Where to Start Proceedings

Prior to launching an action, it is necessary to determine which court has jurisdiction over the issue in question. If you have a monetary claim for $25,000 or less, in Ontario the action must be started in the Small Claims Court. Those claims for more than $25,000 or claims involving certain non-monetary types of relief should be started in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

Should your claim meet the $25,000 threshold to be started in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, there are two different procedures that may be applicable depending upon the value of your claim. If your claim is valued between $25,000 and $100,000, it is started under the Simplified Procedure Rule in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. While claims of over $100,000 can be started in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice under the ordinary Rules of Civil Procedure, it is not mandatory. Parties can agree to use the simplified procedure for claims over $100,000.

An additional consideration is whether your claim raises any constitutional or federal issues to determine the applicability of any federal law. In general, however, provincial courts do have the jurisdiction necessary to hear many cases involving breaches of federal statutes.