Ontario Expands Small Claims Court Online Service
All Claims Up To $25,000 Can Now Be Filed Online
Ontario is making it faster and easier to file all types of small claims by expanding online services for small claims court.
The online service allows individuals and businesses across Ontario to prepare and submit forms online, pay court fees securely using debit or credit cards, and receive court-issued documents by email without having to go to a courthouse.
Small claims court e-filing has been available since August 2014 for amounts fixed under a contract or agreement, such as unpaid loans, credit card debt and overdue rent. Now, all small claims up to $25,000 can be filed online through a convenient, around-the-clock service including claims for amounts that are not definite or exact, such as an award for property damage or personal injury.
There are two convenient ways to file online:
- 'Filing Wizard' can help people representing themselves and who are unfamiliar with the small claims court process. The wizard guides users through the process of creating and submitting small claims court documents and paying fees online.
- 'Quick File' allows legal professionals and regular users of small claims court to quickly and easily upload court documents that have already been completed offline.
Finding more innovative, accessible and affordable ways to deliver quality justice services is part of Ontario's plan to create a justice system that is modern and responsive to the needs of the people it serves. A simpler, faster and more accessible justice system helps to create a fair society, encourages investment in our communities, and makes life easier by lowering costs and improving convenience and choice.
- The small claims court online filing service was piloted in Brampton, Oshawa, Ottawa and Richmond Hill in August 2014, and was later expanded to Toronto and the rest of the province in 2015.
- Since the pilot launched, almost 20,000 claims have been filed online, and 15 per cent of those claims were filed outside regular court hours.
- Small claims court e-filing is delivered securely through ServiceOntario.
- 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. We’re proud of the small claims court e-filing program, which is helping to make court services easier and faster for people who want to pursue a claim, and helping us achieve our vision of a modern and sustainable justice system.”
“The expanded options for filing small claims reflect ServiceOntario’s commitment to help the Ontario government provide better access to services online. It’s a great example of using technology to deliver more simple and straightforward public services that are intuitive and easy to use.”