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    I have received a statement of claim, what should I do?
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    If you have received a statement of claim, you have twenty days to file a statement of defence. It is important to file your defence on time because if you do not, the plaintiff (the person suing you) can have you “noted in default”, which means that you agree with everything in the Statement of Claim.  If you are noted in default, the plaintiff can seek a “default judgement” against you, where the courts will decide the outcome of the case without your input.

    In order to “file” your statement of defence, you need to give notice to the plaintiff by serving them your statement of defence.  You can serve this document on the plaintiff’s lawyer by fax, can be mailed to the address listed on the statement of claim, or can be given to the plaintiff personally. Once you have served the document, you will need to prepare an Affidavit of Service indicating that you have completed the service. You will then need to bring the Affidavit of Service and the Statement of Defence or Notice of Intent to defend to the court to file it.

    Your Statement of Defence should indicate which parts of the Statement of Claim you agree with, which parts you disagree with, and which parts you have no knowledge of. You will want to include your own version of the facts that are the subject of the claim and refute any statements that you disagree with.

    If you don’t think the Statement of Claim includes an actual claim against you, you may consider bringing a motion under Rule 21 of the Rules of Civil Procedure to strike out the claim. In small claims court, you can bring a motion to strike a plaintiff's claim where there is no reasonable cause of action.   However, the courts are reluctant to strike out someone’s Statement of Claim unless they are certain it doesn't contain a “genuine cause of action” against the Defendant. Because of this, you should only bring a motion to dismiss if you are sure that the Statement of claim doesn't have a legal claim against you.

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