Civil litigation is a catch-all phrase, which encompasses more specific forms of litigation, such as matrimonial litigation, estates litigation, personal injury litigation, construction lien litigation, and various others.
The often costly and lengthy features of litigation to both plaintiffs (the party bringing the action) and the defendant (the party responding to the plaintiff's action) has the hope of being diminished though the new Simplified Procedure Rules.
In a nutshell, the Simplified Procedure Rules substitute a party's right to conduct any oral examinations, for the right to obtain a list of all names and addresses of "persons who might reasonably be expected to have knowledge of transactions or occurrences in issue in an action."
Where claims involving money or property have a fair market value of $100,000 or less, an action must proceed by way of Simplified Procedure. However, even where a claim exceeds the monetary maximum prescribed by the Rules of Civil Procedure, if a defendant does not object, an action may nonetheless proceed by way of Simplified Procedure.
Under certain circumstances, a defendant who claims by way of counter claim, cross claim, or third party claim may also invoke the Simplified Procedure Rules.
Although time will tell if the Simplified Procedure Rules live up to the expectations of the legal community and parties involved in civil actions, it is hoped that legal actions will be resolved much more swiftly, and less expensively.
Where claims involving money or property have a fair worked value of $25,000 or less, an action must proceed in the Small Claims Court of Ontario.
A qualified and experienced lawyer can help you navigate through the complexities of a legal action to obtain the most favourable result possible.