Elements of a Plaintiff's Claim

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Rather than detailing a claim in a Form 7A, consider appending a schedule. The judge will have the substance of the claim in a clear, easy-to-read format. Here is a PDF of a sample schedule for a plaintiff's claim. Its elements are described below.

Always start with the relief sought. In Small Claims, this is (nearly) always liquid damages, i.e. money. In the next paragraph, state whether you are claiming as an individual or a business. If you claim as a business, your legal expenses are tax deductible. If you claim as an individual, it depends on the nature of the action. Keep in mind, however, that if your business is incorporated, you may be required to have a legal agent act on its behalf.

In the following paragraph, state a) whether the defendant is an individual or a business, and b) where the individual or business resides or carries on business, respectively. There are very specific rules for service of a claim on a business. As for the location of the defendant, this matters in determining which court has jurisdiction. Chatham Small Claims Court can hear a claim only if the cause of the action (e.g. where faulty work was performed) arose in Chatham-Kent, or the defendant resides or has an office in Chatham-Kent.

As the sample is a relatively simple claim, the other elements are straightforward. This is a breach of contract, so first, state that a lawful agreement was made. Then, state how and when the defendant breached the contract. After that, state the losses suffered as a result of the breach. Finally, state your efforts to mitigate these losses.

Be sure to attach all the documents you will be relying on. While plaintiffs sometimes serve and file these later, the Rules do require that they be filed with the claim.

Need help drafting a Plaintiff's Claim? Contact Thomas Legal at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to have your claim reviewed by a paralegal.