4. Prepare for trial

I'm being sued by someone in Small Claims Court. What should I do?
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4. Prepare for trial

Settlement Conference

If you disagreed with all or part of the claim against you, you will have a settlement conference. This must happen within 90 days of when you filed your Defence. You must have a settlement conference before you can go to trial.

A settlement conference is an informal meeting between you, the plaintiff, and the judge. During this meeting, you and the plaintiff have a chance to tell your side of the story to the judge.

The court schedules the settlement conference for you. You must attend your settlement conference. If there are days you can’t go to court, you must tell the court when you file your Defence.

Claims less than $2,500

If you're being sued for less than $2,500, you can ask the judge to make a decision about the claim during the settlement conference. This can only happen as long as both parties agree to it in writing. If the judge decides your case at the settlement conference, you will not have to go to trial. This can save you a lot of time and money.

You can only do this if the plaintiff and other defendants agree to use this option. If they do, you must complete and file a Consent form.

Prepare for trial

If you did not settle your case in the settlement conference, you must prepare for trial. This can include:

  • going to more hearings
  • summonsing witnesses
  • preparing more court documents
  • scheduling a trial

The Guide to Getting Ready for Court on the Ministry of the Attorney General website can help you prepare for the trial.

You May Also Need

Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General
Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General
Reviewed: April 1, 2019

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