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Before you file: understand the remedies

For persons who have experienced harassment, stalking, cyberbullying or other undesirable acts that cause alarm or distress, there are different avenues to deal with the case under the Protection from Harassment Act.

The following table summarises the different remedies and the possible outcomes.

(Note: Scroll within the table to see more.)

Nature of the outcome

Possible outcomes

Avenues to consider

Criminal

The harasser may be punished through a jail term or a fine, or both.

Civil (monetary)

The harasser may be ordered to compensate the victim.

File in the Protection from Harassment Court:

Civil (non-monetary)

The harasser may be ordered by the court to:

  • Stop the harassing behaviour.
  • Undergo psychiatric treatment.
  • Stop spreading a false statement of fact.
  • Comply with other related civil law remedies.

The court may also order an internet intermediary or other platform owners to stop the spread of a false statement of fact.

About the Protection from Harassment Court

The Protection from Harassment Court (PHC) hears matters related to harassment, stalking, cyberbullying and other undesirable behaviours that cause (or are likely to cause) harassment, alarm or distress. Find out about the types of cases the PHC can hear.

Ways to start: simplified or standard proceedings

There are 2 types of proceedings in the PHC – simplified or standard. Refer to the following table for the differences.

(Note: Scroll within the table to see more.)

 

Simplified proceedings

Standard proceedings

When it applies

If the claim is:

  • Against up to 5 respondents.
  • By only 1 claimant.
  • Filed within 2 years of the event which creates the cause of action.
  • (If there is a claim for compensation) For a claim amount of $20,000 or less.

Except where the court orders that the claim be discontinued and refiled under the standard proceedings.

In all other cases outside the scope of simplified proceedings.

Estimated fees

Lower filing fees than the standard proceedings.

For example, it costs at least $30 to start a claim.

Filing fees are determined by the Rules of Court.

For example, it costs at least $110 to start an application.

 

Court proceedings

 

Simplified proceedings are conducted in a more informal manner.

Standard proceedings follow strict rules of evidence and are more formal.

How to file

Through the Community Justice and Tribunals System (CJTS). Find out how to file through CJTS.

Through eLitigation. If you are not represented by a lawyer, you need to file in person at the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau. Find out how to file through eLitigation.

Note: All claims that do not fall under the simplified proceedings must be filed under the standard proceedings.

When the simplified proceedings apply

You can file a claim under the simplified proceedings if your application meets the following limits:

If you are seeking monetary compensation, you can claim up to $20,000 under the simplified proceedings in the PHC.

You must file within 2 years of the event which creates your cause of action for your case. A cause of action is the set of facts which entitles you to start a court action against another party.

Example: A person who received a threatening email from someone else may have a cause of action to file a protection from harassment application, starting from the date the person read the email.

For any other case, the simplified proceedings do not apply.

For your case to follow the simplified proceedings, you must:
  • File the application by yourself, without any co-claimants.
  • File the application against no more than 5 respondents.

Take a pre-filing assessment

Before you file, take an online pre-filing assessment on the Community Justice and Tribunals System (CJTS) to consider if you have a claim and whether it is suitable for the simplified proceedings in the PHC.

Note: This assessment is not conclusive and is not intended to be legal advice. You may seek legal advice if you are unsure about your case.


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