This is Part 2 of our 9 part series on Small Claims Court proceedings. Last week we provided a general overview of the Small Claims Court. This week we will be discussing the various steps in a Small Claims Court Proceeding:
First, to commence a Small Claims Court proceeding, one must file a Plaintiff’s Claim with the Small Claims Court, then serve the Claim on the party or parties being sued (i.e. the Defendant(s)).
Defendants then have an opportunity to file a Defence. If a Defendant does not file a Defence, the Plaintiff can note that Defendant in default and obtain Default Judgment against them. If a Defendant believes they have a claim against the Plaintiff, then the Defendant can also counterclaim against the Plaintiff by serving a Defendant’s Claim.
If a Defence is filed in response to a Plaintiff’s Claim, then the parties are required to attend a Settlement Conference. The Small Claims Court will notify the parties of the scheduled date and time of the Settlement Conference.
If the parties are unable to settle the matter at the Settlement Conference, then the matter is “set down” (i.e. scheduled) for Trial.
At the conclusion of Trial, the Deputy Judge will grant a Judgment or dismiss the case.
For more information on the Small Claims Court, consult the Rules of the Small Claims Court: http://ontariocourtforms.on.ca/en/rules-of-the-small-claims-court-forms/ and the Ministry of the Attorney General’s Website: https://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/courts/scc/