Part 1: What is the Small Claims Court?
The Small Claims Court is a branch of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. The Hamilton Small Claims Court is located at the John Sopinka Courthouse (45 Main Street East). The proceedings are generally heard on the third floor in Courtrooms 322 and 324.
A Small Claims Court proceeding is generally heard by a Deputy Judge who is address as “Your Honour.”
The Small Claims Court can hear matters relating to the recovery of money, personal property or possessions, provided the value of the claim is $25,000 or less.
You can either represent yourself or retain a lawyer or paralegal to represent you in a proceeding. If you decide to represent yourself, you should consult the Forms and 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/.
Next week, we will provide an overview of the various steps in a Small Claims Court proceeding.