Rule 1 – General
1.01 These rules may be cited as the Small Claims Court Rules. O. Reg. 258/98, r. 1.01.
1.02 (1) In these rules,
“court” means the Small Claims Court; (“tribunal”)
“disability”, where used in respect of a person or party, means that the person or party is,
(a) a minor,
(b) mentally incapable within the meaning of section 6 or 45 of the Substitute Decisions Act, 1992 in respect of an issue in the proceeding, whether the person or party has a guardian or not, or
(c) an absentee within the meaning of the Absentees Act; (“incapable”)
“document” includes data and information in electronic form; (“document”)
“electronic” includes created, recorded, transmitted or stored in digital form or in other intangible form by electronic, magnetic or optical means or by any other means that has capabilities for creation, recording, transmission or storage similar to those means, and “electronically” has a corresponding meaning; (“électronique”, “par voie électronique”)
(a) any Saturday or Sunday,
(b) New Year’s Day,
(b.1) Family Day,
(c) Good Friday,
(d) Easter Monday,
(e) Victoria Day,
(f) Canada Day,
(g) Civic Holiday,
(h) Labour Day,
(i) Thanksgiving Day,
(j) Remembrance Day,
(k) Christmas Day,
(l) Boxing Day, and
(m) any special holiday proclaimed by the Governor General or the Lieutenant Governor,
and if New Year’s Day, Canada Day or Remembrance Day falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the following Monday is a holiday, and if Christmas Day falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the following Monday and Tuesday are holidays, and if Christmas Day falls on a Friday, the following Monday is a holiday; (“jour férié”)
“order” includes a judgment; (“ordonnance”)
“paralegal” means a person licensed under the Law Society Act to provide legal services in Ontario; (“parajuriste”)
“proof of service” means, with respect to a document, proof of service of the document in accordance with rule 8.06; (“preuve de la signification”)
“representative” means the lawyer, paralegal or other person representing a person in a proceeding under these rules; (“représentant”)
“self-represented”, when used in reference to a person, means that the person is not represented by a representative; (“s’autoreprésenter”)
“territorial division” means,
(a) a county, a district or a regional municipality, and
(b) each of the following, as they existed on December 31, 2002:
(i) The combined area of County of Brant and City of Brantford.
(ii) Municipality of Chatham-Kent.
(iii) Haldimand County.
(iv) City of Hamilton.
(v) City of Kawartha Lakes.
(vi) Norfolk County.
(vii) City of Ottawa.
(viii) County of Prince Edward.
(ix) City of Toronto. (“division territoriale”) O. Reg. 258/98, r. 1.02; O. Reg. 461/01, s. 1 (1); O. Reg. 78/06, s. 2 (1, 2); O. Reg. 574/07, s. 1; O. Reg. 393/09, s. 1; O. Reg. 230/13, s. 1; O. Reg. 44/14, s. 1.
(2) Revoked: O. Reg. 78/06, s. 2 (3).
1.03 (1) These rules shall be liberally construed to secure the just, most expeditious and least expensive determination of every proceeding on its merits in accordance with section 25 of the Courts of Justice Act. O. Reg. 258/98, r. 1.03 (1).
Matters Not Covered in Rules
(2) If these rules do not cover a matter adequately, the court may give directions and make any order that is just, and the practice shall be decided by analogy to these rules, by reference to the Courts of Justice Act and the Act governing the action and, if the court considers it appropriate, by reference to the Rules of Civil Procedure. O. Reg. 78/06, s. 3.
Orders on Terms
1.04 When making an order under these rules, the court may impose such terms and give such directions as are just. O. Reg. 258/98, r. 1.04.
Standards for Documents
1.05 A document in a proceeding shall be printed, typewritten, written or reproduced legibly. O. Reg. 78/06, s. 4.
Electronic Filing, Issuance of Documents
1.05.1 (1) If these rules permit or require a document to be filed electronically, the software authorized by the Ministry of the Attorney General for the purpose shall be used for the filing. O. Reg. 44/14, s. 2.
(2) If these rules permit or require a document to be issued electronically, the software authorized by the Ministry of the Attorney General for the purpose shall be used for the issuance. O. Reg. 44/14, s. 2.
(3) A document issued using the authorized software is deemed to have been issued by the Small Claims Court. O. Reg. 44/14, s. 2.
Requirement for Signature
(4) If a document is filed or issued electronically, a requirement in these rules that the document contain a person’s signature is satisfied if the authorized software indicates on the document that the document has been electronically filed or issued, as the case may be. O. Reg. 44/14, s. 2.
Date of Filing, Issuance
(5) The date on which a document that is filed or issued electronically is considered to have been filed or issued, as the case may be, is the date indicated for the document by the authorized software. O. Reg. 44/14, s. 2.
Filing, Issuance Outside of Business Hours
(6) A document that is filed or issued electronically outside of regular business hours is deemed to have been filed or issued, as the case may be, on the next day that is not a holiday. O. Reg. 44/14, s. 2.
Requirement to Keep Original
(7) A person who electronically files an affidavit or other signed or certified document in accordance with these rules shall,
(a) keep the original document until the third anniversary of the electronic filing, until the clerk requests that the original document be filed or until these rules require that the original document be filed, whichever is earliest; and
(b) file the original document on the clerk’s request. O. Reg. 44/14, s. 2.
Limit on Application of Rule
(8) Despite subrules (1) and (2) and anything to the contrary in these rules, a rule permitting or requiring a document to be filed or issued electronically does not apply unless the Ministry of the Attorney General has authorized software to be used for the purpose for the court location at which the proceeding to which the document relates was or is to be commenced or to which it was transferred. O. Reg. 44/14, s. 2.
1.06 (1) The forms prescribed by these rules shall be used where applicable and with such variations as the circumstances require. O. Reg. 78/06, s. 4.
Table of Forms
(2) In these rules, when a form is referred to by number, the reference is to the form with that number that is described in the Table of Forms at the end of these rules and is available on the Internet through www.ontariocourtforms.on.ca. O. Reg. 78/06, s. 4.
(3) If a form does not have sufficient space to list all of the parties to the action on the first page, the remaining parties shall be listed in Form 1A, which shall be appended to the form immediately following the first page. O. Reg. 78/06, s. 4; O. Reg. 393/09, s. 2 (1).
(4) If any of the following forms do not have sufficient space to list all of the debtors in respect of which the form applies, the remaining debtors shall be listed in Form 1A.1, which shall be appended to the form:
1. Certificate of judgment (Form 20A).
2. Writ of seizure and sale of personal property (Form 20C).
3. Writ of seizure and sale of land (Form 20D).
4. Direction to enforce writ of seizure and sale of personal property (Form 20O). O. Reg. 393/09, s. 2 (2).
(5) If these rules permit or require the use of an affidavit, Form 15B may be used for the purpose unless another form is specified. O. Reg. 393/09, s. 2 (2).
Telephone and Video Conferences — Where Available
1.07 (1) If facilities for a telephone or video conference are available at the court, all or part of any of the following may be heard or conducted by telephone or video conference as permitted by subrules (2) and (3):
1. A settlement conference.
2. A motion. O. Reg. 78/06, s. 4.
(1.1) If facilities for a video conference are available at the court, all or part of an examination of a debtor or other person under rule 20.10 may be conducted by video conference as permitted by subrules (2) and (3). O. Reg. 393/09, s. 3 (1).
Request to be Made
(2) A settlement conference or motion may be heard or conducted by telephone or video conference or all or part of an examination under rule 20.10 may be conducted by video conference if a party files a request for the conference (Form 1B), indicating the reasons for the request, and the court grants the request. O. Reg. 78/06, s. 4; O. Reg. 393/09, s. 3 (2).
Balance of Convenience
(3) In deciding whether to direct a telephone or video conference, the judge shall consider,
(a) the balance of convenience between the party that wants the telephone or video conference and any party that opposes it; and
(b) any other relevant matter. O. Reg. 78/06, s. 4.
Arrangements for Conference
(4) If an order directing a telephone or video conference is made, the court shall make the necessary arrangements for the conference and notify the parties of them. O. Reg. 78/06, s. 4.
Setting Aside or Varying Order
(5) A judge presiding at a proceeding or step in a proceeding may set aside or vary an order directing a telephone or video conference. O. Reg. 78/06, s. 4.
1.08 For greater certainty, nothing in these rules permits or authorizes the court to permit a person to act as a representative if that person is not authorized to do so under the Law Society Act. O. Reg. 230/13, s. 2.