SCJ – Small Claims Scheduling Updates  

I understand that the Small Claims court is being moved from a centralized model to a decentralized model of scheduling.  What does that mean and when will this occur?

The SCJ has advised that the Small Claims Court is currently moving from a centralized model to a decentralized model for scheduling, meaning local court staff will be performing local functions.


The transition will occur in three phases:


Phase 1: E-requests.

In this phase, court staff will schedule the backlog of e-requests received by central trial coordinators.


Phase 2: On the shelf.

During this phase, court staff will reach out to parties of matters suspended on or after March 16, 2020 or filed between March 16, 2020 and April 6, 2021 to collect email addresses and facilitate attendance of remote hearings.


Phase 3: Scheduling.

The trial coordinators will schedule matters filed after April 6, 2021.


All local courts are moving through these phases separately and it is not possible to say when all locations will reach phase 3. However, the SCJ has advised that significant progress has been made in the last two months and nearly half of local court houses are currently in phase 2.


When will judgment debtor exams and garnishment hearings be scheduled?

Urgent garnishment hearings have continued.  There is no set date for when regular scheduling will resume.

What is the next step for trial continuations?

Trials commenced prior to the pandemic and subsequently suspended as a result of the pandemic have been identified and scheduled for resumption remotely, beginning in April.  Additional trial continuations will be scheduled in Phase 2.


In cases where a party is unable to participate in remote continuation, those trials will be rescheduled once in-person hearings are resumed.