The defendant is the person against whom a claim is made.
Any natural person may be sued at the Small Claims Division. However, if you are sued but are unable to defend yourself before the court, you may ask another person to represent you, such as:
- your spouse;
- a blood relative;
- a person related by marriage or civil union;
- a friend.
The other person must agree to represent you free of charge, and the agreement must be recorded in a document that you sign. The document must also state the reason why you cannot act yourself.
A legal person can be, for example:
- an organization;
- an enterprise;
- a company;
- a business corporation;
- an association.
You can sue a legal person at the Small Claims Division, regardless of how many people it employs. It can only be represented by one of its officers or employees who is bound to it by a contract of employment and is not a lawyer.
If you decide to sue an organization, enterprise, company or association, you must make sure to use the right name. For example, the Binotto convenience store may, in fact, be officially registered under another name, or as a numbered company.
You can search the Québec enterprise registry on the website www.registreentreprises.gouv.qc.ca to make sure you are suing the right person.
Defendants who are unable to appear before the court may ask another person to represent them. In this case, the rules governing representation by another person apply.