Toronto: 416-288-8890

Ottawa: 613-683-9777



The Ontario Small Claims Court

How the Small Claims Court works

The Small Claims Court moves quickly. If a Judgment, Settlement or a trial date have not attained within six months of the date the claim is filed, the court will most likely dismiss the claim. A Small claims court proceeding is commenced by filing a plaintiff’s claim. The claim should explain what happened, and what is requested from the court. The defendant is then provided with time to file a defence, if a defence is not filed within a certain period of time, the plaintiff can request that the court note the defendant in default and attain judgment by default.

If a defence is filed, the court will schedule a pre-trial settlement conference. In order to ensure that the settlement conference goes well, and costs are not awarded against you, you must ensure that all evidence that will be relied upon at trial is disclosed.

J.A.B. Legal Services can help you manage your evidence and ensure that you provide all relevant information that will strengthen your case. If settlement is attained at the settlement conference, the parties will enter into a terms of settlement, and the matter will be held down until the terms are satisfied.

If settlement is not reached, the matter will proceed to trial. A trial is a complex matter, which will require witnesses, evidence and the law. Being prepared is crucial to the proper execution of a trial, as it will help the Judge understand your case, and rule in your favour - as long as the law is on your side. At the end of the trial, the judge will deliver a decision. The decision of the judge at trial is enforceable, and can only be overturned on appeal.

The Ontario Small Claims Court

The Small Claims Court handles legal disputes with a maximum monetary jurisdiction of $35,000.00. The Court handles all civil litigation disputes that are not addressed by an Administrative Tribunal.

The Small Claims Court handles disputes arising out of:

  • Money owing
  • Recovery of items, or their replacement cost
  • If you were hurt due to another party's negligence


Attaining judgment is the easy part of any litigation. Collecting the money owing to you is the hard part. There are many enforcement options available to you once you judgment has been granted, such as; Writ of Seizure and Sale of Land; Garnishments; and, Judgment Debtor Examinations.

Writ of Seizure and Sale of Land

A Writ of Seizure and Sale of Land secures your interests in the debtor’s real property. A Writ is filed with the sheriff department for the region/county that the defendant owns property.


A garnishment can be placed on a bank account, employer, or an entity that owes a debtor money. The funds that would have been sent to the debtor, would then be paid to the creditor.

Judgment Debtor Examinations

A judgment debtor examination is an aid in execution, which is taken as a last resort. The examination consists of a financial examination in court, where the debtor must provide all financial information, and inform the court on how they plan on satisfying the judgment.

Services for Defendants

Before looking at consumer proposals, or bankruptcy, you should re-evaluate your financial position, and see if a repayment plan can fit in your budget. If the debt is not disputed, the best solution will be to come to a debt repayment plan, and work out a settlement with your creditor.

contact us


25 Sheppard Avenue West, Suite 300

Toronto, ON, Canada

Toll Free: 1-855-897-8665

Phone: 416-288-8890

Fax: 416-755-4550


135 Laurier Avenue West, Suite 100

Ottawa, ON, Canada

Toll Free: 1-855-897-8665

Phone: 613-683-9777

Fax: 613-683-9777

Please do not send any confidential information until a paralegal-client relationship has been established. Contacting J.A.B. Legal Services does not create a paralegal-client relationship. The use of Internet or the use of this form for communications with J.A.B. Legal Services is not secure. Please refer to the website's Terms of Use for more information prior to sending confidential or time sensitive information via this form.