May 17, 2016
Filing Small Claims in Ontario Can Now Be Done Online
Until last week, if you were suing someone in Ontario for less than $25,000, you would have to put together all the paperwork and documentation and then go to small claims court to file it. But last week, the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General finally modernized the system and announced that all small claims can be filed online.
A pilot project within the Attorney General’s office was started in 2014 to test the efficacy of online filing for small claims court, and more than 20,000 people made use of the system, with 15 per cent filing outside of the court’s usual hours.
The whole process is, of course, secure thanks to requiring users to create a One-key ID and password, which is an electronic verification that gives the user the ability to communicate securely with the government.
This big and welcome change was made to make the process of filing court documents easier and faster for Ontarians, and the hope is that this service will go beyond just small claims court and be available in all court systems.
Another benefit is that if you have a paralegal or a lawyer representing you, the process will be a lot quicker because they’ll no longer need to use a process server.
And if you’re not particularly savvy when it comes to tech, the online system comes with a filing wizard that makes the process super easy to understand by breaking it down into steps. In spite of this newly streamlined system, it is valuable to keep the fact that small claims are difficult to draft in mind. You’ll likely still need help with that, and that’s why it’s great to have a lawyer or paralegal continuing to advise you.