Small claims court in Toronto can go up to $35,000. This can be a lot of money for the average Canadian. Some people go to court themself; others hire a paralegal or lawyer to help them.
We have lawyers and paralegals that can go to court for you and take care of the paperwork. Also, they can provide legal coaching to you and you will go to court yourself.
Small claims actions often are about tenancy issues, real estate purchases, damage to property, and loans between two people.
Recently, the amount that can be claimed in small claims in Ontario went from $25K to $35K.
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As opposed to the superior court, you can only sue for the exact money that you are owed. For example, you can’t sue for $35,000 because you think that’s a fair amount. You need to show the amount of money you are owed.
Small claims court in Toronto cannot be about tenancy issues because those are the exclusive jurisdiction of the landlord/tenant tribunal. The disputes are about monies owing usually.
The larger the claim, the more it makes economic sense to hire a lawyer.
Court Help For Small Claims Court
How Long Do You Have to Sue Someone in Toronto?
You have two years from the time the claim was discovered. For example, if you ask someone to pay the money back on August 1, 2018, and they don’t, you have until August 1, 2020, to file the claim.
To file the claim means getting the court stamp on the small claim document. If someone files a lawsuit against you after two years, you will have to hire a legal expert (lawyer or paralegal) to file an application to the court to have the claim dismissed.
Make Sure You Name the Correct Party
If you name the wrong person, they will not likely respond to the lawsuit. Let’s say you want to sue “Taylor Strohschein” of Toronto. And instead, you sue “Tylor Strohschein.” You might end up with a judgment against Tylor Strohschein.
When you go down to the property registry, your judgment against Tylor will be useless. You will not be able to use it for putting a lien on the property of Taylor Strohschein.
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Put in the Effort to Show Your Claim Has A Chance of Success
So many people are in a rush to file their claims. They want the other person to feel the stress of being sued. They rush through the claim, and there are spelling mistakes and a weak legal basis.
Instead, you should offer a chronological series of events that support the claim that you said happened. You don’t include evidence in the claim, but you should have the evidence ready.
Include dates, names, and details about what happened. For example, “On October 1, 2018, Steve Smith emailed me saying that he wasn’t going to return the $20,000 I lent him.”
The claim is what the court and judges will look at to learn about your case. If it’s confusing, it’s going to hurt your case. This is also true when you file your defence.
Small Claims Court Toronto
The best thing you can do is hire a lawyer to represent you in small claims. The next best option is to hire a paralegal. Next up is to hire a lawyer to provide legal coaching.
If you are not able or willing to do any of these preferred options, you can go to the trials and sit in the public area. You can see what a trial looks like.
You will also want to learn about the hearings about how to get paid on a judgment. Don’t assume that you will be able to collect money. They should have an employer where you can take part of their paycheck.
If they own property, you need to know where it is located. You will also need a record of where they bank.
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In conclusion, reach out to us for help. We will connect you with a lawyer or paralegal.
Author: Alistair Vigier is the CEO of ClearWay Law