What is Small Claims Court?
Small Claims Court is a branch of the Superior Court of Justice. It is a simpler, faster, cost-effective and less formal approach to bring or defend a claim. Small Claims Court has a jurisdiction over monetary claims up to $ 25,000.00 or to recovery property that doesn't exceed this amount. The types of claims that can be filed can be for damages, such as personal injury, property damage and breach of contract or for money owed, such as agreements that have not been satisfied. There may be a time limit on how long the Plaintiff has between when the cause of action arose and filing a claim, which is set out in the Limitations Act.
The typical process of Small Claims Court:
1. The Claim
The claim is where the Plaintiff will tell the story of the events that have taken place. Within the claim, the Plaintiff will include all and any evidence that will support the events.
2. The Defence
The defence is where the Defendant tells their side of the story. They will include what they may agree with and what they disagree with.
3. The Settlement Conference
After a defence has been filed with the court, the Small Claims Court Clerk will then mail a Settlement Conference Notice to the parties. There will be a date, time and location on the Notice that the parties must attend. At the Settlement Conference the parties will attempt to negotiate a settlement.
4. The Trial
If the parties cannot come to a settlement, the Clerk will schedule the matter for trial to be heard in Small Claims Court.
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