You sued someone in Small Claims Court or at a tribunal and won. There is an order that your debtor pay you. But the court does not automatically collect the money for you; you have to enforce the judgment by applying again to the court.

The orders of some boards, tribunals and agencies, as well as other levels of court, can be enforced in the Small Claims Court including Landlord and Tenant Board decisions under the Residential Tenancies Act and Ministry of Labour orders under the Employment Standards Act. Also, restitution orders under the Criminal Code of Canada can be enforced in this court.

There are several ways that you can enforce the judgment of the court:

  • Generally, the faster you act to collect what is owed to you, the better the results will be.
  • First, send a letter to your debtor asking for payment.
  • If the debtor has money, assets that can be seized and sold, or employment income you can take steps to get hold of some of these.
  • If the debtor cannot pay or has no assets, you can wait to collect what is owed to you.
  • You have a right to interest on any amounts owing to you pursuant to a judgment.

The court has processes to help you collect what is owed to you:

  • Request an Examination Hearing to find out about the debtor's financial situation, assets, or employment.
  • At an examination hearing, the judge may make an order for payment of the debt such as a payment schedule.
  • If the debtor misses payments, you may start Garnishment proceedings to get money from the debtor's employer or bank accounts.
  • If the debtor lives in an area outside the control of the court where you won your case, you will need to contact the court where the debtor lives or works.
  • Many of the steps involved in collecting a debt after a judgment can be complicated.
  • If you are tenant or worker trying to enforce a tribunal order, you may need to seek legal advice, or contact a Community Legal Clinic for assistance.

Learn more

  1. Decide if your problem relates to enforcement in Small Claims Court.
  2. Read Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to learn more about how to enforce a judgment in Small Claims Court.
  3. Follow the Steps for instructions on enforcing a judgment in Small Claims Court.
  4. Review the Resources to find new and in-depth legal information about your problem.
  5. See the Links for news and other helpful websites.

Back to Top

DisclaimerLast updated 07/30/2009