Bringing or Defending a Civil Case
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2. Should I defend a claim that is started against me?

On the acknowledgment of service form, you need to state whether you wish to defend the action brought against you by the plaintiff or not. Therefore, upon receipt of a writ of summons, you should first consider whether you should defend the claim.

Apart from considering whether you have a legal basis to defend the claim brought against you, you should also consider the matters set out in the section "Matters to be considered before starting a civil action". In particular, you should be aware that if you defend the case and end up losing the case, you will normally be ordered to pay costs (this generally means legal costs) to the plaintiff. You are not exempt from this even if you are a litigant in person (defending yourself without appointing a lawyer). The costs are the expenses that the winning party has to spend on the preparation and hearing of the matter. These include the expenses for the lawyers representing the winning party (if any). The amount of the costs can be substantial, depending on the complexity of the case, the preparation work required and the length of the hearing.

You are recommended to obtain legal advice before deciding whether or not you should defend a claim brought against you.

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