if it relates to the same
events in the form of a Defendant’s Claim.
Before a trial is held, the Court will schedule a Settlement Conference in which the
parties are required to attend and explore the possibility of settling the matter. If
settlement does not occur, the Plaintiff can ask the Court to set the action for trial.
The entire process can take between 9-12 months, and depends in part on how busy
the Court is.
We can Help
We can deal with demand letters, draft the Claim or Defence, fill out forms, correspond
with the other side to attempt to settle, represent you at the Settlement Conference, and
If the amount of the claim at stake is modest, and retaining us for full representation
from start to finish is not cost-effective, you might benefit from getting an opinion
about your case, advice and explanation of the Court’s procedures, and more limited
assistance with any of the steps involved in the litigation.
For further information about the Small Claims Court, visit the Court Services
Division of the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General online at http://
Get in touch today with one of our lawyers and ask about how we can help you with