Area of Law: Small Claims Court
Answer # 557
The judge's roleRegion: Ontario Answer # 557
The judge’s role in Small Claims Court is less formal than the role of a judge in the higher courts. The judge will usually listen to both the plaintiff’s and the defendant’s stories and, if necessary, ask questions. By asking questions, the judge helps the plaintiff and defendant focus on the facts that are important.
The rules in Small Claims Court are more flexible. Since you are not expected to be represented by a lawyer and the purpose is to resolve issues relatively quickly, the judge can let someone show any evidence that the judge thinks is important to the case.
If at any time during the trial you do not understand what is being asked, or what is going on, you may ask the judge to explain it to you. Always be courteous and respectful when you address the judge.
Once both sides have presented their case, the judge will make the final decision.
If you do not agree with the judge’s decision, you may have a right to appeal.
For more information, visit the Small Claims Court website.
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