“My Legal Briefcase” Offers Help Re Small Claims Court

With Small Claims Court in Ontario now able to deal with claims of up to $25,000, the actions aren’t so “small” anymore. And the increase in the number of people affected by the generous cut-off has spawned a variety of self-help websites and businesses.

For an example of a pro bono self-help site, check out the series of seven videos on the Small Claims Court by lawyer James Morton, part of an initiative by the Advancement of Legal Education and Research Trust (ALERT), the charitable arm of the Ontario Bar Association (OBA).

My Legal Briefcase is a brand new business — launched today — that offers to help you get your papers in order for your application to Small Claims Court. For a penny under $25, you’ll be presented with an online questionnaire to fill out with the details of your claim. The program will then merge your answers into the requisite places in the necessary forms, offer them to you for printing, and then tell you what the steps are that you need to take to pursue your claim.

MLB is planning two further levels of service for increased fees. The top level, Performance, for a buck under $250, would provide

  • 1 hour consultation with a lawyer ($99/hour for each additional hour)
  • Documents tailored to your case by a lawyer
  • A letter, sent by a lawyer, to the person you are suing
  • Professional, filled-in legal forms that show all the relevant details of your claim
  • Step-by-step instructions on how to proceed with your lawsuit
  • Free booklet – “How to Win in Court”
  • Email reminders

Comments

  1. Interesting that in Ontario small claims now includes amounts up to $25,000 – in New Brunswick, they just scrapped small claims. This means that the justice system in NB is really out of reach for many people.

  2. @ Sue:

    What system has replaced the Small Claims Court in New Brunswick?

  3. If one has a claim for a small amount, one has to go through the Court of Queen’s Bench, which is, of course, more expensive, more confusing, and more daunting for those who want to represent themselves.

  4. A minor (a child under 18 years of age) may sue for an amount up to $500 as if he or she were an adult. If the amount claimed is greater than $500, a litigation guardian must represent the minor. A litigation guardian is usually a parent or guardian. The litigation guardian must fill out a Consent to Act as Litigation Guardian [Form 4A] and file it with the court at the time the claim is filed or as soon as possible afterwards.

    This service appears wonderful great asset for everyone. The headache of presenting a winning legal case can be forfeit simply by improperly creating legal documents.