Small Claims Court is a court of the Ontario of Superior Court of Justice. It is a less formal process where individuals with claims up to $35,000 can bring a claim for damages and/or the return of property valued at $35,000.
In most situations where a individual or a business is either owed monies through a breach of contract, and/or a harm was caused as a result of an action or inaction action of another, the party can bring a claim.
The jurisdiction or what matters the Small Claims Court can hear is considerably broad, with the exception of the $35,000 monetary limit. The Small Claims Court can hear civil wrong claims, breach of contract, employment law matters, human rights matters, and more.
The legal costs to bring a claim in Small Claims Court depends on many factors, but commonly it depends on the complexity of the case.
For example, in a complex case there maybe a considerable amount of evidence to review, multiple defendants, multiple witnesses to question and summon, if there are various laws involved, if the defendant files a Defendant's Claim, as well as several other factors.
For a straight forward case, where the case is not overly complex and no Defendant's Claim has been filed, then the time involved is approximately:
Preparation of Plaintiff's Claim:
- 1 to 3 hours to review the case materials
- 1 to 2 hours to prepare Plaintiff's Claim
- 1 to 2 hours to review Defendant's Defence
- 1 to 3 hours to attend settlement conference
- 1 to 3 hours prepare for trail, including preparation of trial brief and other trial preparation
- 2 to 4 hours to attend trial.
The total approximate time involved as you can see various considerably.
From 7 to 17 hours or even longer depending on the complexity of the case.
The cost for us to represent you is approximately between $525 on the low end to as high as $1,700.
In Small Claims Court if a party is successful in their matter before the Small Claims Court. Then they can ask the court to award them what is called court costs. This is the legal costs a party paid to bring their matter to court and win. Generally the Small Claims Court will award up to 15% of the amount claimed for court costs.
For example, if a party sues another for $35,000 and wins. They can be awarded up to $5,000 in court costs over and above any damages awarded in their claim.
Ina warding court costs there are factors the Small Claims Court considers when awarding court costs. Such as if a party intentionally delayed the process, if a party rejected a reasonable offer of settlement.
Each party's case is unique. This is why it is impossible to know if they have a case.
To know if you have a case please give us a call (905) 581-3602!