Please help me sue someone's ass.
July 8, 2014 4:08 PM   Subscribe

I'm beginning to fill out the paperwork to initiate Ontario Small Claims Court proceedings against my former tenant, and I have some questions.

My questions:

- I am expected to provide an address for my former tenant. I have no contact information for him and haven't heard from him since January 2014. How do I get an address? I do have his SIN number and believe that he might either be presently in jail or fresh out of jail.

- I want to sue my tenant for rental arrears as well as for the labour and expense involved cleaning, painting, and repairing the apartment he was occupying as he left it in an extremely filthy, damaged condition. I have receipts for the supplies I had to by and I have pictures of the apartment as it was when he moved in, as it was when he left, and as it is now that I have cleaned it up. How do I set a value on my time and effort? Cleaning up the mess he left was an utterly disgusting and even dangerous job as there was a lot of garbage left lying about, which included things like used hypodermic needles, broken glass, and tin can lids. I got cuts on my hands and headaches and aggravated allergies from the work. I think $20 an hour is reasonable compensation for such work. Would I have to justify this amount by proving that a cleaning service or painting company would have charged that much?
posted by orange swan to Law & Government (6 answers total)
If he is fresh out of jail, he is very likely on probation and the probation office will know where he is. That is true in the U.S. I assume that the same is true in Canada.
posted by yclipse at 4:24 PM on July 8, 2014

ianal or ll but just out of interest, do you think you'd be able to actually collect on this, even if you found him and won? If a lawsuit would somehow help you write off more than the cost of the supplies taxwise, that seems like it could be worthwhile, depending on how many months' rent you lost; otherwise, seems like more wasted energy.

My totally uninformed opinion is that three quotes from cleaning services based on the pictures might possibly be helpful.
posted by cotton dress sock at 4:32 PM on July 8, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: The probation office will not release info to you; Canada has much stricter privacy laws. Skip tracers or a PI may have access to databases however (or do things on the grey side of the law...) and could probably find out. Their fees could be part of your suit.

I would try going to the courthouse and seeing about pulling up his trial transcripts (this does normally cost) and see if any lawyers are mentioned. Unless it was duty counsel, they may be able to accept service on his behalf. Have you searched CanLii in case he pops up? Or googling around various social media/tracking down family?
posted by saucysault at 4:35 PM on July 8, 2014

Also, the John Howard society may have some info.
posted by saucysault at 4:46 PM on July 8, 2014

last known address, I'd imagine.
posted by jpe at 5:08 PM on July 8, 2014

IANAL etc. but you could go and ask the court clerk, or try googling, to see if there is some kind of substitute service for when a person can't be found such as service by publication.

Although, Cotton Dress Sock makes a good point about this in that it could be impossible or very time consuming to attempt to collect on the judgment so if you're doing this more for economic reasons you might want to take a hard look at the numbers to see if it's even worth it if you can't recover.
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 5:16 PM on July 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

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