How to Defend A Small Claims Court Action

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In Nova Scotia, to start a small claims court action a claimant has to file paperwork at the court. The next required step is to serve the documents on the defendant. This means they either have to pass the documents to the defendant themselves or hire or arrange for someone else to do so. If you are never personally served with documents than it’s a safe bet there is no lawsuit against you.

If you have been served, you have 20 days to file a written defense with the court. Along with the documents you received will be the form you need to fill out and include. It is free to file a defense in Small Claims Court.

Your written defense does not have to be long or particularly detailed. You will have the opportunity at the hearing to tell your side of the story, present your evidence and have the judge hear from your witnesses.

Some people choose to defend themselves without the assistance of a lawyer. If you are considering this route, you may want to read our blog ‘Can I Represent Myself in Small Claims Court in Nova Scotia?’ and ‘How to Defend a Small Claims Court Action in Nova Scotia

Whether or not you intend to hire a lawyer to represent you in small claims court, it is always an excellent idea to seek a lawyer’s advice before filing any documents with the court. Many lawyers offer an initial consultation with no further obligation. At this consultation the lawyer can explain to you your rights and options and give you some tips on how to proceed. You could also get a more accurate idea of how much it might cost for a lawyer to help you.

If you have any questions about how to defend a Small Claims Court action in Nova Scotia,we'd be happy to help.  You can call us at (902) 826-3070 or email us at to set up a meeting with one of our lawyers at our Tantallon law firm. You can also schedule a no commitment Issue Review Consult for $100+HST where you have the opportunity to explain your situation to a lawyer and get basic advice before deciding whether or not you'd like to retain us.

By Dianna M. Rievaj LLB, MBA– Managing Lawyer

The information and materials on this blog are provided for general informational purposes only and are not intended to be legal advice. Nothing contained on this blog is legal advice or constitutes a legal opinion. While it is our goal to provide information which is current, legislative changes and court decisions, among other matters, may result in some information no longer being current or accurate. You should consult a lawyer before relying on any information. The views expressed herein by individual contributing lawyers posting entries to the blog are solely those of the authors and should not necessarily be attributed to or considered representative of the firm of Highlander Law Group Lawyers