Trial Occurs in 9.7% of Small Claims Court Cases

Here are some interesting Small Claims Court statistics from the Ministry of the Attorney General over the past 5 years:

  • 66,000 claims are started each year in Small Claims Court
  • 14.5% of cases have a motion
  • 28.7% of cases have a settlement conference
  • 9.7% of cases have a trial

It is shocking that only 28.7% of cases have a settlement conference.  This means cases are either settling or are proceeding undefended.  It’s more likely that they are undefended.  And they are probably collection proceedings.

The numbers also indicate that 66.3% of cases that get to a settlement conference resolve.  This is a testament to the effectiveness of the Deputy Judges at settlement conferences.

Trial numbers are high for Small Claims Court, with 9.7% of cases going to trial.  Although getting to trial is slow (1 – 2 years), doing so is not as procedurally convoluted as Superior Court.

The high likelihood of trial makes Small Claims Court a fun place to represent clients.  Hassell Trial Counsel offers strategic advice to lawyers and paralegals such as high-level review of the case combined with practical and strategic advice for trial preparation and trial.


This article is courtesy of the Ontario Civil Trial Manual

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