PRELIMINARY PROCEDURES FOR SMALL CLAIMS COURT
All Civil Claims up to $25,000
Do I have a legal basis for my claim?
- Bank act
- Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act
- Bulk Sales Act
- Canada Evidence Act
- Collection Agencies Act
- Evidence Act
- Limitations Act
- Negligence Act
- Parental Responsibility Act
- Residential Tenancies Act
- Personal Property Security Act
- Workplace Safety and Insurance Act
Do I have Clean Hands?
Clean Hands Doctrine: Equitable doctrine stipulating that a person must have gone into the contract with ‘clean hands’ ie the person or corporation must have acted in good faith or ethically
- Do I have the Legal name of the person and/or corporation?
- Do I have a current address for the person and/or corporation?
- Does the person and/or corporation have any assets?
- Does the person have employment?
- Does the person and/or corporation have any previous debts or judgments against them?
- What evidence do I have?
- How long ago did the dispute take place? Generally there is a two (2) year limitation period in which to sue. If it has gone beyond that most cases will be turned away. Some cases carry a shorter limitation period (examples)
- Do you have the time to attend court?
- Is it worth it? Court costs time and money to commence proceedings; you must be sure you have both and are willing to consecrate the time. Is the money you seek to gain more than it costs to go through proceedings?
- Can you resolve the issue by another means? The Small Claims Court mandates a Settlement Conference before every proceeding, therefore it may be worth your while to negotiate with the person before proceedings. Also there are mediation services available with a third party in order to resolve your claim without the need to go to court and with less cost. (offer mediation services?)
Where should I file the claim?
[Rule 6]You should file the claim in one of 3 places. Listed from best to least good.
- Where the problem occurred
- Where the defendant lives or carries on business or
- The nearest court to where the defendant lives of carries on business