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    When Should I Go To Small Claims Court?
    Posted: 2010-07-08 12:41:20

    If you’re reading this then you probably have suffered some harm, and are anxious to be compensated for it. Below are some factors to consider in deciding whether Small Claims Court is for you.

    • What happened? Generally, Small Claims Court has jurisdiction over cases where someone is owed money or where there are damages. Examples of cases where someone owes you money could be where money is owed for services rendered, goods sold and delivered, or dishonoured cheques. It could also be that a person suffered a loss, there was an injury, negligence occurred, or an accident caused by one person toward another took place. Or maybe you were recently injured, your property was damaged, someone owes you money, or you paid for a service but got faulty workmanship instead. In all of these circumstances you could sue for compensation in Small Claims Court.

    • How much are you asking for? Small Claims Court in Ontario isn’t so small anymore.  Claims up to $25,000 fall under its jurisdiction. If you have a claim for more than $25,000, and you still want to proceed with Small Claims Court, you will have to waive compensation for any amount above the limit.

    • What’s your age? Any person of any age can sue in Small Claims Court. If you’re under 18 years old, there are special rules on how much you can ask for, and if you sue on your behalf. However, if your parents sue on your behalf there are no limits on the claim.

    1. Do it yourself – You can download the forms from the Ministry of Attorney General website, and you can fill them out yourself.

    2. Do nothing – For some people going to court is daunting. You can expect to pay $175 in court costs for a basic claim, plus your time to go to court and time off work. You might be dealing with a big company, and find that in and of itself intimidating. Or you just don’t have the time.There are a myriad of reasons to not go to court, and it may not be worth it.

    3. Get a lawyer – You can retain a lawyer to act on your behalf. If you’re contemplating this option then go back to Question 2 and ask yourself how much you’re asking for? If you are asking for $1000, and a lawyer charges you $200/hour, then before long you’ll be paying more in legal fees then you can hope to recover.

    4. My Legal Briefcase – We understand neither of these choices work for some people. You may want to do it yourself, but just want someone to assist you and have the satisfaction that someone has reviewed your documents. We provide an easy, affordable solution to getting your Small Claims action started.

    There’s a lot more to say about starting your claim in Small Claims Court. This basic introduction is meant to help you start thinking about whether it’s the place for you. Stay tuned for future blogs where we will explore topics such as, “What are the typical steps in a claim?” and “How can I prepare for a settlement conference?”

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