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    Bringing A Small Claims Court Suit

    Individuals who are planning to sue and are asking for damages amounting to $25,000 or less may bring the suit before the Ontario Small Claims Court. Such claims must fall under the category of money owed under a contract or claims for damages.

    Several steps are involved in bringing an action to small claims court. These include:

    • Preparing a plaintiff’s claim
    • Serving the claim on the defendant
    • Filing a defence by the defendant
    • Attending the settlement conference
    • Attending trial

    Preparing A Plaintiff’s Claim

    An individual may start a claim by filing out a Plaintiff’s Claim form. This form is later submitted to the court. The claim must include the relevant facts and, if the claim is based in whole or in part on a document, a copy of the document must be attached to the claim.

    Once the form has been filled out and documents have been attached to it, the claim is ready to be filed. In certain circumstances filing can be done online, otherwise it must be done in person. It is imperative that individuals file their claim in the appropriate courthouse.

    Serving The Claim

    A copy of the claim must be served on the defendant within six months of filing the plaintiff’s claim.

    Filing The Defence

    The defendant has the right to dispute the claim. To do so, he or she must file a defence. This must be accomplished within 20 days of being served.

    If the defendant fails to file this form, the plaintiff can ask for the defendant to be found in default.

    The Settlement Conference

    Before trial, the disputing parties attend a settlement conference. This is a session in which the parties meet with a judge in an attempt to find ways to settle the dispute without proceeding to court. The settlement conference takes place 90 days after a defence is filed. If a resolution to the conflict cannot be found, the case moves to trial.

    Attending Trial

    At trial, a judge hears the case and makes a decision based on the facts and any evidence brought before the court.

    Before commencing a lawsuit, it is prudent to seek the advice of a lawyer.

    The content on this website is for information purposes only and is not legal advice, which cannot be given without knowing the facts of a specific situation. You should never disregard professional legal advice or delay in seeking legal advice because of something you have read on this website. The use of the website does not establish a solicitor and client relationship. If you would like to discuss your specific legal needs with us, please contact our office at 613-563-7544 and one of our lawyers will be happy to assist you.

    Posted By: Merovitz Potechin

    Merovitz Potechin LLP has been serving the business and personal needs of the Ottawa area since 1976. Our lawyers will work directly with you throughout your legal matter.

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