Identifying the defendant

If you decide to sue an organization, enterprise, company or association, you must make sure to use the right name. For example, a convenience store may, in fact, be officially registered under another name than the one on the sign, or as a numbered company.

Look up the defendant’s information on the Enterprise Register This hyperlink will open in a new window.. Ensure the information is accurate. This is a key step to ensuring you are suing the right person. Any misidentification could result the rejection of your application.

Selecting the right type of application

You must also make sure you select the right type of application. Your choice may influence the information included in your application, which may make a difference when you appear before the court.


The form used to file an application at the Small Claims Division indicates the possibility of taking part in a mediation session. This approach to dispute resolution has many advantages: it is free, it allows you to maintain harmonious relations with the other party, and it leads to a quicker settlement.

If mediation fails, it will not have an impact on the date on which your case is heard by the court.

Defendant who cannot be located

If an application cannot be delivered to the defendant because an incorrect address was used, the clerk will ask the plaintiff to provide a new address. 

If the plaintiff does not know the defendant’s address, the clerk will suggest conducting a search using sources such as

If the defendant cannot be located, the clerk must, as soon as possible, publish a public notice on Internet or in a newspaper, asking the defendant to collect the application at the court office or risk having a judgment entered against him or her.

Refusal by the defendant

If the defendant refuses to receive the application or fails to pick up mail, the clerk will ask a bailiff to serve the application and charge the cost to the defendant.

Last update: September 18, 2023


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