What happens at my Small Claims Court trial?

At your Small Claims Court trial, you must prove your claim. You do this by presenting evidence. Evidence includes documents you filed with the court and witnesses. The evidence must relate to the facts that you need to prove.

The judge looks at the evidence you and the give and what the law says, and then makes a decision.

But, even if you win at Small Claims Court, the defendant might not pay you. This might be because they don’t have any money or property that can be used to pay you, or because they don’t agree with the judge’s decision. It’s up to you to collect the money once you have a court order.

Language rights

Ontario residents who speak French have the right to bilingual proceedings at Small Claims Court. You can ask for bilingual proceedings in your Plaintiff’s Claim or by filing a requisition form or a written statement.

Legal help

You do not need a lawyer to go to Small Claims court. But you’ll probably understand the process better if you talk to a paralegal or lawyer.

If you earn a low income, you may be able to get legal help from Pro Bono Ontario. They offer services in some court locations in Toronto and Ottawa, and a legal advice hotline where you can get up to 30 minutes of free legal advice.

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