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When can you sue?

There are many reasons why people start lawsuits. Generally, you can sue a person for violating your legal rights if you suffered a loss. This includes: if someone breaks an agreement; if someone damages your personal property; if someone owes you money or; if someone causes you to suffer a physical injury.

If you believe that you have a real reason to start a lawsuit, it may be necessary to go to Small Claims Court. Before you do, however, you should consider trying all reasonable steps to resolve the problem. Going to any court, even Small Claims Court, takes time and money.

Some possibilities of solving problems without going to court may be to speak with a manager or business owner about your problem, or write a letter of complaint requesting a repair or refund. If you provide a complaint form and other relevant documents to the Ministry of Consumer Services, they will assist you with your rights under the Consumer Protection Act.  Also, in certain cases, such as where your claim is in excess of $500, they will contact the business on your behalf and try to mediate a solution. Keep a copy of any letter that you write, because you may be able to use it if you end up having to take the matter to court. For legal help, contact a lawyer.

Ministry of the Attorney General: www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca

Ministry of Consumer Services: www.sse.gov.on.ca 

This article covers Ontario and/or federal law. © 2015 Licence and content provided by 
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