Go to Small Claims Court

If the Ministry is not able to help you, or if your claim is for $35,000 or less, you might want to sue the seller in Small Claims Court. You must file your claim within 2 years of when you first knew about the problem.

If you want to sue for more than $35,000, you have to do this in Superior Court. It’s very hard to do this without a lawyer. If you want to sue in Superior Court, you should try to get legal help. If you still want to sue in Small Claims Court, you can waive the amount that is over $35,000. For example, if you are owed $40,000, you can waive your right to $5,000 and sue in Small Claims Court for $35,000.

The Ministry of the Attorney General website has a self-help guide for Small Claims Court.

In Small Claims Court you have a chance to tell your story to a judge and present your evidence. The seller will also have a chance to tell their story.

You don’t need a lawyer to represent you in Small Claims Court. But talking to a lawyer or paralegal can help you understand the court process. If you have a low income, you might be able to get help from Pro Bono Ontario.

Bu, there are some reasons why you might not want to sue in court, including:

  • you have to pay court fees
  • if you lose, the court could order you to pay some of the seller’s legal costs
  • the process can be complicated, especially if you don’t have a lawyer
  • it can take a year or more
  • if you win but the seller doesn’t pay, you have to try to collect the money on your own
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