What should you do if you are served with Court documents?
Updated: May 29, 2022
Being served with Court documents can be an emotional and overwhelming situation. Many people do not know what to do, panic and think the worst. My first piece of advice is don't panic! Take a walk, relax, and then read what the documents say. Do not ignore the documents! It may be very tempting to ignore the documents in the hopes that it will all go away or that it was a bluff, however, you don't want an Order made against you because you didn't reply or didn't show up to Court!
You need to read the documents to see if there is a Court date that has been set. Depending on what documents you were served with, there may not be a Court date you are required to attend. In Saskatchewan it is very common to be served with a Petition, Financial Statement and Property Statement, as those are the documents required to start the Court process. If you were only served with those documents, then there won't be a Court date set yet. However, sometimes those documents accompany an Application, which will have a Court date set out on the front page of the document. Typically if you received an Application, then you also received an Affidavit signed by the other party.
It is best to contact a lawyer if you receive Court documents. You want to ensure that you understand the documents that you received and that you don't miss anything. The Court by default assumes that everyone can read and understand the words on the page. They assume that you will come to Court when you need to and that you will be prepared to respond in the proper forms. That can be a lot for someone to deal with, and that is where a lawyer can be a great asset for you.
Once you know what documents you have received, you will need to respond to them. The type of response that you need to make and the deadline for that response will depend on the documents you have received.
Contact me and I can help you understand the documents, what you need to do to respond to them and when you need to have your response prepared. Sometimes, Court applications can be solved by negotiation and sometimes they cannot. In any event, you need to learn what your rights and responsibilities are as soon as possible.
If you do decide to represent yourself, make sure to contact the Queen's Bench Registrar for the Court you will need to appear in to give them your phone number so that the Court can call you when it is time for your matter. Click here to read more about preparing for attending Court in Saskatchewan.