The Government of Ontario is making small claims easier, faster and more affordable to settle.

small claims court changes 2020

The Attorney General for Ontario recently announced that, effective January 1, 2020, there will be changes to the way claims are brought in Small Claims Court and under the Rules of Simplified Procedure.  

Small Claims Court

Monetary Limit for commencing a claim

For claims proceeding in the Small Claims Court, the monetary limit will increase from $25,000.00 to $35,000.00. 

A litigant who started their claim in the Superior Court can seek to transfer their case to the Small Claims Court if the claim falls within the monetary threshold. 

Simplified Procedure

Monetary Limit for commencing a claim

For claims proceeding under Rule 76 of the Rules of Civil Procedure, the monetary limit will increase from $100,000.00 to $200,000.00.  

Limitations on Costs and Disbursements

For actions commenced on or after January 1, 2020, the recovery of costs will be limited to $50,000.00 or $25,000.00 for disbursements, not including HST. 

Examination for Discovery

The time for each party to conduct oral examinations for discovery will increase from two hours to three hours. 

Trial

Trials will be limited to five days. There will no longer be a distinction between ordinary trials and summary trials – there will be a new procedure that applies to all trials.

Jury trials will no longer be permitted, except for an action involving one of the following:

  • Slander
  • Libel
  • Malicious arrest
  • Malicious prosecution
  • False Imprisonment

This does not apply to an action where the jury notice was delivered before January 1, 2020. 

Anique Dublin

I am a law clerk specializing in Employment Law services. I was drawn to employment law because of the human interest component of the practice. Every new case involves a unique and highly personal story. Whether it is a discrimination or harassment claim, or a contract negotiation, it typically involves complex relationships between people in the workplace and, therefore, wrought with emotions. This makes employment law unlike many other areas of law.