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Province rolling out changes to small claims court

The provincial government is raising the maximum amount that can be heard in Ontario’s small claims court system.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2020, the maximum claim will increase to $35,000 from $25,000.

The last limit change took place in January 2010 when it increased from $10,000.

Currently, all claims more than $25,000 must proceed in the Superior Court of Justice.

According to a media release from the Ministry of the Attorney General, this can hold up litigation for years, and can involve expensive legal representation.

In small claims court, cases are often resolved in less than a year, and claimants are not required to hire lawyers or other legal help. Starting next year, the minimum amount of a claim that may be appealed to Divisional Court will also increase from $2,500 to $3,500.

There are currently 77 small claims courts across Ontario.