Bringing or Defending a Civil Case
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IV. How to defend myself against a civil action

The following legal procedures are related to a civil action commenced by a writ of summons (which constitutes the majority of civil cases).

If you receive a writ of summons naming you as the defendant, you are required to acknowledge service of the writ of summons (i.e. confirming that the document has been delivered to you) and to state whether or not you wish to defend the action brought against you by the plaintiff. To do so, you should complete all three copies of the acknowledgment of service form which accompany the writ of summons. Two copies of the acknowledgment of service form should be sent to the relevant Court Registry of the court within 14 days. You should keep one copy for your records.

  1. How do I (as the defendant) calculate the period of 14 days allowed for filing the acknowledgment of service form?
  2. Should I defend a claim that is started against me?
  3. What should I do if I decide NOT to defend the case?
  4. What should I do if I decide to defend the case?
  5. What happens if the defendant does not file an acknowledgment of service form or a defence?
  6. What happens if the defendant files a defence (and counterclaim)?
  7. If the defendant considers that he does in fact owe the plaintiff some money, what action can be taken by the defendant?
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