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What should I do if there is a default judgment against me in a Small Claims Court case?

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What should I do if there is a default judgment against me in a Small Claims Court case?
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Ministry of the Attorney General
Ministry of the Attorney General
Ministry of the Attorney General
Ministry of the Attorney General

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What should I do if there is a default judgment against me in a Small Claims Court case?
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Reviewed: 
April 1, 2019
Answer

If you've been served with a Plaintiff's Claim, this means someone is suing you for money. This could be because you owe them money or because you damaged their property.

The person suing you is called the plaintiff. You're called the defendant.

You must respond by filing a Defence within 20 days of getting the Plaintiff's Claim. If you don't, the court assumes that you agree that you owe the plaintiff what they're asking for.

The plaintiff can ask the court to note you in default. This means you haven't filed a response in time and you won't be allowed to take part in the court case anymore.

The plaintiff can then ask the court to order you to pay them what they're asking for. This is called asking for a default judgment.

If you find out that there is a default judgment against you, you can ask the court to set aside the noting in default and default judgment. If they do, you will get more time to file a Defence. 

To do this, fill out Form 15A - Notice of Motion and Supporting Affidavit and file it with the court. In it, tell the court why you weren't able to file your Defence on time.

It costs $120 to file a Notice of Motion and Supporting Affidavit.

Language rights

Ontario residents who speak French have the right to bilingual proceedings at Small Claims Court. You can ask for bilingual proceedings in your Defence or by filing a requisition form or a written statement.

Legal help

You don't need a lawyer or paralegal to file a Notice of Motion and Supporting Affidavit. But you'll probably understand the process better if you talk to a lawyer or paralegal.

If you earn a low income, you may be able to get legal help from Pro Bono Ontario. They offer services in some court locations in Toronto and Ottawa, and a legal advice hotline where you can get up to 30 minutes of free legal advice.

You can also read the Guide to Motions and Clerk's Orders on the Ministry of the Attorney General website to learn about the default process.

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