Ontario Making It Easier, Faster for People to Resolve Claims
Changes will help people address legal issues quickly and spend less time in court
Ontario is making it easier for families, businesses and individuals to resolve their legal issues quickly and affordably by expanding access to the Simplified Procedure process in civil court.
Beginning January 1, 2020, people with civil court claims up to $200,000 will be able to use the Simplified Procedure process, up from the previous claim amount of $100,000.
This change will require more people to file claims under the Simplified Procedure rule, reducing the cost of resolving disputes to families, businesses and taxpayers.
"We're working to simplify a complex and outdated justice system," said Attorney General Doug Downey. "Having more cases started under Simplified Procedure rules can free up valuable court time and resources while making it easier, faster and more affordable for people in Ontario to resolve their legal issues."
Other changes that will help make it easier and more affordable to settle claims under Simplified Procedure include:
- Limiting trials to five days
- Requiring parties to agree on a trial management plan
- Removing civil jury trials in these cases, unless a jury notice was served and filed prior to January 1, 2020.
In summer 2019, Parliamentary Assistant Lindsey Park met with hundreds of members of the legal community and interested Ontarians to explore ways to simplify family and civil court processes, reduce costs and delays, and encourage the earlier resolution of disputes.
"Many have long been advocating for this common-sense change to Simplified Procedure - I'm glad it is moving forward," said Park. "This will reduce costs for many of the families, businesses and individuals that interact with the court system everyday to resolve their civil disputes."
"The Ontario Trial Lawyers Association (OTLA) applauds the Ford government's changes to Rule 76, specifically abolishing civil juries and increasing the monetary limit," said OTLA president Allen Wynperle. "These reforms are sensible and proportionate measures that will greatly enhance access to justice for injured accident victims in Ontario."
"The Federation of Ontario Law Associations (FOLA) is pleased to see that the province is taking a practical and common sense approach to making justice more affordable and accessible, while at the same time taking measures to help maximize the use of the time and resources of the Superior Court of Ontario," said Mike Winward, FOLA Chair.
- The Simplified Procedure is a streamlined and less costly process for resolving certain civil cases in the Superior Court of Justice. It was created to lower legal costs and reduce delays.
- The last increase to the claim amount was made in 2010.
- Claims for $35,000 and lower will be able to proceed in the Small Claims Court, where the claim amount was also recently increased.