Small Claims Court Defence (Form 9A)
A defendant who wishes to defend
a plaintiff's claims must file a Small Claims Court Defence (Form
9A) at the Small Claims Court within 20 days of being served with
the claim. In case the plaintiff served the defence by mail, the
court rules may allow some additional time to file the defence at
the Small Claims Court.
It is important
to prepare and file your defence at the Small Claims Court promptly.
If you fail to file the defence within time limit specified in the
Small Claims Court Rules, the plaintiff's lawyer may note you in
default and move for a default judgment against the defendant.
It is difficult to underestimate
the importance of well prepared defence for the success of your
Small Claims Court case. The professionally prepared defence
sets the defendant's position at the very beginning. It
strengthens the defendant's bargaining position at the Small Claims
Court settlement conference and increases the chance of settlement
without going to trial. In addition, a concise outline of the
relevant facts in the defence gives the judge a clear summary of
your defence even before you give evidence in court. The
inadvertent admissions or contradictions in your defence can destroy
your chance of winning at trial or damage the credibility of a
witness for the defence.
The Small Claims Court Defence (Form 9A) must contain the reasons
why the defendant opposes the plaintiff's claim with a reasonable
amount of details, defendant's name, telephone number and address
and the lawyer's information. The defendant must also attach a copy
of evidence to the Small Claims Court Defence.
Contact the lawyer to discuss your defence strategy and to schedule
a consultation to prepare your Small Claims Court Defence (Form 9A).
The lawyer normally provides a flat fee for preparation of defence, which
depends on complexity of facts, evidence and law involved.