A Faster, More Convenient Way to File in Small Claims Court
Ontario Launches E-filing Service for Fixed Claims $25,000 and Under
Ontarians now have a faster, easier way to make a claim in small claims court with the launch of a new online filing service. E-filing is a simple, convenient way to file a claim in small claims court without entering a courthouse.
Following a successful six-month pilot, individuals and businesses from across Ontario can now file small claims court forms and pay court filing fees online, 24-hours-a-day. Claims that are eligible for e-filing include those set out in a contract of $25,000 or less, such as unpaid accounts for goods and services, loans, credit card debt and overdue rent.
Ontarians have two options to file a small claim online:
- 'Filing Wizard' guides those unfamiliar with filing a claim through the process of submitting court documents and paying court filing fees. This option is helpful for those who do not have legal representation by providing an inexpensive and easy to understand option.
- 'Quick File' gives legal professionals and others who frequently file small claims the option of uploading already completed forms.
Making more court services available online will help build a more accessible justice system, and supports the government's economic plan for Ontario. The four-part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people's talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives and building a secure savings plan so everyone can afford to retire.
- The small claims court e-filing pilot launched in August 2014 at small claims courts in Brampton, Oshawa, Ottawa and Richmond Hill. The pilot was expanded to the Toronto small claims court in March 2015.
- Not all types of claims can be filed using the online system. Claims for amounts in dispute — such as many claims related to personal injury — cannot be completed using the online process at this time.
- Since the pilot launched, more than 2,000 claims have been filed online. Nearly 20 per cent of those claims were filed outside regular court hours.
- The fees charged to file online are the same as those charged to file in person.
“We’re working to build a justice system that is more responsive and accessible to the people it serves. E-filing will help reduce the stress and expense of pursuing a small claim by making the process faster, more convenient and easier to use.”
“Our government is committed to making services more readily available to Ontarians. Currently, over 40 services are already available online at ServiceOntario. Making court services available online is another way we are ensuring it’s faster and easier for the people of Ontario to access government services when and where they need them.”