Administration of Justice Act: 2/05 - Fee Waiver; 210/07 - Ontario Court of Justice Fees; 417/95 - Superior Court of Justice Family Court Fees; 293/92 - Superior Court of Justice and Court of Appeal Fees; 432/93 - Small Claims Court Fees and Allowances; 294/92- Sheriffs Fees
Bill or Act:
Administration of Justice Act
Summary of Decision:
MAG amended Court Fees regulations under the Administration of Justice Act to increase civil and small claims court fees by applying the Consumer Price Index, accompanied by a proportionate increase to fee waiver eligibility thresholds. These changes came into effect on November 6, 2016.
MAG did not increase family court fees after considering the concerns from several stakeholders about the impact new and increased family fees would have on vulnerable families.
Civil and small claims court fees, as well as fee waiver thresholds, will be automatically increased every three years by applying the Consumer Price Index. Services that are already at full cost-recovery will not have fee increases applied.
April 1, 2016
Summary of Proposal:
• Over the past 10 years, the cost of operating our courts has increased by more than 40 per cent, while most court fees have stayed the same. For example, while some civil and family fees were adjusted in 2004 and 2005, some small claims court fees have not been changed since 1997.
• The ministry is committed to modernizing our justice system by investing in programs and services that make our courts more modern and responsive to the people they serve. To sustain quality services over the long-term, the ministry is proposing regulatory amendments to increase fees for court services, and introduce new ones.
• As a result, effective July 1, 2016, the Ministry of the Attorney General is proposing the following regulatory changes:
o increasing civil, small claims and family court fees based on the Ontario Consumer Price Index;
o introducing new family fees for custody, access and support cases in both the Ontario Court of Justice and the Superior Court of Justice; and
o aligning fee amounts for similar types of transactions in different business lines to make fees easier to understand and administer, and provide greater consistency in fees across practice areas.
• The proposed increases and new fees will bring the cost recovery rate to approximately 17% in family court (from 8%), 69% in civil court (from 56%) and 35% in small claims court (from 24%).
• On average, fees will increase by 36%.
• To ensure that higher fees don't have an undue impact on access to justice, the ministry is also raising the fee waiver eligibility threshold by 36%. Ontario will continue to have an inclusive fee waiver policy following this change.
Ministry of the Attorney General
Court Services Division
720 Bay Street, 2nd Floor
Toronto, ON M7A 2S9
November 6, 2016