Suing for Compensation in Civil Court
Another way to recover compensation for items stolen or damaged would be to sue the abuser in the civil courts for damages in the amount of the loss. In order to recover any damages, it is necessary to show the court that you have suffered some loss as a result of the abuse.
In a situation where an older adult has been physically abused, it might be appropriate to sue for assault, trespass, negligence, or battery. The loss can be physical (Example: a broken arm) or mental suffering. In order to recover other financial losses, it will be necessary to show the court that the loss is related to the physical abuse and injuries suffered. For example, the cost of a holiday missed because of an injury. If you have had property or money stolen, it might be appropriate to sue the abuser for damages for the amount of the loss, for restitution of the money or property, or for punitive damages.
Such actions are possible in every province and territory, however the exact rules and procedures vary between jurisdictions
- If the amount claimed is less than $50,000 the claim can be made in Provincial Court where the process is fairly informal. It is possible to pursue the case without a lawyer. (Even if a claim is over $50,000 it is always possible to only claim $50,000 so that the claim can be made in Provincial Court.)
- If the amount claimed is over $50,000 the claim must be made in the Court of Queen’s Bench. Although it is possible to pursue the action alone, the process is more involved and may require the assistance of a lawyer.
Similar laws exist in other jurisdictions. For links to information on similar laws in other provinces and territories, please see More Information.