Pragmatic, timely and cost-effective – because we know that you’ve got better things to do than sit in court!
Where disputes prove intractable, Hummingbird Lawyers LLP will litigate on your behalf to resolve disputes in your interest. We handle an array of business/commercial litigation matters covering shareholder and partnership disputes, oppression remedy actions, contract disputes, and employment matters. In concert with our real estate team, we advocate on general civil litigation matters including real estate litigation, commercial leasing and construction disputes and lien claims, land claims, mortgage enforcement, franchise disputes, injunctions, and appeals.
Our first priority is to find you a pragmatic, timely and cost-effective resolution to the matter at hand, because we know that you’ve got better things to do than sit in court.
Our full suite of Litigation Services
- Commercial Landlord and Tenant Litigation
- Lease Disputes
- Defaults and Collections
- Rent Issues
- Operating Cost Disputes
- Realty Tax Issues
- Commercial and Residential Real Estate Litigation
- Failed Purchase and Sale Agreements
- Mortgage Enforcement
- Financing Disputes
- Construction Liens issues and Construction Disputes
- Partnership, Co-ownership and Shareholder Disputes
- Bankruptcy, Insolvency and Restructuring
- Lenders’ Rights and Remedies
Select a topic above to read more.
If you win, will you be able to collect from the person/business?
Even if you “win” (obtain a judgment in your favour), you may have to enforce the judgment. In order for you to collect, the person/business must have one of the following:
- assets that can be seized and sold, or
- a debt owed to them by someone else (e.g. bank account, employment income) that can be garnished.
Does the person/business owe others money?
There may be other creditors who are already waiting to collect their judgments against the person/business. You may be able to find out by contacting your local credit bureau, enforcement office, land registry office, and/or court offices (a fee may be payable).
Even if the person/business does not have money now, you may be able to collect your judgment in the future.
Do you know the legal name of the person or business you wish to sue and their current residential or business address?
You will need correct information about whom you are suing to properly prepare and serve your claim, and to enforce a judgment if you are successful.
For information about how to search a corporation or registered business name, contact us.
Which is the right court to start your claim?
i. Small Claims Court
If your claim is for $25,000 or less or for the return of personal property valued at $25,000 or less, not including interest and costs, you may wish to bring your claim in Small Claims Court.
If the amount of your claim is worth more than $25,000, you can still choose to use Small Claims Court because it is simpler and less expensive. However, if you choose Small Claims Court you cannot claim more than $25,000. You will have to give up any amount over $25,000 and cannot start a claim at a later date for the amount in excess of the $25,000.
ii. Superior Court of Justice
If you are proceeding with a claim for more than $25,000, you must start your claim in the Superior Court of Justice.
The Superior Court of Justice deals with almost all types of civil cases except:
- Cases where a law says that the matter must go to a special government agency or tribunal. These include residential tenancy complaints, workers’ compensation matters and labour relations.
- Cases where the Federal Court has control. These include federal tax matters, immigration matters, and patents and trademarks.
Which court location will issue your claim?
Unless a statute or rule directs otherwise, you may commence your proceeding at any court office in Ontario. Note that a defendant may ask the court to have the case transferred to a different court location.
Do you have enough evidence to support your claim?
You will have to prove your case. Consider what witnesses and/or documents you have to support you. If you do not have supporting documents (e.g. you entered into a verbal agreement) or witnesses, your claim may still be successful. However, if it is just your word against the other person’s, it may be more difficult to prove your case.
Do you have a record of any payments, such as returned cheques or a clear recollection of what happened and when?
You will be required to include in your statement of claim a short, clear summary of the events that took place and the reasons you think you are entitled to judgment against the defendant.
Remember, the other party is able to respond to your claim and may give evidence that will affect the judge’s view of your entitlement.
How long ago did the incident take place?
There may be a time limit on how long you can wait before starting a lawsuit, which is set out in the Limitations Act. If you are uncertain about what limitation period applies to your case, give us a call and we can help.
Can you attend at the court office to file documents and/or attend in court for a trial?
To pursue your claim you must attend court on a number of occasions. You or someone acting on your behalf must attend the court office to have documents issued. You will also be required to attend court for any case conferences, for a pre-trial and for a trial.
Above and beyond legal fees, you will be required to pay for various services called ‘disbursements’. These include courier fees, document fees, and court fees amongst others. The cost of a lawsuit will vary from case to case, which is why we recommend you come in for a consultation with one of our lawyers to get a better sense of costs.