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Motor vehicle cases largest area of litigation in courts

|Written By Anastasia Moskvitina

As the number of civil actions grows across Canada, motor vehicle cases remain the largest single area of litigation.

Motor vehicle cases (motor tort actions concerning injury —personal or property — caused by a motor vehicle) have been the single top matter for general civil cases historically and have increased by 25,000 in five years, according to statistics released this morning by Statistics Canada. There were 44,000 new motor vehicle cases for 2011-2012.

Click to enlarge. (Source: Statistics Canada)

The latest data show the total number of new civil cases in Canada was slightly up for the period of 2011-2012. The total number of active cases before the courts is 931,000. Overall this number has grown by 14 per cent since 2007. More than half of these cases have dispositions.

Family law makes up 35 per cent of active cases for the most recent statistics. This number has remained the same for at least five years. It is consistent within Ontario also where there were 265,000 new civil cases from 2011-2012.

According to the data, Ontario accounts for 52 per cent of Canada’s active civil cases. Following is Alberta, which accounts for 22 per cent.

There were 25,000 new family law cases in Canada over the past five years. Divorce makes up 35 per cent of the total number of family cases, and child protection accounts for 10 per cent.

In other civil matters, there were 317,000 new cases in the 2011-2012 period. There were just over 600,000 general civil cases before the courts, 90,000 more than five years previous.

Bankruptcy cases have nearly doubled over the past five years, but the numbers have been steadily declining since 2009, with only 13,000 new cases in 2012.

According to the data, the majority of civil cases are resolved in under 3 months, with just 6 per cent of cases taking over two years to resolve. Two per cent of all civil cases this year were resolved by the parties involved.

There were also 576,000 inactive cases in the courts for 2011-2012. Nearly 30 per cent had been inactive for over four years.

For full statistics on civil actions visit StatsCan's web site.


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