Provincial Offences are non-criminal laws made by the Province of Ontario but heard in local courts. Provincial Offence charges are usually laid by the police, but can also be laid by other enforcement agencies, including By-Law Enforcement, Fire Department, Ministry Of Transportation and Ministry of Labour.
ELM Legal Services can represent you in Provincial Court for charges laid under the following:
Highway Traffic Act - such as speeding, careless driving, or not wearing your seat belt
Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act - such as failing to surrender your insurance card, or possessing a fake or invalid insurance card
Liquor License Act - such as being intoxicated in a public place; selling alcohol to a minor or to a person who is intoxicated; or selling alcohol without a license or selling alcohol with a suspended or revoked license
Trespass to Property Act - such as entering premises when entry is prohibited or failing to leave the premises after being directed to do so
City by-laws - such as infractions under noise, animal care by-laws, building permit violations, parking offences
Dog Owner's Liability Act (dog bites)
Occupational Health and Safety Act
Motor Vehicle Dealers Act (OMVIC)
HIGHWAY TRAFFIC TICKETS
Did you get a ticket? Are you facing a substantial fine? Are you facing demerit points?
Most Clients do not know that paying a traffic ticket fine is admitting your guilt and automatically convicts you of the charge against you. Did you know that paying a fine and pleading guilty to a traffic ticket can have many more consequences than just a hefty fine amount, including insurance rate hikes, and possible serious affects on your license.
In some scenarios, fighting it could cost more than the ticket – but it could save you money when you factor in your insurance. Most traffic tickets have demerit points and as little as one conviction can increase your insurance rates.
You don't "lose" demerit points on your driving record. You start with zero (0) points and gain points for being convicted of breaking certain traffic laws. Demerit points stay on your record for two years from the offence date.
Not only can a conviction and demerit points increase your insurance rates, lead to hefty fines, and affect your driving record, but if you accumulate enough demerit points your licence could be suspended.
A few common charges are:
~driving with a suspended licence
~driving without insurance
~failure to surrender insurance
~failure to surrender licence
~failure to wear complete seat belt assembly
~driver failure to ensure passenger under 16 is secure
~distracted driving (cell phone)
~fail to stop at stop sign or improper stop at stop sign
~fail to yield
~fail to yield to a pedestrian
~leaving the scene of an accident
~failing to report an accident
~failing to stop for a school bus
~improper use of high occupancy lane
~CVOR (Commercial Vehicle Operator's Registration)
~use of radar detector
~school zone tickets
In small claims court, people can settle their differences in cases worth anywhere up to $25,000. Small Claims Court is less formal and rules and procedures are less complicated than Superior Court. Small claims court users are encouraged to settle their claims by agreement. If necessary, there will be a trial and a judge will decide the claim.
If you are considering making a claim in small claims court or are currently involved in a claim, you can be comfortable that ELM Legal Services will provide an ongoing overview of the small claims process, outline the steps you may encounter in a typical small claims case and address any questions or concerns you have regarding the process as we go along. We encourage open and honest communication from our Clients, and facilitate their involvement in the process.
As you'd expect, the cases that are filed with Small Claims Court, involve smaller amounts of money than in Superior Court. The highest amount that the claimant can sue for is $35,000. This includes all claims listed on the Plaintiff's Claim, no matter how many defendants there are, and it includes the value of any goods or services that the Plaintiff is asking seeking. If the amount of your claim is more than $25,000, you can still choose to use the Small Claims Court. However, you will have to give up the amount of money over $25,000, as well as any future right to get this money in any other court.
The Claim amount does not include any interest or expenses that the Plaintiff might be entitled to. The expenses that anyone can claim in Small Claims Court are limited by the Rules of the Small Claims Court, and, in many cases, amount to not much more than the filing fee and the cost of document service. Legal fees are sometimes awarded to the "Successful Party" upon completion of a trial.
The Small Claims Court hears cases involving various types of legal disputes, including contracts, debt collection, vehicle damage, personal injury and wrongful dismissal. It handles actions for the payment of money or the recovery of personal property.
There are some kinds of cases that cannot be handled in Small Claims Court, no matter how little money is involved. The resolution of certain disputes, for example between residential landlords and tenants, or family law disputes cannot be tried in Small Claims Court because they fall under different jurisdiction.
More examples of claims that can be filed in the Small Claims Court include:
~ breach of contract
~unpaid accounts for goods or services sold and/or delivered
~unpaid rent or damages after a tenant vacates
~ NSF cheques
Claims for damages:
~defective goods or services
Have you sent out invoices that are being ignored? Do you have a debt that needs to be collected?
As a business owner, your primary focus should be running your business and not having to deal with the collection of debts owed to you. Writing letters and making numerous phone calls is time consuming and the older the debt becomes, the harder it is to collect. Our focus is to collect your debts for you with as little hassle to you as possible, within the shortest time period as possible. Let us advise you on the process and the viability of collection, as well as the potential costs involved in collection of those debts.
Legal action may be required when a debt is in dispute, or if all other collection methods have failed or been exhausted. ELM Legal Services provides professional debt collection services that help clients recover outstanding accounts.
Our goal is to save you time and get you results and our experience will save you the added stress. As Licensed Paralegals, we know the best techniques to collect from your debtors and can be taken seriously.
Sometimes without even being aware of it, we all become party to some type of contract. For example, we have to sign a contract to get a cellphone; a credit card; to lease or buy a car; to rent an apartment; for the gym; to get a job; to buy a computer; to hire a construction team; businesses and so on.
What is a Breach of Contract?
A Breach of Contract occurs when a party to a contract fails or refuses to fulfill all of his or her obligations under the contract without having a lawful reason. If one side of a contract does not fulfill their contractual promise, or has given information to the other side of the contract that they will not perform their duty as mentioned in the contract, there is a breach of contract.
Contracts can be written or oral agreements, although there are some exceptions where the contract must be written. For those oral contracts that are valid, they are as enforceable as written contracts. The difficulty with an oral contract is proving that a contract exists and what its terms are.
The resulting award for a successful claim for breach of contract is damages or monetary compensation. The general rule for recoverable loss in breach of contract cases is that the courts will award damages to place the wronged party in the same position they would have been in had the contract been performed. The amount of the Claim should reflect the amount of cost the Plaintiff will have to incur to recover as if the breach of contract had not occurred.
In a situation where a breach of contract may have occurred, we will meet with you to review and discuss the agreement to confirm whether the other party has not fulfilled its duties properly and will discuss with you the best coarse of action to take to seek restitution for the damages you have incurred.
In Ontario, the Landlord and Tenant Board resolves disputes between landlords and tenants concerning their rights and responsibilities under the Residential Tenancy Act, 2006 including issues such as non-payment of rent, evictions, and maintenance as well as landlord and tenant rights. Disputes between Ontario residential landlords and tenants are adjudicated at hearings or resolved with the assistance of Landlord and Tenant Board appointed mediators.
The Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) was created by the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) . The RTA gives residential landlords and tenants rights and responsibilities, and sets out a process for enforcing them.
The LTB is one of the eight tribunals that make up Social Justice Tribunals Ontario (SJTO).
ELM Legal Services represent either tenants or landlords and guide them through the Application, Mediation and Hearing processes which can arise from many different Landlord or Tenant Claims, including:
~Tenant Eviction for Non-payment of Rent
~Interference with others
~Damages to unit or property of the Landlord or Tenant
~Illegal Acts (ie: Running a Business, Violence, Illicit Drugs)
~Terminating a Tenancy by the Landlord or Tenant (ie: Landlord for personal use, Tenant at the end of a term)
~Rent Increase or Rent Reduction
~Landlord Gave Notice of Termination in Bad Faith
~Maintenance, Property Standards and Upkeep
Navigating through the complicated Landlord and Tenant relationship can be difficult for both sides. Let us work with you to provide you with the best advice and direction to keep you on the right track, and work towards an amicable resolution to whatever you are facing.
We can provide advice on the Residential Tenancies Act, and how it applies to your situation, and because of our extensive experience within the Property Management field, ELM Legal Services can also provide Landlords with advice regarding Leasing, Applications, and preventative processes.
Small Claims Court
ELM Legal Services represents both Employers and Employees before administrative boards, tribunals and in Small Claims Court.
If you are fired without a good reason, it is not wrongful dismissal under Ontario employment law. Generally, employers are permitted to fire employees at any time, provided that: they do not do so for an illegal reason; and they give the employee the appropriate notice or money when they do so. If you are terminated for cause and the cause is found to be valid, the termination is not wrongful. Wrongful dismissal occurs when an employee is dismissed by their employer without reasonable notice. The reason for the dismissal itself may be valid, but if the amount of notice provided is insufficient, the dismissal can be considered wrongful. Rarely does an employer have cause to terminate an employee without notice. For this reason, the ESA provides minimum amounts to be paid by the employer to the terminated employee. This notice may be provided as working notice, by salary continuance in lieu of notice, or as a lump sum payment in lieu of notice.
Employers may claim that an employee committed an act that eliminates the need to provide reasonable notice or severance, claiming that it has cause for dismissal. An employer who claims cause for dismissal is not required by law to make any payments to an employee. Many employees in this situation sue for wrongful dismissal, claiming that the reason for their dismissal does not justify the employer’s decision to withhold pay or that the employer’s decision to allege cause was made in bad faith.
The rules under Ontario's Employment Standards Act (ESA) about termination and severance of employment only provide minimum compensation. Some employees may have rights under the common law or other legislation that give them greater rights than notice of termination (or termination pay) and severance pay under the ESA. These rights generally cannot be enforced under the ESA, and some employees may want to sue their former employer in court for wrongful dismissal or pursue other options. Employees should be aware that they cannot sue an employer for wrongful dismissal and file a claim for termination pay or severance pay with the Ministry of Labour for the same termination or severance of employment, an employee must choose one or the other.
ELM Legal Services can provide representation to our Clients in a variety of other administrative tribunals that serve the purpose of resolving applications and appeals brought under statutes relating to various areas, such as Human Rights, Employment Standards, Disability Support and other Social Assistance, Landlord and Tenant, Environmental Assessment and Appeal Boards, Financial Services, Liquor Control, Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal, and Assessment Review Board.