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1) What do you have to do upon being served with a Summons?You are required to respond to a Summons that has been served to you. You may either:
2) What do you do if you want to admit the whole or part of the Claim?You have several options:
3) What is the difference between filing a 'Statement of Admission' or appearing in Court?If you file in a 'Statement of Admission', the Court will enter a consent judgment against you without cost for appearance. You do not need to appear in court on the mention date.
Should you prefer to appear in court and admit to your claim, the Court will enter consent judgment with cost for appearance. This cost is awarded to the Plaintiff because the case is being mentioned in court.
4) Why is a 'cost for appearance' imposed when you admit to the Claim in court?
A 'cost for appearance' is imposed on you because the matter was heard in court. The usual cost awarded to the Plaintiff for a mention is $400.00.
5) What happens if you only admit to part of the Claim?You are required to file in a Defence for the part of the Claim that you are disputing to. A trial will be conducted by the Court to determine whether you are responsible (liable) for the disputed claim. If the Court finds against you, judgment will be entered. The Plaintiff may also apply for cost against you for the disputed claim.
6) What should you do if you intend to dispute to the whole Claim?You are required to attend court on the mention date and inform the Magistrate that you are disputing to the whole claim. The Court will direct you to file in your Defence within 14 days and to serve it to the Plaintiff.
7) What do you include in a Defence?You must address each paragraph of the statement of claims either by:
8) What happens if you do not attend court?The Plaintiff may apply for Judgment-In-Default against you with cost.
9) What happens if you do not file in a Defence within the 14 days?The Plaintiff may apply for Judgment – In – Default of Defence against you with cost.
10) What should you if you want to set aside Judgment In Default against you?If you do not think that the Judgment-In-Default was appropriately entered against you, you may apply to the Court to “set aside" the 'Judgment-In-Default'. Setting aside a Judgment In Default means you are asking for the Judgment to be void or cancel.
11) How do you apply to set aside Judgment in Default?
12) What happens if the Court sets aside the Judgment in Default?If the Court set asides the Judgment – In – Default, the case will start back up again. The court will direct for you to enter your Defence within 14 days. The procedure will be the same as if you have disputed the claim in the first instance.
13) What happens if the Court does not set aside the Judgment in Default?If the Court does not set aside the Judgment – In – Default and you do not agree with the court's decision, you may appeal to the High Court within 1 month from the court's decision (see Appeal). Failure to do so then the Judgment – In – Default will remain and you are liable for the judgment entered. Failure to satisfy the judgment, the Plaintiff can apply for execution proceedings against you.
14) What if you have a claim against the Plaintiff?You may file in a counterclaim along with your Defence. Just like the statement of claim, you must state the relevant facts and background, how the Plaintiff have wronged you and the claim/remedy you are seeking against the Plaintiff.
15) Do you need to engage a lawyer / counsel or can you represent yourself?A Plaintiff and Defendant may represent themselves. This is called a litigant in person.
16) What if there is another person who should indemnify or contribute towards the plaintiff's claim?If the Defendant is of the opinion that another person should compensate (indemnify) or should contribute towards the plaintiff's claim, the defendant may apply to add that person as a “third-party". If the Defendant does so, then this is called “third-party proceedings".
17) What are the steps for third party proceeding?
18) What happens if the third party appears at the mention date?If the court is satisfied that there is a question on the third party's liability to make contribution or indemnify, the matter will proceed to trial. If the court finds the third party is liable, the court will order for judgment to be entered in favour of the Defendant.
19) What happens if the third party does not appear?If the Summons has been served to the third party, the following will happen:
20) What do you need to do after a consent judgment or Judgment In Default is entered against you?You are required to pay the Plaintiff for the amount stated in the consent judgment or judgment – in – default. You are advised to discuss or negotiate with the Plaintiff on the method of payment. Failure to pay, the Plaintiff may apply for the judgment against you to be enforced. (See 'execution proceedings').
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