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Old 02-13-2013, 09:02 PM   #1
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Suing Another Company for Outstanding Debt

Just wondering if anyone has been through, or know how successful is suing another company for an overdue invoice? This is going through the BC courts.... amount is for approx $5,500...

1. is someone from the other company required to show up at court?
2. what if the court application is filed, and the other party pays off their debt in full soon after, and before the court date?
3. what if the other party ignores the court notice?
4. what if one company is located in BC and the other company is in another province?
4. what actually happens during the court session when both parties show up?

thanks
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:12 PM   #2
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What you're asking for is full on legal advice. People here might be able to give parts of the answer to this but in order to get a proper and full answer you'll need to give more details which you might not want to do on a public forum.

More details such as... have you tried sending a demand letter? Have you filed a notice of claim already?

There can also be mediations or a settlement/trial conference before an actual trial. Most small claims are settled here. Trials can get ugly and can be super stressful.

Last edited by Energy; 02-13-2013 at 09:30 PM.
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:32 PM   #3
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i dont have any background in the legal dept., but basically is this entire process worth going to court for? Or is there a better way of trying to get back the $5,500?

also how worried should the company which is owing the debt be if a notice of claim has been filed, and they have been notified of this?
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Old 02-13-2013, 11:04 PM   #4
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Well you file a notice of claim and they have 14 days to reply (30 if they are outside BC). If they don't reply you can apply for a default order.

If they reply, its either to:
a. agree to pay the amount
b. oppose all or part of the claim
c. admit all or part of the claim and propose a payment schedule
d. counterclaim

If there is still no agreement after they reply then there is a settlement conference set where the parties will sit at a table with a judge. The judge will say a few words and ask each party to give a brief summary of their case. The judge may then lead both you and the other party into a discussion on what, if anything, you can agree on. If the parties agree on the final result, the judge will make the order. However, the parties may agree on some issues and leave issues in dispute to be resolved at trial. The judge will assess how much time is required for trial... Then the trial date is set.

That's just a super general summary of how the process goes. In reality, it takes a lot of time and there is a lot of procedure and preparation needed. You can technically do the small claims process by yourself but if you get to the settlement conference and/or trial part you might want to have counsel.

Most of what I mentioned here comes from the materials we have at school. You can also check out Making a Claim Small Claims Procedure Guide - Procedures Guides - Small Claims - Court Services - Ministry of Justice for more info.

I can't tell you whether or not it is advisable or worth your time to go through this process because that depends on the specifics of your case. Maybe if you send a notice of claim they'll just pay up. Its better to talk things over, going to court should be a last resort. I think this should have answered all the questions in your original post too.

Last edited by Energy; 02-13-2013 at 11:25 PM.
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