The process involved in commencing a proceeding with the Small Claims Court can be complex and have many intricacies. So we have put together a brief outline of the basic steps involved that make up the Small Claims Court process down below.
The first part of the process involves filing a plaintiff’s claim. The plaintiff will draft a claim and then file it with the Court of the appropriate jurisdiction and then serves it on the Defendant.
When it comes to the defence, the Defendant has a specific amount of time to draft and file their defense with the Courthouse. This defense must also be served on the Plaintiff.
Next, the settlement conference commences. Once the claim and defence have been received by the Courthouse, the Courthouse will issue a date for the settlement conference. During the settlement conference, both parties will have the opportunity to go over their matter in front of a Judge. This also serves as an opportunity for both parties to try and resolve the matter at hand. The Judge might give the parties their opinion on what can happen in the matter, or make an order that a party is required to provide additional documentation.
If during the settlement conference, there is no settlement reached, then the matter is set for trial in order to deal with the merits of the case.
It is important to keep in mind that there might be more steps involved in the Court process than what was previously mentioned. The Small Claims Court process has the potential to be a lengthy and involved process, and can include other various Court appearances like motions. There are also many rules which need to be honored in order to reach a successful outcome.
It’s recommended to obtain legal representation before commencing any matter with the Small Claims Court because any error might result in a delay in the process.
If you are looking to commence a proceeding with the Small Claims Court in Ontario, then contact the Ontario Legal Pool today.