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Changing Ontario Court Rules – January, 2010

Many Ontario lawsuits will be conducted differently starting January 1, 2010.  The government release in December, 2008 is found here.

The Honourable Coulter Osborne, Q.C. made a series of recommendations in late 2007, various of which will be implemented in January, 2010.  You can find the report here.

The changes are significant and numerous.  A partial short list of important changes which appear ready to be implemented include:

  • Small Claims Court having an increased jurisdiction of $25,000 (up from $10,000);
  • Simplified Procedure being increased to include claims up to $100,000 (up from $50,000);

The increase of Simplified Procedure lawsuits to a jurisdictional limit of $100,000 will encompass a significant number of lawsuits.  Ontario lawyers will generally become more familiar with the workings of Rule 76 of Ontario’s Rules of Civil Procedure, which deals with Simplified Procedure lawsuits.

The time limit on Discoveries will also be significant, particularly in document intensive files.  Front loading the disclosure process, prior to reaching the Discovery itself, will become a requirement in order to adhere to this time limit.

Ontario’s Small Claims Court will experience a significant increase of volume, given the increase in the jurisdictional monetary limit.  It is noted that Saskatchewan has a $20,000 jurisdictional limit while a $25,000 jurisidictional limit is utilized in:

Gregory Chang
Toronto Insurance Litigation Lawyer