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Small Claims Court E-filing Service User Guide

2016

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Getting started
    1. Step 1: Start a claim
    2. Step 2: Create a ONe-key ID
    3. Step 3: Choose a filing method
  3. Submitting your claim using the Filing Wizard
    1. Step 1: Create and submit your Plaintiff’s Claim using Filing Wizard
    2. Step 2: Serve Defendants and submit Affidavit of Service using Filing Wizard
    3. Step 3: Request default judgment using Filing Wizard (Liquidated claims)
    4. Step 4: Note in default using Filing Wizard (Non-Liquidated Claims)
    5. Step 5: Request Assessment using Filing Wizard (Non-Liquidated Claims)
      1. Option 1 — Request Assessment Hearing
      2. Option 2 — File Notice of Motion for an Assessment in Writing
  4. Submitting your claim using Quick File
    1. Step 1: File and submit your Plaintiff’s Claim using Quick File
    2. Step 2: File an Affidavit of Service using Quick File
    3. Step 3: File a request to note defendant in default using Quick File
    4. Step 4: File a request for default judgment using Quick File (Liquidated Claims)
    5. Step 5: Request Assessment using Quick File (Non-Liquidated Claims)
      1. Option 1 - Request Assessment Hearing
      2. Option 2 – File Notice of Motion for an Assessment in Writing
  5. Amending your claim
    1. Amending your Plaintiff’s Claim using Filing Wizard
    2. Amending your Plaintiff’s Claim using Quick File
  6. Frequently asked questions

Introduction

If you are suing a person or business for $25,000 or less, you may be eligible to make your claim online. It’s a simple, convenient way to file a claim in Ontario’s small claims court without ever setting foot in a courthouse.

Quick Tip

Tribunal orders, such as an order of the Landlord and Tenant Board, cannot be filed online. For more information on this process, please see After Judgment – Guide to Getting Results.

How it works – the basics

There are several steps in the small claims process:

  1. Filing a claim with the court
  2. Serving (notifying) the defendant
  3. If the defendant files a defence:
    • Going to a settlement conference and a trial if necessary
  4. If the defendant fails to file a defence:
    • Getting a judgment (decision) from the court

Getting started

Ready to get started? The following steps will guide you through the process.

Step 1: Start a claim

From the ontario.ca/smallclaims page, scroll down and click on “File a small claim online”.

Image of the 'Online' section of Small Claims Court page

You will be re-directed to the login page.

Step 2: Create a ONe-key ID

You will be prompted to login using your ONe-key ID. If you don’t have a ONe-key ID, you must create one.

Click on “Sign up now!” and complete all fields.

Image of Service Ontario's ONe-key ID login page.

Quick Tip

The ONe-key ID is a unique electronic identification that allows you to communicate securely with online government services. You will need to login using your ONe-key ID every time you use the small claims court online service.

Need more help? Call ServiceOntario’s customer support line at 1-888-745-8888.

Note: If you are logged in and leave your application inactive for fifteen minutes or more, you will be locked out of your session and lose any unsaved data. If this happens, return to ontario.ca/smallclaims and click on File a new claim or view and existing claim.

Step 3: Choose a filing method

There are two ways to file your claim:

Image showing how to begin a new claim.

Submitting your claim using the Filing Wizard

You will now prepare your claim for submission to the court. The filing wizard will walk you through the filing process and will help you to make sure that you submit all the necessary information to the court.

You must explain why you are making the claim, how much money you wish to claim, and provide basic information about yourself and the defendant(s).

Quick Tip

If you save your Plaintiff’s Claim as a draft and return to it at a later time, you will need to upload your attachments again.

Note: As the small claims e-filing service does not store any documents for future reference or printing, we recommend you Print the review summary page showing the name/type of any supporting documents provided with your claim for future reference.

Step 1: Create and submit your Plaintiff’s Claim using Filing Wizard

To start, read the instructions and click File Plaintiff’s Claim.

Image of step one of the small claims filing wizard.

Next, you will need to fill out the following fields in the steps below:

  1. Terms and conditions
    • Carefully read the terms and conditions listed, and if you agree, check the boxes then click Next.
  2. Select a court
    • Select the small claims court where you wish to file your claim from the drop-down menu.
    • A number of questions will follow to confirm that you have selected the correct court district. Respond by clicking Yes or No, then click Next.
  3. Identify amount claimed
  4. Image of pre-judgment interest calculator.
  5. Identify the type of claim

    Identify the type of claim you are making based on the definitions below:

    • Liquidated claim:
      • where the claim is for a set amount owing under a written contract or verbal agreement such as an unpaid invoice, bounced cheque and/or unpaid loan
    • Non-liquidated claim:
      • where the amount in dispute is not definite or exact and will have to be reviewed by a judge, like damage to property, personal injury, poor workmanship, and/or termination pay

    For more information about claim types, please see the Guide to Making a Claim.

Image of pre-judgment interest calculator.
  1. Provide an email address
    • Provide the email address that you wish to use for court transactions (e.g., receiving official forms, court receipts, etc.) and click Next.
  2. Provide representative and plaintiff information
    • The plaintiff is the person making a claim against the defendant. Indicate whether or not the plaintiff is represented by a third party, such as a lawyer or paralegal, and then complete the fields to provide information about the representative (if any) and the plaintiff.
    • If there is more than one plaintiff, click Add another plaintiff.
    • Once you have provided the required information, click Next.
  3. Provide defendant information
    • Provide all available name, address and contact information for the defendant.
    • If there is more than one defendant, click Add another defendant.
    • Once you have provided information about all defendants, click Next.

Quick Tip

If the defendant is a business, do you have its correct name?

You must provide the full legal name for any business you are suing. If you are not certain what the business name is:

If the business is not incorporated, you may wish to add the name of the business owner(s) as a defendant as well.

  1. Provide claim details
  2. Note: As the small claims e-filing service does not store any documents submitted with your claim, we recommend you Print the review summary page showing the name of any supporting documents provided with your claim for future reference.

Quick Tip

Plaintiff’s Claims must be uploaded in PDF format only (5MB maximum). Other documents must be saved in JPEG, Word, Excel or PDF format. Each supporting document must not exceed 10 megabytes (10MB) in size, with total attachments not to exceed 20 MB in size. File names may only contain letters and numbers and cannot exceed 30 characters in length including the extension, e.g., “pdf or jpg”.

Image showing where the user can attach supporting documents and where the court fees associated with the claim are calculated.
  1. Review, pay and submit your claim
    • The next screen will show all of the information you have submitted so far. Carefully review all information.
    • If you wish to change anything, click Update this section to the right of that information. Once you have made any changes, click Save and return to summary.
    • If all information is complete and accurate, click Pay and submit.
  2. Payment
    • To complete the transaction you will be asked to pay using either your credit card or Interac® Online. Select your method of payment and click Make Payment.
Image showing the payment processing page when paying for court service fees.
  1. Submission and payment summary
    • When your payment has been processed, your Plaintiff’s Claim will be submitted to the court. A summary of your submission will be displayed, including the claim number assigned to your case by the court and the time and date your claim was submitted.
    • A payment summary will also be displayed, confirming your payment. Print a copy for your record. It will also be saved in your ServiceOntario account.
Image of a page which lists the details of the claim and a summary of the electronic payment for the Small Claims Court fees.
  1. Email notification

Quick Tip

You can make online changes (amendments) to your court-issued claim if you have not already served (delivered) your claim on any of the defendants. If you have already served your claim on any of the defendants, you must then file your amended claim at the small claims court listed at the top of your Plaintiff’s Claim. See below for more details about uploading an amended claim.

Step 2: Serve Defendants and submit an Affidavit of Service using Filing Wizard

Within three business days, you will receive a court-issued Plaintiff’s Claim form and a partially-completed Affidavit of Service form by email.

The Plaintiff’s Claim form must be served (delivered) to each defendant together with any documents in support of your claim. This will notify each defendant that you are suing them. Learn how to serve a defendant.

Once you have served the defendant(s), you must submit a document to the court in which you swear (affirm) that you have served the defendant(s). This document is called an Affidavit of Service. It must be signed in front of a commissioner for taking affidavits (see Quick Tip below) and then scanned to create an electronic copy to submit to the court.

File an Affidavit of Service

To file the Affidavit of Service, go to Ontario.ca/smallclaims, click on “File a new claim or view an existing one” and log in to your ONe-key account.

  1. Your ongoing claim should be visible on this page. Click Next steps.
Image of a summary of your claims.

    If you have landed on your Accounts page, click on “Small claims e-filing” under enrolled services above your existing claims.

This image shows your Accounts page and lists your claims.

    You should see that Step 2: Serve defendants is highlighted.

Image of the second step in the Small Claims e-filing process. Allows users to print an affidavit of service or submit a completed one.
  1. If you need to complete an Affidavit of Service form, click Complete and Print Affidavit to Sign and then follow the steps.
  2. If you have already signed your completed Affidavit of Service in front of a commissioner for taking affidavits and saved a scanned version, click Upload and File Affidavit.

Quick Tip

An Affidavit of Service can be sworn before:

Keep your receipt! You may be able to claim these costs later.

  1. Once you have clicked on Upload and File Affidavit, select the defendant(s) served by clicking on the box to the left of the defendant’s name.
  2. For each defendant you will be required to Upload and file a signed and commissioned copy of the Affidavit of Service and any supporting materials such as receipts for registered mail or couriers.
  3. Enter the date that service of the claim was effective (see Quick Tip below) and confirm that the defendant’s contact information is up-to-date by clicking on Yes or No. Then click Review information before submitting.
  4. Carefully review all information and click Submit.

Quick Tip

What is the “effective date of service” for my claim?

The rules of court set out the ways each document can be served and when service is effective. The defendant has 20 days from the date you served (delivered) the claim to them (effective date of service) to file a defence and deliver a copy to you. Learn more in the Guide to Serving Documents.

You must allow the defendant 20 days from the effective date of service to deliver a defence to you and file it with the court.

If no defence is served within 20 days, you may ask the court to make a decision on your claim without the defendant(s) being there. This is called "default proceedings." This includes noting the defendant in default and then either:

Learn how to request a default judgment below.

Step 3: Request default judgment using Filing Wizard (Liquidated Claims)

If 20 days have passed and you have not received a defence from the defendant, you may ask the court to grant you a decision on your claim, based only on the evidence you have presented. This is called a default judgment.

Quick Tip

What if a defence is filed?

If a defendant responds to the claim with a defence, you will receive a notice advising you of the time, date and location of a mandatory settlement conference, where you and the defendant (or your representatives) will meet with a judge to discuss settling the case.

If the defendant admits liability (the defendant agrees that they are legally and financially responsible for paying your claim), and proposes a payment schedule, no settlement conference is needed. For more information, see the Guide to Replying to a Claim.

To file a default judgment form, follow these steps:

  1. Return to Ontario.ca/smallclaims, click on “File a new claim or view an existing one” and log in to your ONe-key account.
  2. Your ongoing claim should be visible on the page called My existing claims. Click Next Steps.
  3. On the next screen, you should see that Step 3: Note in default and request judgment is highlighted. Read the instructions and tips and then click Request default judgment to continue.
Image of the page where users can request a default judgement on their claim. This image explains what is required to have the defendant noted in default.
  1. Complete the Request for Default Judgment Form by completing the following:
    • Determine if an Affidavit for Jurisdiction is required by responding Yes or No to each of the questions. In many cases it will not be needed.
    • If you are required to submit an Affidavit for Jurisdiction (form 11A), click No to indicate that you do not have a form ready for upload and click Next.
Image showing how a user can determine if an Affidavit of 
Jurisdiction is required. Image showing the required information for an Affidavit for Jurisdiction to be created and printed.

Quick Tip

An Affidavit of Service can be sworn before:

Keep your receipt! You may be able to claim these costs later.

  1. Return to Ontario.ca/smallclaims, click on “File a new claim or view an existing one” and log in to your ONe-key account. Your ongoing claim should be visible on this page. Click Next steps.

  2. You should see that Step 3: Note defendant in default and request judgment is highlighted.

  3. Click Request default judgment.

  4. On the next screen, click Upload file to select the completed, signed form from your files, and click Next.
Image of where a user can upload a completed Affidavit for Jurisdiction.
  1. Select all defendant(s) you wish to file the default judgment against by clicking on the box to the left of the defendant’s name. If all contact information is correct, click Next.
  2. Determine principal and interest amounts of your claim
    • If you indicated that you want to collect interest on your Plaintiff’s Claim, you must enter the contractual rate or the Courts of Justice Act rate. Respond by clicking Yes or No, and complete the interest rate details.
    • Your total amount of pre-judgment interest will be calculated for you. Then click Next.
Image of where a user has their principal and interest amount calculated. Inputs for the principal amount owing, pre-judgment interest rate, and the date of the event that led to the claim are filled in and a formula generates the total pre-judgment interest
  1. Provide costs:
    • If there are costs that you would like to add to your claim, click Yes and enter them now. These costs may include things like fees associated with filing your claim, e.g., legal counsel, fees charged by the commissioner for taking affidavits, fees for serving the claim, the fee to file your claim and default judgment, etc.

      Note that the fee to file your default judgment is $55 (or $75 for frequent claimants who have filed 10 claims at the small claims court location already this year).

      Upload electronic copies of any receipts as evidence of these costs and click Next. You do not need to upload receipts for court fees.

Image shows where a user can input costs amount claimed when filing for a default judgment and where supporting documents can be attached.
  1. Post-judgment interest claimed and payment details
    • Indicate whether you are claiming post-judgment interest. If Yes, enter the post-judgment interest rate you are claiming (e.g., under the contract or the Courts of Justice Act rate).
    • Complete the required details and click Review information before submitting to continue.
  2. Review, pay and submit your default judgment
    • The next screen will show all of the information you have entered. Carefully review all information. To change information in any section, click Update this section to the right of that information. Once you have made any changes, click Save and return to summary.
    • If all information is complete and accurate, click Pay and submit.

Payment

To complete the transaction you will be asked to pay using either your credit card or Interac® Online. Once you have selected your method of payment and entered all required payment information, click Pay Now.

Submission and payment summary

When your payment has been processed, your default judgment will be submitted to the court. A summary of your submission and payment will be displayed. Print a copy for your record. It will also be saved in your ServiceOntario account.

Email notification

Within five business days, you should receive an email with the court-issued default judgment.

Remember, if you submit a form after regular business hours, it will be processed by the court the next day. If you do not receive it within five business days, contact the court office for more information.

What happens next?

If your request for default judgment is granted, the court will send a copy to the defendant(s). If the defendant does not send you the money you are owed, see the small claims court guide called After Judgment – Guide to Getting Results for more information on how to enforce a judgment.

Step 4: Request to note in default (Non-Liquidated)

To file a request to note a defendant in default, follow these steps:

  1. Return to Ontario.ca/smallclaims, click on File a new claim or view an existing one and log in to your ONe-key account.
  2. Your ongoing claim should be visible on the page called My existing claims. Click Next steps.
  3. On the next screen, you should see that Step 3: Note in default is highlighted. Read the instructions and tips and then click Note in default to continue.
Image showing details about noting a defendant in default.
  1. Select the defendants that you wish to have noted in default and complete the statement.
  2. Review and submit your Request to note a defendant in default.
  3. When the Request to note in default has been sent to the court, a summary will appear.
Image showing your submission summary.

What happens next?

If all defendants have been noted in default in your case, you can either:

Quick Tip

What if a defence is filed?

If a defendant responds to the claim with a defence, you will receive a notice advising you of the time, date and location of a mandatory settlement conference, where you and the defendant (or your representatives) will meet with a judge to discuss settling the case.

If the defendant admits liability (the defendant agrees that they are legally and financially responsible for paying your claim), and proposes a payment schedule, no settlement conference is needed. For more information, see the Guide to Replying to a Claim.

Step 5: Request Assessment (non-liquidated claims)

If all defendants have been noted in default and your claim is a non-liquidated claim (where the amount in dispute is not definite or exact), you can either request an assessment hearing before a judge or file a notice of motion for an assessment in writing.

Image showing the options available to request an assessment.

Option 1 – Request Assessment Hearing

An assessment hearing is sometimes called an undefended trial. After you file your request, the clerk of the court will email you a Notice of Assessment Hearing that tells you the date, time and location of your hearing. You must go to court and explain to the judge what you are owed and why. See the Guide to Getting Ready for Court for more details.

To request an Assessment Hearing, follow these steps:

  1. Return to Ontario.ca/smallclaims, click on “File a new claim or view an existing one” and log in to your ONe-key account.
  2. Your ongoing claim should be visible on the page called My existing claims. Click Next steps.
  3. On the next screen, you should see that Step 4: Request assessment is highlighted. Read the instructions and tips and then click Request Assessment Hearing to continue.
  4. To complete the Request for Assessment Hearing:
    1. Determine if an Affidavit for Jurisdiction is required by responding Yes or No to each of the questions. In many cases it will not be needed.
    2. If you are required to submit an Affidavit for Jurisdiction (form 11A), click No to indicate that you do not have a form ready for upload and click Next.
Image showing how a user can determine if an Affidavit of Jurisdiction is required.
  1. Create and print an Affadavit for Jurisdiction
    • To create the Affidavit for Jurisdiction, complete the required fields and then click Review and Print Affidavit for Jurisdiction.
Image showing the required information for an Affidavit for Jurisdiction to be created and printed.
  1. Complete all fields for requesting an assessment hearing and click Review information before submitting.
Quick Tip

An Affidavit of Service can be sworn before:

Keep your receipt! You may be able to claim these costs later.

Payment
Image showing the payment processing page when paying for court service fees.
Submission and payment summary

When your payment has been processed, your Request for assessment hearing will be submitted to the court. A summary of your submission will be displayed, including the claim number and the time and date your request was submitted.

A payment summary will also be displayed, confirming your payment. Print a copy for your records. It will also be saved in your ServiceOntario account.

Image showing a summary of your submission.
What happens next?

The clerk of the court will email you a Notice of Assessment Hearing that tells you the date, time, and location of your hearing. You must go to court and explain to the judge what you are owed and why.

If you do not receive your Notice of Assessment Hearing within three weeks, you may wish to contact the small claims court office listed at the top of your Plaintiff’s Claim to ask about its status.

Option 2 – File Notice of Motion for an Assessment in Writing

If all defendants have been noted in default and your claim is a non-liquidated claim, you can complete and file a notice of motion for an assessment in writing (form 15A). Explain in your notice of motion form what you are owed and why, and upload scanned copies of any supporting documents. You will not need to go to court to speak to a judge at this time. The judge's decision will be emailed to you. The notice of motion form must be signed in front of a commissioner for taking affidavits.

To File a notice of motion for an assessment in writing, follow these steps:

  1. Return to Ontario.ca/smallclaims, click on File a new claim or view an existing one and log in to your ONe-key account.
  2. Your ongoing claim should be visible on the page called My existing claims. Click Next Steps.
  3. On the next screen, you should see that Step 4: Request assessment is highlighted. Read the instructions and tips and then click Request Assessment in Writing to continue.
  4. To complete your Request for Assessment in Writing:
    • Determine if an Affidavit for Jurisdiction is required by responding Yes or No to each of the questions. In many cases it will not be needed.
    • If you are required to submit an Affidavit for Jurisdiction (form 11A), click No to indicate that you do not have a form ready for upload and click Next.
Image showing how a user can determine if an Affidavit of Jurisdiction is required.
  1. Create and print an Affidavit for Jurisdiction by completing the required fields and then click Review and Print Affidavit for Jurisdiction.
Image showing the required information for an Affidavit for Jurisdiction to be created and printed.

    If you are required to submit an Affidavit for Jurisdiction (form 11A), click Yes to indicate that you have a form ready for upload and click Next.

  1. Complete all fields for requesting an assessment in writing and upload your completed and signed Notice of Motion (form 15A). Make sure the commissioner’s stamp is visible on the scanned copy of each attachment. Click Review information before submitting.
Payment
Image showing the payment processing page when paying for court service fees.
Submission and payment summary

When your payment has been processed, your notice of motion for an assessment in writing will be submitted to the court. A summary of your submission will be displayed, including the claim number and the time and date your motion was submitted.

A payment summary will also be displayed, confirming your payment. Print a copy for your records. It will also be saved in your ServiceOntario account.

Image showing a summary of your submission.
What happens next?

According to the Rules of the Small Claims Court, within 14 days you must mail or deliver a hard copy of your Plaintiff's Claim and attachments, Affidavit of Service, Notice of Motion and supporting documents to the small claims court at the address at the top of your Plaintiff’s Claim. You do not need to go to court at this time. The judge will review your documents and a decision will be emailed to you. If you have not received a judge's decision (called an "endorsement record") from the court within six weeks, you may wish to contact the small claims court office listed at the top of your Plaintiff’s Claim to ask about its status.

If the judge does not think the documents you have filed are sufficient to make a decision, the court may order you to provide a further affidavit or attend an assessment hearing.

Submitting your claim using Quick File

Quick File allows legal professionals and regular users of small claims court to quickly and easily upload court documents that you have already completed offline.

Quick Tip

You may wish to use the Quick File method if you are a legal professional or are experienced with small claims court procedures. Make sure you have your Plaintiff’s Claim completed and ready to upload.

Step 1: File and submit your Plaintiff’s Claim using Quick File

  1. Select Quick File.
Image showing how to begin a new claim using the Quick File option.
  1. Read the conditions and check the box provided to confirm that you agree.
  2. Enter the claim amount (principal), select a court and enter the email address where you will receive official court documents, then click Next.
  3. Fill out all fields under Representative and Plaintiff Information and click Next.
  4. Fill out all fields under Defendant Information and click Next.

Quick Tip

If you save your Plaintiff’s Claim information and return to it at a later time, you will need to upload your attachments again.

Note: As the small claims e-filing service does not store any documents for future reference or printing, we recommend you Print the review summary page showing the name/type of any supporting documents provided with your claim for future reference.

  1. Upload Plaintiff’s Claim and attachments:
    • Click Upload file to retrieve the completed Plaintiff’s Claim from your files. This document must be in PDF format and cannot exceed 5 megabytes (5MB) in size.
    • If you have additional supporting documents, click Add more files to upload. Supporting documents can be in any of the following formats: PDF, Word, Excel or JPEG Each supporting document must not exceed 10 megabytes (10MB) in size, with total attachments not to exceed 20 MB in size. File names may only contain letters and numbers and cannot exceed 30 characters in length including the extension e.g., “pdf or jpg”.
    • Complete all remaining fields and click Review information before submitting.
Image of where a user can upload, pay, and sumit their Plaintiff's Claim.
  1. Review, pay and submit Plaintiff’s Claim.
    • The next screen will show all of the information you have entered. Carefully review all information.
    • To change information in any section, click Update this section.
    • If all information is complete and accurate, click Pay and submit.


Payment

Image showing the payment processing page when paying for court service fees.

Submission and payment summary

When your payment has been processed, your Plaintiff’s Claim will be submitted to the court. A summary of your submission will be displayed, including the claim number assigned to your case by the court and the time and date your claim was submitted.

A payment summary will also be displayed, confirming your payment. Print a copy for your records. It will also be saved in your ServiceOntario account.

Image of a page which lists the details of the claim and a summary of the electronic payment for the Small Claims Court fees.


Email notification

You will receive an email with the court-issued Plaintiff’s Claim document, which can be printed and served (delivered) on each defendant together with any documents in support of your claim.

Remember, if you submit a form after regular business hours, it will be processed by the court the next day. If you do not receive it within three days, contact the court office for more information. The email will provide information about next steps.

Quick Tip

If you need to make changes (amendments) to your court-issued claim you may do so online, if you have not yet served (delivered) your claim on any of the defendants. If you have already served your claim on any of the defendants, you must file your amended claim at the small claims court's filing office listed at the top of your Plaintiff’s Claim. See details below for Amending a Plaintiff’s Claim.

Step 2: File an Affidavit of Service using Quick File

Once you have served the defendant(s), return to Ontario.ca/smallclaims, click on File a new claim or view an existing one and log in to your ONe-key account.

  1. Your ongoing claim should be visible on the page called My existing claims. Select the case from the list of ongoing claims and then click Next steps.
Image of a summary of existing claims.

    If you have landed on your Accounts page, click on “Small claims e-filing” under enrolled services above your existing claims.

This image shows your Accounts page and lists your claims.

Select File an Affidavit of Service, and follow these instructions:

Image of a pop-up allowing you to choose the next step.
  1. File Affidavit of Service
    • Select the defendant(s) served by clicking on the box to the left of the defendant’s name. For each defendant, upload a signed and commissioned copy of the Affidavit of Service and any supporting materials.
    • Update defendant contact information, if needed.
    • Click Review information before submitting.
  2. Review and submit Affidavit of Service
    • If all information is correct, click Submit.

Submission summary

When the form has been sent to the court, a summary will appear.

Image showing the Submission Summary of a filed claim.

Step 3: File a request to note defendant in default using Quick File

If 20 days have passed since the date you served (delivered) the claim on the defendant you have not been served with a defence, return to Ontario.ca/smallclaims, click on “File a new claim or view an existing one” and log in to your ONe-key account.

Quick Tip

What is the “effective date of service” for my claim?

The rules of court set out the ways each document can be served and when service is effective. The defendant has 20 days from the date you served (delivered) the claim to them (the effective date of service) to file a defence and deliver a copy to you. Learn more in the Guide to Serving Documents.

Your ongoing claim should be visible on this page. Select the claim number and then click on Next Steps

Select File request to note defendant in default, click to open and follow these steps:

  1. File a request to note a defendant in default
    • Select the defendant(s) that you wish to have noted in default and click Review information before submitting.
  2. Review and submit a request to note defendant in default
    • Review the list of defendants to be noted in default. If you wish to make edits, click Update.
    • If all information is correct, click Submit.

Submission summary

When the request has been sent to the court, a summary will appear.

Step 4: File a request for default judgment using Quick File (Liquidated Claim)

If you have filed a liquidated claim, you may file for default judgment at any time after you have submitted your request to have the defendant(s) noted in default.

From the My existing claims page select the case from the list of ongoing claims and then click on Next steps.

Click on File Default Judgment, and follow these steps:

  1. File a request for default judgment.
    • Select the defendant(s) by clicking the box to the left of each defendant’s name.
    • For each defendant, upload Default Judgment Form (form 11A) and any receipts for any costs and disbursements, such as costs for preparing the claim and money you might have spent effecting service.
    • Update defendant contact information, if needed.
    • Indicate whether the plaintiff has filed more than ten claims at the selected court location this calendar year.
    • Complete the Authorization and signature and click Review information before submitting.
  2. Review and submit a request for default judgment.
    • Carefully review all information. If you wish to make edits, click Update.
    • If all information is correct, click Pay and submit.

Payment

To complete the transaction you will be asked to pay using either your credit card or Interac® Online. Select your method of payment and enter all required payment information, then click Pay Now.

Submission and payment summary

When your payment has been processed, a submission and payment summary will appear. Print this screen for your records. It will also be saved in your ServiceOntario account.

Within five business days, you should receive an email with the court-issued default judgment. If you do not receive it, contact the court office for more information.

What happens next?

If your request for default judgment is granted, the court will send a copy to the defendant(s). If the defendant does not send you the money you are owed, see the small claims court guide called After Judgment – Guide to Getting Results for more information on how to enforce a judgment.

Step 5: Request assessment using Quick File (Non-liquidated Claim)

If you have filed a non-liquidated claim and all defendants have been noted in default, you can either request an assessment hearing before a judge or file a notice of motion for an assessment in writing (Form 15A).

Option 1 – Request an assessment hearing

An assessment hearing is sometimes called an undefended trial. After you file your request for an assessment hearing, the clerk of the court will email you a Notice of Assessment Hearing that tells you the date, time and location of your hearing. You must go to court and explain to the judge what you are owed and why. See the Guide to Getting Ready for Court for more details.

To request an Assessment Hearing, follow these steps:

  1. Return to Ontario.ca/smallclaims, click on File a new claim or view an existing one and log in to your ONe-key account.
  2. Your ongoing claim should be visible on the page called My existing claims. Click Next steps.
  3. Select Request an assessment hearing and click to open.
Image showing how you can choose your next step by clicking on one of the options listed.
  1. Complete the following:
    • Confirm that the court location is correct.
    • Complete the Representative/party name.
    • Determine if an Affidavit for Jurisdiction is required by responding Yes or No to each of the questions. In many cases it will not be needed.
    • If you are required to submit an Affidavit for Jurisdiction (form 11A) and do not have a complete signed and commissioned form 11A, select No.
    • Have an Affidavit of Jurisdiction completed, signed and commissioned.
    • Return to the ServiceOntario portal and then follow the steps to upload your completed Affidavit of Jurisdiction
    • If you are required to submit an Affidavit for Jurisdiction (form 11A), click Yes to indicate that you have a form ready for upload and click Next.
Image containing instructions of how to upload a completed Affidavit for Jurisdiction.
  1. Complete all fields for requesting an assessment hearing and click Review information before submitting.
    • If all information is correct, click Pay and submit.
Payment

To complete the transaction you will be asked to pay using either your credit card or Interac® Online. Select your method of payment and enter all required payment information, then click Pay Now.

Image showing the payment processing page when paying for court service fees.
Submission and payment summary

When your payment has been processed, your request for assessment hearing will be submitted to the court. A summary of your submission will be displayed, including the claim number and the time and date your request was submitted.

A payment summary will also be displayed, confirming your payment. Print a copy for your records. It will also be saved in your ServiceOntario account.

What happens next?

The clerk of the court will email you a Notice of Assessment Hearing that tells you the date, time, and location of your hearing. You must go to court and explain to the judge what you are owed and why.

If you do not receive your Notice of Assessment Hearing within three weeks, you may wish to contact the small claims court office listed at the top of your Plaintiff’s Claim to ask about its status.

Option 2 – File a notice of motion for an assessment in writing

To file a notice of motion for assessment in writing, follow these steps:

  1. Return to Ontario.ca/smallclaims, click on File a new claim or view an existing one and log in to your ONe-key account.
  2. Your ongoing claim should be visible on the page called My existing claims. Select the case from the list of ongoing claims and then click Next steps.
  3. Select File a Notice of Motion for Assessment in Writing.
Image showing how you can choose your next step by clicking on one of the options listed.
  1. Upload your completed, sworn/affirmed Notice of Motion (Form 15A) and any attachments. Make sure to include that the commissioner’s stamp on the scanned copy of each attachment is visible.
    • Determine if an Affidavit for Jurisdiction is required by responding Yes or No to each of the questions. In many cases it will not be needed.
    • If you are required to submit an Affidavit for Jurisdiction (form 11A) and do not have a complete signed and commissioned form 11A, select No.
    • Have an Affidavit of Jurisdiction completed, signed and commissioned for uploading in the ServiceOntario portal.
    • On return to the ServiceOntario portal you will then follow the steps to upload your completed Affidavit of Jurisdiction
    • If you are required to submit an Affidavit for Jurisdiction (form 11A), click Yes to indicate that you have a form ready for upload and click Next.
Image showing how to attach documents to file a notice of motion for an assessment in writing
  1. Click Review information before submitting.
    • If all information is correct, click Pay and submit.
Payment

To complete the transaction you will be asked to pay using either your credit card or Interac® Online. Select your method of payment and enter all required payment information, then click Pay Now.

Image showing the payment processing page when paying for court service fees.
Submission and payment summary

When your payment has been processed, your notice of motion for assessment in writing will be submitted to the court. A summary of your submission will be displayed, including the claim number and the time and date your motion was submitted.

A payment summary will also be displayed, confirming your payment. Print a copy for your records. It will also be saved in your ServiceOntario account.

Image showing the Submission Summary of a notice of motion for assessment in writing.
What happens next?

According to the Rules of the Small Claims Court, within 14 days you must mail or deliver a hard copy of your Plaintiff's Claim and attachments, Affidavit of Service, notice of motion and supporting documents to the small claims court listed at the top of your Plaintiff’s Claim.

You do not need to go to court at this time. The judge will review your documents and a decision will be emailed to you. If you have not received a judge's decision (called an "endorsement record") from the court within six weeks, you may wish to contact the small claims court office where you filed your Plaintiff's Claim to ask about the status.

If the judge thinks the documents you filed are not sufficient to make a decision, the court may order you to provide a further affidavit or attend an assessment hearing.

Amending a Plaintiff’s Claim

If you have not yet served (delivered) your claim on any of the defendants, you can file an amended claim online. If you have already served your claim on any of the defendants, you must file your amended claim at the small claims court's filing office listed at the top of your Plaintiff’s Claim.

1. Amend a Plaintiff’s Claim using Filing Wizard

To Amend a Plaintiff’s Claim using Filing Wizard follow these steps:

  1. Return to Ontario.ca/smallclaims, click on File a new claim or view an existing one and log in to your ONe-key account.
  2. Your ongoing claim should be visible on the page called My existing claims. Click Next steps.
  3. On the next screen, you will see that you are on Step 2: Serve defendants.
Image showing how to serve defendants.
  1. Scroll to the bottom of the page for instructions on how to Amend a claim. Select Amend a Claim to continue.
Image showing how to amend a claim.
  1. To prepare your amended Plaintiff's Claim for upload:
    • write "Amended" at the top of the issued Plaintiff's Claim that the court emailed to you
    • underline anything you have added and identify any other changes you make (you can insert additional pages, if necessary)
    • remove a plaintiff and/or defendant by crossing out their names and addresses
    • add another plaintiff and/or defendant by completing and inserting Form 1A Additional Parties
    • scan and save your supporting documents. All supporting documents must be re-sent to the court even if no changes were made to them.
  2. Review and submit your amended Plaintiff’s Claim and all supporting documents
    • Carefully review all information. To make changes, press Update.
    • Once all information is correct, press Submit.
  3. Submission summary
    • When the amended Plaintiff’s Claim has been sent to the court, a summary will appear on the screen.
Image showing submission summary of an amended plaintiff's claim.
  1. Email notification and next steps
    • You will receive an email advising that your amended Plaintiff’s Claim has been received by the court
    • You will not receive a new issued amended Plaintiff's Claim from the court. Simply photocopy your amended claim and attachments and serve (deliver) it to each defendant in your case.
    • Remember, if you submit a form after regular business hours, it will be processed by the court the next day. If you do not receive it within three days, contact the court office for more information. The email will provide information about next steps, as well as a partially-completed Affidavit of Service form

2. Amend a Plaintiff’s Claim using Quick File

To Amend a Plaintiff’s Claim using Quick File, follow these steps:

  1. Return to Ontario.ca/smallclaims, click on File a new claim or view an existing one and log in to your ONe-key account.
  2. Your ongoing claim should be visible on the page called My existing claims. Click Next steps and select Amend a Plaintiff’s Claim.
Image of a pop-up allowing you to choose the next step.
  1. To prepare your amended Plaintiff's Claim for upload:
    • write "Amended" at the top of the issued Plaintiff's Claim that the court emailed you
    • underline anything you have added and identify any other changes you make (you can insert additional pages, if necessary)
    • remove a plaintiff and/or defendant by crossing out their names and addresses
    • add another plaintiff and/or defendant by completing and inserting Form 1A Additional Parties
    • scan and save your supporting documents. All supporting documents must be re-sent to the court even if no changes were made to them.
Image showing how to upload an amended Plaintiff's Claim.
  1. Review and submit your amended Plaintiff’s Claim and all supporting documents
    • Carefully review all information. To make changes, press Update.
    • Once all information is correct, press Submit.
  2. Submission summary
    • When the amended Plaintiff’s Claim has been sent to the court, a summary will appear.
Image of a submission summary for an amended Plaintiff's Claim.
  1. Email notification and next steps
    • You will receive an email advising that your amended Plaintiff’s Claim has been received by the court
    • You will not receive a new issued amended Plaintiff's Claim from the court. Simply photocopy your amended claim and attachments and serve (deliver) it to each defendant in your case
    • Remember, if you submit a form after regular business hours, it will be processed by the court the next day. If you do not receive it within three days, contact the court office for more information. The email will provide information about next steps, as well as a partially-completed Affidavit of Service form

Frequently asked questions