The first decision anyone is faced with when contemplating pursuing a civil claim against someone else is: which court should I be proceeding before? If life and the law were simple, there would only be one court that would deal with all problems.

However, life is never as simple as our younger selves hoped it would be. And those who need to brave the court system have to know which court they should go to, what are your rights are and what remedies are available. Be aware of your rights when you are going to the Small Claims Court is precious.

Key things to know about the Small Claims Court:

  • You can only demand damages up to $25,000. You can still bring a claim worth potentially much more than that before the Small Claims Court, but you’ll be required to “abandon” the excess.
  • You can only demand the return of property up to a value of $25,000.
  • You can’t demand any other kind of remedy, like declaratory or injunctive relief, meaning you can’t ask the court to force another person to do or not do something, or declare that something is or is not the case – like that a law is unconstitutional.
  • You can only obtain “costs” (sometimes awarded to the winning party) of 15% of the value of your claim, even if you spent much more on legal fees.
  • Your legal fees charged by a paralegal will be much, much cheaper in Small Claims Court than in the Superior Court of Justice, because of the simpler and quicker procedure involved.

SFC Paralegals can assist you before the hearing, to ensure you are fully prepared and aware of your rights. Please contact our office at (905) 669-5553.

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