The Small Claims Court moves quickly. If a Judgment, Settlement or a Trial date have not attained within six months of the date the Claim is filed, the Court will most likely dismiss the Claim.
A Small Claims Court proceeding is commenced by filing a Plaintiff’s Claim. The Claim should explain what happened, and what is requested from the Court. The Defendant is then provided with time to file a Defence, if a Defence is not filed within a certain period of time, the Plaintiff can request that the Court note the Defendant in Default and attain Judgment by default.
If a Defence is filed, the Court will schedule a pre-trial settlement conference. In order to ensure that the Settlement Conference goes well, and costs are not awarded against you, you must ensure that all evidence that will be relied upon at trial is disclosed. J.A.B. Legal Services can help you manage your evidence and ensure that you provide all relevant information that will strengthen your case.
If settlement is attained at the Settlement Conference, the parties will enter into a Terms of Settlement, and the matter will be held down until the Terms are satisfied. If settlement is not reached, the matter will proceed to trial. A trial is a complex matter, which will require witnesses, evidence and the law.
Being prepared is crucial to the proper execution of a trial. Being prepared for trial is the most import, as it will help the Judge understand your case, and rule in your favour - as long as the law is on your side. At the end of the Trial, the Judge will come to a decision, and give a decision.
The decision of the Judge at trial is enforceable, and can only be overturned on Appeal.