SMALL CLAIMS COURT: APPEAL
Appeals from a Final Order of the Small Claims Court
According to O. Reg. 626/00 Small Claims Court Jurisdiction and Appeal Limit under the Courts of Justice Act, an appeal goes to the Divisional Court from a final order of the Small Claims Court in an action:
- for the payment of money in excess of $2,500, excluding costs
- for the recovery of possession of personal property exceeding $2,500 in value
You must pay a fee to file a Notice of Appeal and for most steps in a proceeding, such as filing a motion or filing a cross appeal. The number of steps in an appeal varies from case to case. A fee waiver process has been introduced for persons who may be denied access to justice because of their financial circumstances.
There are time limits for how long you have to bring an appeal. Generally, an appeal of a final order is started by serving the required documents within 30 days after the order that you are appealing was made. If you are uncertain about what period of time applies in your case, you should consult CP Paralegal Services.
The Divisional Court is a branch of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario. It is an appeal court, not a trial court. It hears appeals and applications for judicial review. The Divisional Court sits in panels of three judges of the Superior Court of Justice. However, in some circumstances, Divisional Court hearings may be held before a single judge.
The Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario has a series of guides to Divisional Court procedures which are available at court offices and the Ministry of the Attorney General website at www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca:
- What is Divisional Court?
- Guide to Appeals in Divisional Court
- Guide to Serving Documents in Divisional Court Appeals
- What can I do if my appeal to the Divisional Court is dismissed for delay or dismissed as abandoned?
- Guide to Fees in Divisional Court Appeals
The Major Steps in an Appeal
In an appeal, the appellant (the person who brings the appeal) argues that the lower court or tribunal made an error sufficient to justify overturning or modifying its decision. The person who responds to the appeal is called the respondent. An Appeal is a multi-step process. Many of these steps involve serving documents on other parties or paying fees. Generally, the major steps in an appeal are the following:
- Not in all cases you have an automatic right of appeal to the Divisional Court. Sometimes you must first obtain permission – Leave to Appeal – from the court to appeal. The appellant brings a motion for leave to appeal.
- The appellant serves and files the Notice of Appeal and Appellant’s Certificate Respecting Evidence
- The respondent serves and files a Respondent’s Certificate Respecting Evidence, if required.
- The appellant orders transcripts if they are required, and files proof that the transcript has been ordered.
- The appellant perfects the appeal by serving and filing the Appeal Book and Compendium, Exhibit Book, Factum, transcripts (if any) and Book of Authorities. The appellant files a Certificate of Perfection, and the court lists the appeal for hearing.
- The respondent serves and files the Respondent’s Compendium, Factum, and Book of Authorities.
- The parties attend the appeal hearing and a decision is made.
Divisional Court Locations
The Divisional Court, a branch of the Superior Court of Justice, sits in eight regional centres throughout the province:
Central East Region Divisional Court, Superior Court of Justice50 Eagle St. West Newmarket, ON L3Y 6B1 Tel: 905-853-4823 x 2 Fax: 905-853-4880 Serving locations including: Newmarket, Barrie, Bracebridge, Cobourg, Lindsay, Peterborough, Whitby
Central South Region Divisional Court, Superior Court of Justice45 Main St. East, 1st Floor, Suite 110 Hamilton, ON L8N 2B7 Tel: 905-645-5252 x 3813 Fax: 905-645-5372 Serving locations including: Hamilton, Brantford, Cayuga, Kitchener, St. Catharines, Simcoe
Central West Region Divisional Court, Superior Court of Justice7755 Hurontario Street Brampton, ON L6W 4T6 Tel: 905-456-4878 Fax: 905-456-4836 Serving locations including: Brampton, Guelph, Milton, Orangeville, Owen Sound, Walkerton
East Region Divisional Court, Superior Court of Justice161 Elgin St. Ottawa, ON K2P 2K1 Tel: 613-239-1071 Fax: 613-239-1028 Serving locations including: Ottawa, Belleville, Picton, Brockville, Cornwall, Perth, Kingston, L’Orignal, Napanee, Pembroke
North East Region Divisional Court, Superior Court of Justice155 Elm St. Sudbury, ON P3C 1T9 Tel: 705-564-7756 Fax: 705-564-7890 Serving locations including: Sudbury, Cochrane, Gore Bay, Haileybury, North Bay, Parry Sound, Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins
North West Region Divisional Court, Superior Court of Justice277 Camelot St. Thunder Bay, ON P7A 4B3 Tel: 807-343-2700 Fax: 807-343-2704 Serving locations including: Thunder Bay, Fort Frances, Kenora
South West Region Divisional Court, Superior Court of Justice80 Dundas St. East London, ON N6A 2P3 Tel: 519-660-3026 Fax: 519-660-3053 Serving locations including: London, Chatham, Goderich, St. Thomas, Sarnia, Stratford, Windsor, Woodstock
Toronto Region Divisional Court, Osgoode Hall130 Queen St. West Room 174 Toronto, ON M5H 2N5 Tel: 416-327-5100 Fax: 416-327-5549
Although, in Divisional Court you may represent yourself, asking for legal assistance from CP Paralegal Services is always a good idea.
Do not make a mistake trying to go through the process of appeal alone!
Let CP Paralegal Services do their job while you are doing yours!
The particular details and proceedings for an appeal are very technical, tricky and complicated. It is an overwhelming process even for professionals.