Plaintiff's Claim


Frequently Asked Questions - Small Claims Court in Ontario

What is the Small Claims Court?

The Small Claims Court is a special court where disputes are resolved both quickly and inexpensively. It is intended for smaller claims and is a court of equity where one can claim on behalf of or defend themselves in a less formal and intimidating setting.

What is Easy Court?

Easy Court is a document preparation service which provides you with a superior tool that will assist you in preparing your Small Claims Court Forms. When using our service, you simply select the filing (Claim, Defence/Defendant's Claim , Motion) and complete our easy online questionnaire. Your forms will then be instantly generated in PDF format. You then can edit your forms to make any last minute changes as you see fit. We do not provide legal advice or services, but rather a tool that you can use to prepare your own legal documents as opposed to hiring an expensive paralegal/lawyer.

What if I don’t want to file and serve my documents myself?

Easy Court offers a full service Resource Centre giving you direct access to information so that you can find business that can facilitate the filing and/or serving your documents. This said, did you know that many court filings (e.g. Plaintiff's Claim) can be mailed into the court? Click here to find the court location nearest you.

Do I need a lawyer to sue someone, or to defend myself against a lawsuit?

This decision depends on your comfort level and the complexity of your issue. Many people represent themselves in The Small Claims Court and are quite successful. Small Claims Court judges are accustomed to hearing cases daily involving everyday people representing themselves in every day disputes and are more than accommodating. You can inexpensively initiate or defend yourself against an action.

This said, Easy Court does not offer legal advice. In cases where you feel that your matter is a complicated one or you simply think you may need legal advice, we recommend you seek out that legal advice.

Click here to visit our Resource Centre where you can find Small Claims Court guides, legislation and information that may be useful when preparing your case or considering pursuing some form of legal advice.

Do many people represent themselves in court?

Yes many people represent themselves in court and are successful in doing so.

Do I have to go to court to file my claim?

It depends on the type of filing. For example, if you want to sue someone you can mail in a Plaintiff's Claim (with payment of the courts fees), but you may have to attend the court to file your Affidavit of Service after your claim has been filed. An affidavit is a document that must be notarized. The court clerk can notarize the document for you, or if sending it to the court by mail you will need to visit a notary beforehand.

I have been sued, what can I do?

If you have been sued the best thing to do (even if you believe you are in the wrong) is file a Defence explaining your side of the story. On page two of the Defence you have the opportunity to admit all or part of the claim that was made against you. You can even offer a monthly repayment proposal if you believe you owe some or all of the money.

If I don’t file a Defence what can happen?

After being served with a Plaintiff's Claim, if you fail to file a Defence, the party who sued you can obtain a judgment without further notice to you. They can then use that judgment to garnish your wages, place a lien on your bank account, home, vehicle, or even seize your bank account.

Can a judgment affect my credit rating?

Yes. A judgment will appear for 7 years from the last date activity was reported on the judgment (e.g. last payment). A judgment is also enforceable for 15 years. If an execution is registered against your name and you own a home, it will affect your ability to refinance your home.

If I have been sued and I owe the money, should I bother trying to defend myself?

Yes. By requesting Easy Court Defence you may agree that you owe the money and propose a payment arrangement. This will give you an opportunity to propose a voluntary arrangement, and avoid a judgment being arbitrarily filed against you and subsequent enforcement action.

My wages are being garnished, is there any way I can stop the garnishment and make a voluntary or reduced payment arrangement?

Yes. In this case you must file a “Notice of Motion”. This is a request to go before a judge, explain your circumstances and make a request. If someone sued you and you failed to file a Defence, you may explain to the judge why and further request that the judgment against you be set aside so that you may, at that time file one. If your wages are being garnished you can request that the court reduce the amount of the garnishment. It is important that you fully prepare yourself to appear before a judge. While judges are accommodating to everyday people in the Small Claims Court setting, they have little patience for lack of preparation. In the event financial hardship is a contributing to your need to speak with a judge you should bring evidence of your income and expenses.

If there are errors in any of my court filings, can my case be thrown out?

Yes. You have to be very attentive to all details such as spelling, addresses, dates etc…

If suing a company; you may want to consider running a Corporation/Company Name Search both Provincially and Federally. This will enable you to verify that you have the correct legal name of the company. Click here to jump to our Resource Centre for a listing of online resources that you can use to perform searched in real time, right from the comfort of your own home.

Does Easy Court give legal advice?

No. Unfortunately, Easy Court is simply a resource to help you prepare your own Small Claims Court documents. Your documents are prepares based on the information you provide. While it is more expensive, if you require legal advice you may want to consider consulting a Paralegal or Lawyer.

What is the entire Small Claims Court Process?

Step One

One or more parties file(s) a Plaintiff's Claim against one or more parties (who will be known as the Defendant(s)). The Plaintiff(s) must then serve the claim on the Defendant(s) by registered mail, personally, by courier or by using process server.

*** The Plaintiff(s) must wait a 40 day period that offers the defendant ample opportunity to file a Defence.

Step Two

If a Defence is filed, all parties will be notified of a court date where a pre-trial will take place. This is a meeting that usually takes place in a private room in the court where all parties discuss their positions in front of a judge. Usually you will receive a pre-trial date within 60 days of the Defence(s) being filed.

Parties often arrive at a settlement at such meetings. In fact, MOST cases are settled at the pre-trial phase.

***If no Defence is filed the Plaintiff(s) may file for judgment and proceed to collect their money using court approved enforcement remedies (property liens, wage garnishments etc…)

Step Three

If no settlement is reached at the pre-trial the Plaintiff must “set the matter down for trial”. This is where the Plaintiff(s) schedules a trial date with the court clerk. The trial date will usually be within 6 months of the Pre-trial.

Step Four

The parties will proceed to trial where they will have an opportunity to state their positions, question witnesses and “make” their case before the judge. The judge will ultimately render a decision as to which party they believe to be in the right. That party will receive a judgment.

Step Five

The successful party will proceed to enforce their judgment through court approved enforcement remedies (property liens, wage garnishments etc…)

Did You Know

You can mail your claim to the Small Claim Court and avoid going there altogether?

Save Money

No more taking time off work, driving to the court, paying for parking, pulling numbers and waiting in long lineups!

*Prices quoted on this website do NOT include the “Small Claims Court filing fee” which is payable to the Minister of Finance at the time you file your documents. Click here for a list of the fees charged by the Small Claims Court.

Disclaimer is a document preparation service. does not offer/provide or equate to legal advice. is not acting as your paralegal or lawyer and is not a substitute for the advice of a paralegal or lawyer. Our online tool simply guides you through the Small Claims Court Forms (in a simplified format) and assists you in preparing your court documents in a clear, correct and professional manner. does NOT select, draft, complete, compute or assist in the completion of your documents. YOU select and prepare your documents using the assistance of our easy process. If you think you need legal advice, or feel that you have complex legal issues that you cannot resolve on your own, we recommend that you hire a paralegal or lawyer. has references for AFFILIATE paralegals and lawyers capable of servicing your needs. Click here to arrange a consultation with a third party AFFILIATE paralegal or lawyer. For more details please reference our complete terms and conditions.