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    The Small Claims Court Primer, Part 3: Under 18? How Age Plays a Factor
    Posted: 2010-10-18 08:01:15

    This series on Small Claims Court highlights areas about which most people who file Small Claims may have little knowledge. The information found in this series will help you understand how the services offered by My Legal Briefcase fit into the larger Small Claims Court process.

    In Part 1 we talked about the Limitations Period, which sets a limit to the time period after which an incident occurs that a claim can be pursued. In Part 2, we outlined the financial limits to a Small Claims action and how this may impact your decision to pursue a suit in Small Claims Court. In our final instalment of this series, we will talk briefly about the impact that a person’s age has on the decision to file a Small Claims action.

    First, our policy regarding minors:

    My Legal Briefcase does not support claims for or against persons under 18 years old. Simply put, there are special legal rules that come into play if you are under 18, and our software cannot accommodate these special circumstances. If you, or the individual who caused the incident are under 18, and you wish to pursue a Small Claims action, we suggest that you seek legal advice.

    That said, how does age play a factor in the Small Claims Court process?

    The Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General provides guides that outline Small Claims Court procedures. Below are excerpts that clearly answer two very common and important questions.

    Can I make a claim if I am under 18 years of age?

    A minor (a child under 18 years of age) may sue for an amount up to $500 as if he or she were an adult. If the amount claimed is greater than $500, a litigation guardian must represent the minor. A litigation guardian is usually a parent or guardian. The litigation guardian must fill out Consent to Act as Litigation Guardian and file it with the court at the time the claim is filed or as soon as possible afterwards.

    Can I file a defense if I am less than 18 years of age?

    An action against a minor must be defended by a litigation guardian. A litigation guardian is usually a parent or guardian. The litigation guardian must fill out a Consent to Act as Litigation Guardian and file it with the court at the time the defence is filed.

    While the questions and answers above make it seem simple to bring a suit against someone less than 18 years of age, there are actually restrictions on the situations in which a minor can be sued. For example, a minor can be sued for taking, damaging, or destroying property.  They cannot, however, be sued for breach of contract under contract law. This is just one example of where the laws for individuals under 18 are unique and can be complicated to navigate.

    Again, if your specific situation involves an individual under the age of 18, we strongly suggest that you seek the advice of a lawyer.


    When an incident occurs and you feel entitled to damages by the offending party, there are a many things about which you need to be aware. In this series we have explained three common aspects of the Small Claims Court process that are actually important to consider when making the choice to pursue a claim.

    Thanks for following this short series. We hope you learned a thing or two that will help you make a more informed decision about your Small Claims action.

    If you decide that pursuing the claim in Small Claims Court is the right thing to do in your situation, then please consider a legal documentation preparation service like My Legal Briefcase. We are here to help make this process as simple as possible by taking a lot of the guesswork out of the picture and completing the tedious paperwork for you.

    Although My Legal Briefcase takes every reasonable effort to ensure that the information on our website and documents are up-to-date and legally sufficient, My Legal Briefcase is not a law firm, and the employees of My Legal Briefcase are not acting as your attorney.

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    Disclaimer: Content on this website is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal advice.