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Small Claims Court Online Services

May 18th, 2016 | By | Category: Small Claims Court

Small Claims Court Online Services

Starting from May 2016, all small claims up to $25,000 can be filed and fees paid online. To make a payment you can use a Visa, MasterCard, American Express or even online banking account (Interac® Online).

If the money owed to you is $25,000 or less, you can file a small claim and pay the related fee online. If the person you are suing (defendant) doesn’t respond to your claim, you can take additional steps online.

To file a Plaintiff’s Claim online

First of all, you must give the full legal name for the person or business you’re suing (defendant’s correct legal name) and address. Without it you cannot file a claim. If it’s a business, and you’re unsure of its full legal name, you can:

  • search online using ServiceOntario’s Business Name Search, Registration and Renewal service
  • call the ServiceOntario Helpline at 1-800-361-3223 FREE, or 416-314-8880 in Toronto

If the business is not incorporated, you may add the name of the business owner(s) as a defendant.

To file a Plaintiff’s Claim online, you’ll have to have your ServiceOntario account or sign up to get it, if you don’t have one, here: http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/courts/scc/index.php#online

So, you will need the following:

  • a Visa, MasterCard, American Express or online banking account (Interac® Online)
  • the legal name of the person or business you’re suing
  • the current residential or business address of the person or business you’re suing
  • the reason you’re making the claim (what happened)
  • documents scanned and saved (as DOC, DOCX, PDF, TIF or JPG) that support your claim, such as unpaid invoices)
  • the rate of interest on the money owed to you (35% per year maximum when filing online)

Remember: documents filed with the court are available to the public unless the court orders otherwise.

When you submit your claim, you’ll receive an email from the court with the court-stamped Plaintiff’s Claim and information about your next steps.

Fees for filing small claims online

Fees are set partly by how often you file a claim. A frequent claimant files 10 or more claims in a calendar year, at the same court location, an infrequent claimant less than 10.

An infrequent claimant will pay:

  • $75 for filing a claim
  • $35 for filing default judgment
  • $100 for setting a date for an assessment hearing
  • $40 for filing a Notice of Motion for an Assessment in Writing

A frequent claimant will pay:

  • $145 for filing a claim
  • $50 for filing an default judgment
  • $130 for setting a date for an assessment hearing
  • $40 for filing a Notice of Motion for an Assessment in Writing

The fee waiver does not apply to online filing.

Suing for more than $25,000

If you want to sue for more than $25,000, you must take your case to the Superior Court of Justice (“civil court”).

Frequently asked questions

Can I change my Plaintiff’s Claim electronically after I submit it online?

You can file an updated (amended) claim online if you have not yet delivered (served) your claim to any of the defendants. If you have already delivered your claim to one or more of the defendants, you can file an amended claim in person, or mail to the small claims court listed at the top of your Plaintiff’s Claim. Please refer to Rule 12 of the Rules of Small Claims Court for more information. There is no fee for filing an amended claim.

What happens next?

The defendant has 20 days from the date you served your claim to respond. He or she will file a defence with the small claims court and serve a copy to you. If the defendant has not filed a defence within 20 days, you must go online to file your Affidavit of Service, which is a sworn/affirmed document that tells the court how, when and where you served your claim on the defendant.

How long will it take for my claim to be processed?

Forms filed online after regular business hours will be accepted and dated the next business day. For example, if you file your form on a Friday after 5:00 p.m., you will receive an email from the court with the issued claim on Monday.

I am a defendant. Can I use the online system to respond to a claim?

No. At this time, e-filing is only available to individuals who are initiating claims (plaintiffs).

Can I collect interest on money owed to me?

Yes. If you had a contract with the defendant that included an interest rate, you’ll put that rate in your claim. If you did not have a contract or didn’t agree to an interest rate, you can ask for the Courts of Justice Act rate in your claim.

If I win, am I guaranteed to get my money?

That depends on whether the person or business you’re suing is able to pay. The court may not be able to help you get your money if the defendant (person/business you are suing):

  • is unemployed
  • is bankrupt or has no money of his/her own
  • doesn’t own personal property or valuable belongings
  • has gone out of business
  • has other debts to pay

But you may be able to get your money in installments over a set period of time.

Updated: April 4, 2016

Sources:

  • https://www.ontario.ca/page/file-small-claims-online?_ga=1.1239922.232380794.1462546672
  • http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/courts/scc/index.php
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