1. Reply to the claim

Complete a Defence form

If you don't agree with what the is asking for, you can complete a Defence form. You must this form within 20 days of receiving the Plaintiff's Claim.

If you don't reply to the claim, the court will assume you agree with what the plaintiff is asking for. You might not get the chance to tell your side of the story.

If you don't file a Defence, you could be responsible for any extra costs the plaintiff has to pay to get a judgment against you. For example, you can be ordered to pay lawyer fees or filing fees.

On the Defence form, you can explain why you agree or disagree with each part of the plaintiff's claim. Attach copies of documents that support your case, such as:

  • contracts
  • photographs
  • emails
  • bills, invoices, or receipts

Be as clear and brief as possible. Speak in your own words. You don't have to use legal-sounding language. The Ministry of the Attorney General has a Guide to Replying to a Claim that you can use to help you understand what to do.

Even if you agree with all or part of the claim, you should still file a Defence.

On the form, explain why you agree or disagree with each part of the claim. For the parts you agree with, you can propose a payment plan for what you owe. For example, if you can't afford to pay the money right away, you can ask for more time or to pay in installments.

For the parts of the claim that you disagree with, you can:

  • make a different agreement with the plaintiff, or
  • let the court decide.

The court may schedule a and you must go to this conference. If there are days when you are not available, you must tell the court when you file your Defence.

Serve the Defence form

Once you've completed the Defence form, it on the plaintiff. If several people are involved in suing you, you must serve the Defence form on each person.

After the form has been served, complete and file a Form 8A: Affidavit of Service. This form proves to the court that the Defence document was given to the plaintiff.

The Guide to Serving Documents explains the rules that must be followed.

You can serve your Defence in person. You can also serve it by mail, courier, or email.

File the Defence form

File all the affidavits and your Defence with the court listed on the first page of the Plaintiff's Claim against you. You must do this within 20 days of receiving the Plaintiff's Claim.

If you don't file your Defence on time, the court might make a decision without hearing your side of the story.

You must pay a $77 fee to file your Defence. If you can't afford this fee, you can ask the court for a fee waiver.

You can file your Defence:

If you send your Defence by mail, you must include all your documents and affidavits. You'll also need to include the fee. When sending by mail, the fee must be paid by cheque or money order, made out to the Minister of Finance.

For the parts of the claim you agree with, you can propose a payment plan.

The plaintiff decides whether to accept your payment terms. If the plaintiff does accept your terms, you must follow the payment plan. The court treats an accepted payment plan like a court order.

If the plaintiff does not accept your payment plan, they can ask for a terms of payment hearing. At a terms of payment hearing, a judge will decide the payment plan. For example, they might decide that you need to pay in larger installments than what you suggested.

If you don't follow the payment plan, the plaintiff might send you a Form 20L: Notice of Default of Payment. You will have only 15 days to make an agreement with the plaintiff to pay back the money you missed. If the plaintiff agrees, you can continue the payment plan. File a Form 13B: Consent explaining what you've agreed to do. But if the plaintiff does not agree, the payment plan is cancelled and the plaintiff can get a default judgment against you.

A default judgment means that all the money you've agreed that you owe comes due immediately. The plaintiff can choose what steps to take next to get the money and court costs you owe. For example, if you have a job, the plaintiff can ask the court to take the money you owe directly from your paycheque. The court can also sell property that you own. Or the plaintiff might agree to make a new payment plan.

Keep careful records of any money you pay the plaintiff.

Hide this website