PARALEGAL LITIGATION USERS GROUP 5

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1 PARALEGAL LITIGATION USERS GROUP 5 ( PLUG 5 ) THE GUIDE TO CIVIL LITIGATION FOR SELF-REPRESENTED LITIGANTS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA

2 Table of Contents i. What is This Guide All About? i ii. Introduction ii 1. Before You Start 1 2. Telling My Story (Pleadings) 5 a. Notice of Civil Claim 7 b. Response to Civil Claim 18 c. Amendment to Pleadings 24 d. Application to Waive Fees Finding the Truth 37 a. List of Documents 38 b. Examinations for Discovery 43 c. Case Planning Conferences What Are My Other Choices? 69 a. Fast- Track 69 b. Summary Trial Moving My Action Forward 86 a. Applications 87 b. Trial Management Conferences What I Should Know About Trials What To Do After Settlement or Trial Judgment 135 a. Settlement 135 b. After the Trial 136 c. Settlement Offers Appendix A: Glossary Appendix B: Cultural Diversity and the Canadian Legal Process Appendix C: Calculating Time Appendix D: Further Resources and References Appendix E: Jurisdiction Guide: Judge or Master Appendix F: Self- Represented Litigant s SCBC Civil Action Checklist 182

3 What is this guide all about? 7:15 PM Access to Information is Access to Justice The Amici Curiae Pro Bono Paralegal Program is a clinic staffed with volunteer paralegals to assist self- represented litigants complete civil court forms. A group of these paralegals banded together and we are the authors of this guide. For the last three and a half years, every Wednesday at 7:15 pm, the Amici Curiae Paralegals saw the level of anxiety of the self- represented litigants rise. With 15 minutes left in their session, with their civil Court form awaiting the duty counsel's review, they cannot help but think: now what? Soon enough, with their approved document in hand, their paralegal instructs them: provide three copies to the registry for them to stamp, the registry will keep one copy, you keep one copy, and serve one to the other party. Do this. Do that. It has been a long evening, and with the oral instructions coming fast, there is hardly enough time to remember everything. Some self- represented litigants can be seen furiously scribbling notes. Never mind trying to understand what is going on: at the back of their mind, they know they have a bigger problem. Now what? they ask silently. Afraid. Bewildered. Anxious. We could see the cumulative hurdles and resulting frustrations that our self- represented litigant clients were bearing. So we decided to form a special Amici Curiae group: the Paralegal Litigation Users Group 5 ( PLUG 5 ), to improve access to justice by providing access to information. PLUG 5's original goal was modest, but by no means simple: to provide our clients with tips on how to prepare and conduct themselves accordingly when they appear in front of a Judge, Master or Registrar; and to create checklists and flowcharts to manage their Court case. What was supposed to be a few sheets turned into a 200- page guide on procedures because we wanted to give the Amici Curiae clients a document that was comprehensive and understandable. Legal principles and terms, which the legal profession can take for granted, had to be identified and re- cast in plain language for the benefit of the Amici Curiae clients. The guide also addresses concepts that will help the SRL: why it is important to think about costs; the many ways to save money; what the implications of offers to settle are; why signing Orders is beneficial to them; and why they should consider bringing a Mckenzie Friend along to sit with them. PLUG 5 also did something innovative - they worked closely with Ms. Jennifer Muller, a self- represented litigant, who reviewed the drafts and provided us with her perspective. And it is gratifying to see how Amici Curiae, which is Latin for friends of the Court, continues to acquire more friends. Judges from the Provincial Court of British Columbia; Justices, Masters, Registrars, Deputy District Registrars from the Supreme Court of BC; lawyers (one of whom used to be a self- represented litigant) have all had a hand in clarifying technical issues, suggesting novel approaches, sharing their perspectives and most importantly, providing moral support. On behalf of the self- represented litigants that we serve, thank you.

4 INTRODUCTION To the self- represented litigant, this guide was written for you. It is designed to simplify court procedures in your quest for a legal solution. Social justice means the law applies equally to all persons. In the judicial system, you should have the same opportunity to present a legal claim as a person who can afford a lawyer s services. However, more often than not, those who cannot afford a lawyer already feel defeated and the gap between the haves and the have- nots becomes wider and wider. This project attempts to bridge the widening gap by offering a practical, hands- on effort; an effort which involved contributions from all levels of process and perspective. From its inception in response to an Amici Curiae lecture given by the Honourable Mr. Justice Walker, to numerous paralegals from multiple areas of law, to other self- represented litigants who have battled a Court action, the completed project hopes to provide a comprehensive and realistic picture of how to navigate through a Court file. It highlights what to consider and practical tips which would otherwise be information exclusive to the legal professionals and their experiences. While the contributors of the project are not able to provide legal advice, the content of the guide focuses specifically on procedure: how the process works, why certain procedures are carried out, what the effect of each turn in the case can mean, how to fill out the proper forms, examples of how much filing fees are, what other options are available, and useful appendices that can assist for further explanation or references. The authors have specifically designed the content to bear in mind several key issues: 1. The guide itself may, in the future, become accessible as an online tool, and so the hyperlinks and sectioning of information can be condensed for readers who have access to Internet resources. The guide envisions being adapted for a wide- reaching audience; and 2. Each section explains a specific portion of the civil litigation process. The idea is that you would be able to simply pull out the section about your current place within the litigation, for example, preparing for and attending at discoveries, case planning conferences, trials, etc. In this way, the guide can be read as a whole for the broad picture, or simply referred to on an as- needed basis. This would be particularly useful for organizations that help self- represented litigants, such as the Amici Curiae. Though acutely aware that a project with a scope as large as this will not have the capacity to imagine all situations, this guide is attempting to at least be a resource that can be understood by those without any legal training. As there is an overwhelming amount of people who have no other option than to represent themselves, our offering of procedural explanations and definitions of legalese can optimistically continue the dialogue and efforts of promoting access to justice and maintaining an equal approach to our legal system. This work by the paralegals is part of their commitment to increasing access to justice.

5 Consider carefully before you start 1. What are the potential costs? 2. Which Court should be used? 3. Has the time limit passed? 1. BEFORE YOU START Potential Costs of Litigation With every litigation there is always the risk that you could end up paying large sums of money. British Columbia has a loser pays system, which means that the losing party is usually ordered to pay costs to the winning party, aside from your time and your own expenses. Costs are sums of money ordered by the Court to compensate the winning party the expense of litigating the action. Claiming sympathetic circumstances or financial hardship will not help a losing party to avoid paying costs. There are ways to enforce a Court Order, including garnishing someone s wages to recover a debt. You may want to consider alternative ways to resolve your dispute to reduce the costs. Up until the first day of trial, either party may make an offer to settle the matter. Please refer to section 8(a) on Settlement Offers. Which Court should be used? Small Claims Court vs. Supreme Court of British Columbia In order to determine in which Court you should start your action, consider these factors: Filing Fees Amount Claimable Jurisdiction Provincial Court (Small Claims) The Notice of Claim starts the action and has a filing fee of either $100 or $156 (subject to the claim amount). The Reply to Claim responds to the claim and has a filing fee of either $26 or $50 (subject to the claim amount). The maximum you can recover from the Defendant(s) is $25,000. Only has jurisdiction over claims for: debt or damages, recovery of personal property, specific performance of an agreement relating to personal property or services, or relief from opposing claims to personal property Supreme Court The Notice of Civil Claim starts the action and has a filing fee of $200. The Response to Civil Claim responds to the claim and has a filing fee of $25. Unlimited Can hear any type of action, whether civil or criminal, and appeals from the Provincial Court (civil and criminal cases) and appeals from arbitrations. 1 Law Courts Center Amici Curiae Pro Bono Paralegal Programme 2014

6 The Small Claims Court does not have jurisdiction to hear claims relating to libel, slander or malicious prosecution. For the most current filing fees, please go to: Provincial Court of British Columbia (Small Claims): Supreme Court of British Columbia: - %20C%20- - /Court%20Rules%20Act%20%5BRSBC%201996%5D%20c.%2080/05_Regulations/17_168_2009 %20- %20Supreme%20Court%20Civil%20Rules/168_2009_08.xml Has the time limit passed? Every step of the litigation has a time limit. When you miss your deadlines, there are consequences. There is a time limit even before you start your action. Before you spend the time and money, confirm that you are still legally allowed to sue the other party. There are rules that set out the time period and deadlines for people to sue one another in Court - this is called a limitation period. It is like an expiry date. Limitation periods are governed by the Limitation Act, SBC 2012, c 13. Your claim must be started within the limitation period because once the limitation period expires, you give up your right to claim anything from the offending party. Limitation Act: Purpose: Applies to: to set the time periods that people have to sue one another in Civil Court. all civil claims unless another statute has its own specific limitation date. There are two types of Limitation Periods: 1. Basic Limitation Period, which runs for 2 years; and 2. Ultimate Limitation Period, which runs for 15 years. Each limitation period has a different trigger, as set out in the table below: Basic Limitation Period Starts on the day you discover your claim Ultimate Limitation Period Starts to run on the date the incident occurred To discover your claim, you need to know or should have known that your injury, loss, or damage happened and was caused by another person 2 Law Courts Center Amici Curiae Pro Bono Paralegal Programme 2014

7 Examples Example of the Basic Limitation Period You hired a contractor to build your porch, and it was finished on January 1, When you were gardening one day, you noticed the porch was slanted. You walk around the porch and discover that the back half of the porch is rotting and decaying. The date you realized this was happening was May 1, Because you discovered the rot and decay on May 1, 2016, you have until May 1, 2018 to start your action against your contractor. Example of the Ultimate Limitation Period You hired a contractor to build your porch and it was finished on January 1, You were not so sharp this time and did not notice that your porch was slanting. However, for this example, the rot and decay began on May 1, When you were hosting a patio party on January 1, 2029, you invited everyone to the porch to have some drinks, and the porch completely collapsed. From this event, you discovered that your porch was not properly built. Date What is this date? Type of Limitation Period Limitation Ends On January 1, 2015 act/omission legal claim is based on Ultimate Limitation Period (15 Years) January 1, 2030 May 1, 2016 rot and decay starts n/a n/a January 1, 2029 You discovered the porch was not properly built Basic Limitation Period (2 Years) January 1, 2030 Although the Basic Limitation Period is two years and should end January 1, 2031, we have to think about the Ultimate Limitation Period, which ended on January 1, The Ultimate Limitation Period will set the absolute last date to start an action against the contractor in Court, and will take priority over the Basic Limitation Period. In this scenario, you would only have until January 1, 2030 to start your claim against your contractor. 3 Law Courts Center Amici Curiae Pro Bono Paralegal Programme 2014

8 On June 1, 2013, the new (and current) Limitation Act, SBC 2012, c 13 replaced the old Limitation Act, RSBC 1996, c. 266, so claims that occurred before June 1, 2013, fall under the old Limitation Act. Did Your Act/Omission Occur Before June 1, 2013? If your answer is no, then move on to the Pleadings section. If you answer yes, go to act/2012.htm for guidance under the old Limitation Act, RSBC 1996, c Law Courts Center Amici Curiae Pro Bono Paralegal Programme 2014

9 2. TELLING MY STORY 5 Law Courts Center Amici Curiae Pro Bono Paralegal Programme 2014

10 PLEADINGS (Supreme Court Civil Rules 3-1, 3-2, 3-3, and 3-7) The forms are found at: A pleading is where you get to tell your side of the story. The clearer it is, the better other people will understand why you deserve compensation or why the lawsuit should go away. What are Pleadings? Pleadings are structured legal forms that are designed: 1. to start your legal claim or to respond to a legal claim, 2. to tell the facts of the dispute, 3. to set the limits of what the case is about for the Court you are only allowed to deal with the issues set out in the pleadings, 4. to provide a summary of why you are entitled to the award you are seeking, and 5. to set out the proposed place of trial. Example: Notice of Civil Claim the first pleading that initiates the action Response to Civil Claim the second pleading that responds to the Notice of Civil Claim Who files a pleading? If you are starting a claim, you are the PLAINTIFF. Go to the Notice of Civil Claim (Supreme Court Civil Rule 3-1. If you have been served with a Notice of Civil Claim, you are the DEFENDANT. Go to the Response to Civil Claim (Supreme Court Civil Rule 3-3. If you cannot afford to pay the Court filing fees Go to the Application to Waive Fees. 6 Law Courts Center Amici Curiae Pro Bono Paralegal Programme 2014

11 Notice of Civil Claim (Supreme Court Civil Rule 3-1) The forms are found at: A Notice of Civil Claim is where you get to tell your side of the story. The clearer it is, the better other people will understand why you are bringing this dispute to the Court s attention and deserve compensation. What is a Notice of Civil Claim? The document that starts a legal action. Who files a Notice of Civil Claim? The Plaintiff is the party (person or organization) starting a legal action, and who files the Notice of Civil Claim. Why file a Notice of Civil Claim? You are asking for the Court s assistance to get compensation for a wrong done to you, or to make another party do something. The lawsuit you are about to start is called an action. The subject matter your action is based on is called a claim. For example: Ms. Doe slips and falls on the floor at XYZ Restaurant. She suffers from injuries caused by the fall. She sues XYZ Restaurant. She says that XYZ Restaurant was negligent (i.e. was not careful enough to keep the floor dry) because it created a safety hazard, causing her to fall and hurt herself. The lawsuit = action (when speaking generally) The claim = negligence (what the lawsuit is about) Each claim is assigned an action number by the Registry. You will see this action number and the location of the Court Registry where the Notice of Civil Claim was filed on the top right- hand corner of every Court document. Examples of civil actions may include: a) Debt - you provided a service and the other party refuses to pay for it; b) Personal injury claims - car accidents, slipping and falling on someone s property, etc.; or c) Wrongful dismissal - you were unjustly fired from your employment and the employer did not give you any or enough severance pay. 7 Law Courts Center Amici Curiae Pro Bono Paralegal Programme 2014

12 If you have to call to inquire about your action at the courthouse, the Registry will almost always ask you for the action number as that is the fastest way for them to find the Court file and assist you. Where can a Notice of Civil Claim be found? If you have a computer: If you do not have access to a computer: a) At the courthouse library; b) At a public library, which usually have computers and printers with internet access; or c) The Justice Access Centre (in Vancouver). Where is the Notice of Civil Claim filed? Choose the Registry closest to your location. After the first filing, you will file all future Court documents at that same Registry. A list of courthouse locations are found at this website: Things you need to know about each party involved: 1. Full legal names of each person/organization a) Person Include the full legal names of the parties. If John Smith also goes by John Michael Smith you would write, John Smith a.k.a. John Michael Smith. b) Businesses you need the corporate name which can be different from the name you see on a sign. For example, the company B.C. Ltd. doing business as Ronda s Store. The only way to get the correct corporate name is to do a corporate search. You can submit your request in person with any of the following service providers: i. Service BC Centre ii. BC Registry Services 2nd Floor, Room Blanshard Street Victoria BC V8W 3E6 iii. Small Business BC West Cordova Street Vancouver BC V6B 1G1 iv. A title search company 2. Each party s address (you cannot use PO boxes). 8 Law Courts Center Amici Curiae Pro Bono Paralegal Programme 2014

13 PLEADINGS: Forms (Supreme Court Civil Rules, BC Reg 168/2000: Rules 2-1, 3-1, 3-3, 3-7, 4-3, 4-6, and 20-5) 1. Form 1 - Notice of Civil Claim 2. Form 15 Affidavit of Personal Service 3. Form 2 - Response to Civil Claim 4. Application to Waive Fees a. Form 17 - Requisition b. Form 79 Order to Waive Fees c. Form 80 Affidavit in Support of Order to Waive Fees 9 Law Courts Center Amici Curiae Pro Bono Paralegal Programme 2014

14 HOW TO DO THIS The Notice of Civil Claim is broken down into 4 sections: 1. Style of Proceedings; 2. Part 1: Statement of Facts; 3. Part 2: Relief Sought; and 4. Part 3: Legal Basis. 1. Style of Proceedings At the top of the Notice of Civil Claim, you will see this: No. Vancouver Registry In the Supreme Court of British Columbia Between: Jane Doe Plaintiff and: John Smith Defendant This identifies your case. It is called a style of proceeding, which you will use on all of your Court forms. On this form, leave the right- corner No. blank - the Registry will provide you with an action number upon filing, which you and the Defendant must then use on all the following Court forms filed in the Registry. Insert the location of the Registry in the next line. 2. Part 1: Statement of Facts This is where you get to tell your side of the story. Stick to the facts. In this section, write down, in chronological order and numbered paragraphs, all the facts that led to the dispute or incident. 10 Law Courts Center Amici Curiae Pro Bono Paralegal Programme 2014

15 1. Start off by stating who the parties are: The Parties: 1. The Plaintiff, Jane Doe, (the Plaintiff ), [occupation, if known], resides at 1234 Candylane Crescent, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2. The Defendant, John Smith, (the Defendant ) [occupation, if known], resides at 9909 Rocky Road, Victoria, British Columbia. 3. The Defendant, XYZ Company, is a corporate body registered under the laws of British Columbia, and has a registered and records office at 5678 Caramel Avenue, New Westminster, British Columbia. 2. Then, begin with the background facts leading up to the case be brief and specific. Do not include your feelings or the feelings of others. Pinpoint the facts that led up to the conflict or dispute. 1. On January 11, 2011, it was a snowy afternoon and the Plaintiff was driving his car, traveling west on 41st Avenue, in Vancouver, and the Defendant was driving and travelling the same direction in the same lane. The Defendant s car was behind the Plaintiff s car. 2. At around 4:00 p.m., the Plaintiff had completely stopped at a red light on 41st Avenue and Cambie Street. The Defendant failed to stop, and rear- ended the Plaintiff s vehicle. Important Notes: The facts do not include the feelings you have towards the other party. If someone breached a contract, you state that there was a breach of contract and how the breach happened. You only want to state real facts and not what you believe happened. Evidence is information that can prove the facts that you say happened. Do not include evidence, if any, in the Notice of Civil Claim, because the evidence is for trial. You do not need to go into detail about the evidence, but remember that whatever you state in your Notice of Civil Claim will have to be proven (Supreme Court Civil Rule 3-7). A party is not allowed, in a later pleading, to state anything that is inconsistent from a previous pleading (Supreme Court Civil Rule 3-7(6)). Although there is an opportunity to change your pleading, you cannot change them to state a fact that is contrary or different from what you said before, or add another claim that you have not previously mentioned. When you state unnecessary facts, or make scandalous, or frivolous claims, the pleadings may be disregarded by the Court (this is known as the pleadings being struck (Supreme Court Civil Rule 9-5)). Once your pleadings are struck, your case is over. If your pleadings do not show that you have a reasonable claim, the action will not proceed. It is very important to remember the reason behind your pleadings your claim is not about your feelings. After giving the facts of the incident/conflict, state what happened because of the conflict. You should think about how you have suffered and in what way. Here is a list of items you might say resulted from the conflict: 11 Law Courts Center Amici Curiae Pro Bono Paralegal Programme 2014

16 a) pain and suffering (i.e. emotional distress); b) loss of earnings, both past and future (i.e. you lost wages because you were not or are not able to work); c) loss of earning capacity (i.e. are you able to find employment in the same area of work and make the same amount?); d) loss of home maintenance capacity (i.e. if you are having problems doing dishes, laundry, and other home care tasks); e) cost of future care and treatments (i.e. how much longer will you need to do physiotherapy?, take prescription drugs? etc.); f) special damages these are actual and calculable losses. You need to keep your receipts for all of the treatments and prescription drugs not covered by MSP. 3. Part 2: Relief Sought Relief means the remedy you want at the end of the litigation. In this section, write down, using numbered paragraphs, the kind of remedy you are asking the Court to give you. Here is a list of possible relief sought: 1. General damages against the Defendant for pain and suffering; 2. Special damages against the Defendant; 3. Costs against the Defendant; 4. Interest pursuant to the Court Order Interest Act R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 79. You may end this section with the following statement: Such further and other relief as to this Honourable Court may deem just and meet. This is a standard catch- all phrase commonly used to basically say whatever else the Court thinks is fair to grant. Important Notes: In law, the amount of relief you get is partly dependent upon past cases that are similar in situation to yours. This practice is called case law. If you ask for money, you need to show the Court why you deserve that amount. To do that, you can look up previous cases that have similar facts to your situation and see how much the Plaintiff won in those cases. This means research needs to be done. What the Court can reasonably order as a result of this specific dispute is dependent on your research. You will find free case law available at Do not specify an amount for general damages (Supreme Court Civil Rule 3-7(14)). 4. Part 3: Legal Basis In this section, using numbered paragraphs, summarize and list the details of what the Defendant did and what law (Court Rules, legislation, and/or case law) that you will be relying on. Here is an example of a general statement: 1. The negligence of the Defendant caused injury to the Plaintiff; 12 Law Courts Center Amici Curiae Pro Bono Paralegal Programme 2014

17 2. The Defendant violated his legal duty to exercise reasonable care and caused injury to the Plaintiff. 3. The Plaintiff relies on the Motor Vehicle Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c The Plaintiff relies on the Negligence Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c Plaintiff's address for service: 1234 Candylane Crescent, Vancouver, B.C. [Set out the street address of the address for service. One or both of a fax number and an address may be given as additional addresses for service.] Fax number address for service (if any): N/A E- mail address for service (if any): Place of trial: Vancouver The address of the registry is: 800 Smithe Street, Vancouver, B.C. Date:...[dd/mmm/yyyy] Signature of Jane Doe Plaintiff [This next section describes your duty to disclose documents relevant to the litigation. Go to List of Documents to learn how to do this.] Rule 7-1 (1) of the Supreme Court Civil Rules states: (1) Unless all parties of record consent or the Court otherwise orders, each party of record to an action must, within 35 days after the end of the pleading period, (a) prepare a list of documents in Form 22 that lists (i) all documents that are or have been in the party's possession or control and that could, if available, be used by any party at trial to prove or disprove a material fact, and (ii) all other documents to which the party intends to refer at trial, and (b) serve the list on all parties of record. 13 Law Courts Center Amici Curiae Pro Bono Paralegal Programme 2014

18 Appendix [The following information is provided for data collection purposes only and is of no legal effect.] Part 1: CONCISE SUMMARY OF NATURE OF CLAIM: Briefly describe your claim. You might say, Personal injury action. Part 2: THIS CLAIM ARISES FROM THE FOLLOWING: [Check one box below for the case type that best describes this case.] A personal injury arising out of: [X] a motor vehicle accident [ ] medical malpractice [ ] another cause A dispute concerning: [ ] contaminated sites [ ] construction defects [ ] real property (real estate) [ ] personal property [ ] the provision of goods or services or other general commercial matters [ ] investment losses [ ] the lending of money [ ] an employment relationship [ ] a will or other issues concerning the probate of an estate [x] a matter not listed here Part 3: THIS CLAIM INVOLVES: [Check all boxes below that apply to this case] [ ] a class action [ ] maritime law 14 Law Courts Center Amici Curiae Pro Bono Paralegal Programme 2014

19 [ ] aboriginal law [ ] constitutional law [ ] conflict of laws [X] none of the above [ ] do not know Part 4: [If an enactment is being relied on, specify. Do not list more than 3 enactments.] Now that you have completed filling in these sections, you will start this proceeding by bringing your claim to the attention of the Court. Bringing Your Notice of Civil Claim to Court Make 3 copies of your completed Notice of Civil Claim one for the Court, one for yourself, and one for the Defendant (1 copy per Defendant). Bring your Notice of Civil Claim to the Registry and find the desk for civil litigation. o You can file the Notice to Civil Claim in one of the following ways: in person at the registry Tell the Court clerk that you want to file a Notice of Civil Claim. The clerk will open your file, provide a Registry file number (which will be stamped at the top of your document), and stamp and return the remaining copies of the Notice of Civil Claim to you. For the options below, the stamped copy will be sent to you using the contact information you have provided on the Notice of Civil Claim; by mail to the appropriate registry with payment; electronically through Court Services Online (this method requires you to set up an online account); or by fax for certain designated fax filing registries (you provide payment through your credit card on a fax cover sheet). These Registries accept fax filing: See PD 9 at practice_directions.aspx It costs $ to file a Notice of Civil Claim. You can pay by cash, cheque (payable to the Minister of Finance ), or credit card. If you cannot afford the $ filing fee, go to Application to Waive Fees Supreme Court Civil Rule Be aware that if you proceed with this Application to Waive Fees, you need to attend the Registry in person when you file your Notice of Civil Claim. 15 Law Courts Center Amici Curiae Pro Bono Paralegal Programme 2014

20 Serving the Notice of Civil Claim (Supreme Court Civil Rule 4-3) Mark this in your calendar: the Notice of Civil Claim must be served within 12 months of the filing date (the date stamped by the Registry). Each Defendant needs to be served. You can only notify the other parties that the action has started through personal service. This means you can serve the Notice of Civil Claim yourself or have someone else do this for you, but it must be personally served on each Defendant. Process servers are a good idea if you anticipate having trouble reaching a party. *The Defendant will have 21 days to file and serve a Response from the date the Notice of Civil Claim is served upon them. Supreme Court Civil Rule 4-3(2) sets out how you serve different types of Defendants: individuals leave a copy of the filed Notice of Civil Claim with them. corporations leave a copy with the president, chair, chief officer, or manager, cashier, superintendent, treasurer, secretary, clerk, or agent of the corporation OR serve by them by registered mail. cities/municipalities leave a copy with the city/municipal clerk. trade unions leave a copy with any officer of the trade union. You need to provide proof that the Defendant received your Notice of Civil Claim (Supreme Court Civil Rule 4-6); otherwise, a party can say they did not know about the claim against them. How to do this Proof of service is done through a Form 15 Affidavit of Personal Service. If you personally served the Defendant, you will need to swear this Affidavit in front of a Notary or a Commissioner for taking affidavits. At the courthouse, the Deputy District Registrars are available to swear Affidavits. You can find them at the civil Registry desk. No appointment is necessary. They charge $ Once signed and stamped, file the Affidavit of Service in the Court Registry. You do not need to provide the Defendant with a copy of this Affidavit. See attached sample Affidavit of Service. 16 Law Courts Center Amici Curiae Pro Bono Paralegal Programme 2014

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