Small Claims - Appeals. Imperatore v. Fetesko
In Imperatore v. Fetesko (Div Court, 2023) the Divisional Court considered a rare judicial review of a Small Claims interlocutory order. Note that appeals are not allowed of interlocutory Small Claims order by an inferential reading of CJA 31 ["An appeal lies to the Divisional Court from a final order of the Small Claims Court ..."]:
 Pursuant to s. 31 of the Courts of Justice Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C.43, an appeal lies to this court from a final order of a Small Claims Court judge. There is no statutory right of appeal from an interlocutory order of the Small Claims Court. However, because Small Claims Court judges derive jurisdiction from statute and exercise a statutory power of decision, there is jurisdiction under s. 2(1) of the Judicial Review Procedures Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. J.1, to review decisions of a Small Claims Court judge, including interlocutory orders.
 The purpose of the Small Claims Court is to provide expeditious and low-cost resolution of monetary disputes. Section 25 of the Courts of Justice Act states that the Small Claims Court shall hear and determine “in a summary way all questions of law and fact and may make such order as is considered just and agreeable to good conscience.” The absence of an appeal from interlocutory orders under the Courts of Justice Act reflects that proceedings before the Small Claims Court are intended to be expeditious.
 As a result, the scope of judicial review of interlocutory orders of the Small Claims Court is correspondingly narrow. This court has repeatedly expressed its reluctance to interfere with a decision of a Small Claims Court judge on judicial review unless it is an order made without jurisdiction or in breach of principles of natural justice: see e.g. Peck v. Residential Property Management, 2009 CanLII 38504,  O.J. No. 3064 (Div. Ct.).
 In this case, I find that the issue raised is one of jurisdiction and thus falls within the narrow scope of judicial review of an interlocutory order of the Small Claims Court. As further detailed in these reasons, the circumstances warrant this court exercising its discretion to review the Deputy Judge’s decision.