Making a Claim in Small Claims Court
The information provided below is not legal advice, and it may not apply in every situation.
Before making a claim, there are a number of factors you may want to consider, and a number of pieces of information you will need to collect.
You will need to know the legal name of the person or business and a current residential or business address. It is necessary to have the correct information about who you are suing to properly prepare and serve your claim, and to enforce a judgment if you are successful.
You can only sue for money or the return of personal property valued at $25,000.00 (Canadian) or less, not including interest and costs. If the amount of your claim is more than the current limit, you may still choose to use Small Claims Court because it is simpler and less expensive. However, you will have to give up any future attempt to recover the excess amount over the Small Claims Court limit, even in another court.
You must file your claim in the office in the area where one of these conditions applies:
Do you have enough evidence to support your claim? You will have to prove your case. Consider what witnesses and/or documents you have to support you. If you do not have supporting documents (e.g. you entered into a verbal agreement) or witnesses, your claim may still be successful. However, if it is just your word against the other person’s, it may be more difficult to prove your case.
Fees are payable upon filing a claim in Small Claims Court. There are a number of steps in a proceeding which will vary from case to case. Examples of fees that may apply:
There are also fees and allowances that you must pay to witnesses that you have summoned for their attendance and travel to court. In addition, you will have to pay for any interpreters you or your witnesses require, other than bilingual (English or French) interpretation and visual language interpretation. If you are successful and are granted a judgment, the judgment may include the fees you have paid.
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