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Ontario small claims court updates pandemic procedures

Tuesday, March 16, 2021 @ 3:09 PM | By John Chunn


The Ontario Superior Court of Justice on March 15 issued a notice to the profession and the public updating small claims court procedures.

Notice of amendments, effective March 15:
  • Section 3 (Urgent Matters) is amended to state filing requirements more clearly.
  • The Court is accepting requests to schedule settlement conferences under s. 4 (Settlement Conferences) no matter when defendants filed defences or were noted in default.
  • The Court is accepting requests for any motion on notice to other parties, under s. 5 (Motions on Notice to Other Parties).
  • Section 7.1 further clarifies that an assessment hearing will not be scheduled unless all applicable fees are paid and a request is submitted in accordance with this Notice.
  • Effective Feb. 23, s. 8 (Trial Continuations) is added, and subsequent sections are renumbered.

According to its press release, since the suspension of sittings of the Ontario small claims court in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the court has progressively expanded the matters that it will hear remotely.

The small claims court will continue to monitor the situation and, as possible, will further expand the types of matters and hearings that will be heard during these extraordinary times.