If you are an individual or an enterprise and you receive service of an originating application, the following is a step by step guideline to follow:


As a first step, we strongly suggest that you consult a lawyer to represent your interest once you receive an originating application. Please also note that an enterprise, when dealing with a litigious matter, must be represented by a lawyer in front of the court, although some exceptions may apply.

a) Answer to the summons

You must answer the summons in writing, personally or through a lawyer, at the concerned courthouse district. The answer must be within 15 days of this application or, if you have no domicile, residence or establishment in Quebec, within 30 days. The answer must be notified to the plaintiff or, if the plaintiff is represented, to his lawyer.

Content of answer

In your answer, you must state your intention to:

  • Negotiate a settlement;
  • Propose mediation to resolve the dispute;
  • Defend the application and, as required by the law, cooperate with the plaintiff in preparing the case protocol;
  • Propose a settlement conference

The answer to the summons must include your contact information and, if you are represented by a lawyer, the lawyer’s name and contact information.

b) Failure to answer

If you fail to answer within the limit of 15 or 30 days, as applicable, a default judgment may be rendered against you without further notice. You could also, according to the circumstances, be complied to pay the court costs.

c) Defense

The defendant must summarize his means of defense established in the case protocol. You will be able to render a simple defense or a defense that includes a cross-application.

i. Simple defense

This type of defense allows the defendant to contest, partially or totally, the conclusions and allegations of the originating application. Generally, this type of defense is oral, but can exceptionally be made in writing if the case presents a high level of complexity or special circumstances.

ii. Defense that includes a cross-application

This defense allows the defendant to contest not only the allegations of the other party, but also to include a cross-application against the demanding party with the defense. Thus, because the cross-application is to be made in writing, the defendant will also be able to render his defense in this same writing. Contesting the cross-application may however be oral.

In commercial and civil disputes, the present is a non-exhaustive list of reasons why you might receive an originating application:

  • Debt payment;
  • Unpaid or partially unpaid goods or services;
  • Goods or services undelivered or partially undelivered;
  • Interpretation and/or execution of rights and obligations emanating from contracts (contracts for sale/lease, distribution contracts, loan agreements, insurance contracts, residential and commercial leases, service contracts)
  • Breach of contracts;
  • Right of way, use or ownership;
  • Destruction of goods;
  • Conflict with your neighbour;
  • Conflict with your business partner;
  • Conflict with your landlord;
  • Conflict with your tenant;

Subsequent to making a defense, kindly see the following link regarding the next steps in a litigation process: Readiness for trial, judgment and execution of judgment.

If you are looking for a law firm with reasonable rates, quick and efficient turnaround time for your files and who provides personalized and effective follow-ups, call Schneider Attorneys at (514) 439-1322 ext. 112 or email us at

The above noted text should not be construed as providing legal advice or a statement of your claim. The process highlighted above are merely parameters and barometers and do not constitute any warranties and guaranties with regards to your file at hand. We strongly recommend that you seek legal advice with a licensed attorney from the Barreau du Quebec or a notary at the Chambre des Notaires. Each case must be seen and analysed on its merits as the legal process may be complex and cumbersome.

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