How can I sue in Small Claims Court?

1. Complete a Plaintiff’s Claim

The first step is to complete a Plaintiff’s Claim form. Forms for Small Claims Court are available on the Rules of the Small Claims Court Forms website.

For information on how to complete this form, read the Guide to Making a Claim. Follow the instructions carefully.

A is the person who is suing and a is the person being sued. You’re the plaintiff. The person or company you’re suing is the defendant.

Identify yourself and the defendant

On page 1 of the Plaintiff’s Claim, enter:

  • your name and contact information, as the plaintiff
  • the name and contact information of the defendant
  • the name of the defendant’s company, if applicable

It’s important to give the right name for the defendant. If you win, you can only collect money from the defendant listed on this form. The names on the court order are based on the Plaintiff’s Claim.

Check the company name

If the person who owes you money is the employee or owner of a company, include the person and the company as defendants. You may be able to get the court to make an order against both.

For example, if you bought something from a company named Radiant Radiators that is owned by Joe Bossman, you could list both Radiant Radiators and Joe Bossman as defendants on the Plaintiff’s Claim.

Check the company name and address. Sometimes, the name that the company uses most often is not its legal name. For example, the company may use another name on its store signs or website. If the company is registered with the Ontario government, do a ServiceOntario business name search. If the company is registered with the federal government, do a federal corporation search.

When you search for the company name, you may get a corporate number. Some companies use a corporate number instead of a business name. Enter this number on the Plaintiff’s Claim. 

If you’re unable to find the legal name of the company, you can ask ServiceOntario for help. You must pay a fee for this service. The ServiceOntario Helpline can be reached at (416) 314-8880 or toll free in Ontario at 1-800-361-3223.

Give the reasons for your claim

On page 2 and 3 of the Plaintiff’s Claim, give the reasons for your claim, such as:

  • what you’re asking for and why
  • the terms of the contract, including any terms that weren’t followed 
  • when you signed or confirmed the contract
  • what you have done to try to fix the problem

Give the amount of your claim

On page 3 of the Plaintiff’s Claim, say how much you’re asking for. The most you can claim in Small Claims Court is $35,000.

Your claim can include money for:

  • the price of goods you returned
  • damage to the product you received
  • you suffered because of poor service
  • damages you suffered because of
  • costs you paid to repair the product
  • injury caused by a faulty product
  • costs you paid to file your claim with the court
  • costs you paid a lawyer or paralegal who helped you

Claims less than $2,500

If you are suing for less than $2,500, you can ask the judge to make a decision about the claim during the . This can only happen as long as both you and the defendant agree to it in writing. If the judge decides your case at the settlement conference, you will not have to go to trial. This can save you a lot of time and money.

A settlement conference is an informal meeting between the plaintiff, defendant, and a judge. The plaintiff and defendant are both given a chance to tell their side of the story to the judge. The settlement conference happens before the case goes to trial.

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