Parties to a trial
In order to sue someone you must have a direct interest in the case. For example, if your neighbour’s basement is flooded after a water main bursts, only your neighbour can sue the municipality--you cannot do so on her behalf.
If you believe that a person, company or public corporation (such as a municipality) has caused you some form of damage, you must start by sending a formal notice demanding that the other party correct the damage.
If the other party fails to comply, you have a range of possibilities:
- if your application meets the conditions for a proceeding at the Small Claims Division, you can file it as a small claim and, in addition, benefit from the small claims mediation service;
- if your application does not meet the conditions for a proceeding at the Small Claims Division, you can either:
- use one of the voluntary private dispute prevention and resolution processes, such as civil and commercial mediation, if you do not want to begin court proceedings to settle your dispute;
- consult a lawyer to begin court proceedings.
The defendant is the person who is sued in a civil proceeding. The defendant may be a natural person (an individual) or a legal person (a company, municipality, etc.).
The defendant must set out, in a defence, the elements of fact or law that contradict all or part of the application filed by the plaintiff. The defence expresses the defendant’s version of the situation.