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If you missed a court session

As a claimant or respondent, a default order may be made against you if you were absent for a consultation or hearing at the Small Claims Tribunals (SCT).

Examples of default orders:

  • If you are the claimant, your claim may be dismissed.
  • If you are the respondent, an order may be made in the claimant's favour.

You may apply to set aside the default order within 1 month from the date the order was made.

Apply to set aside a default order

Key facts

Refer to the key facts about setting aside a default order:

Who can file

A party who has had a default order made against them by the SCT.

When to file

Within 1 month of the date of the default order.

Filing fees


How to file

Through the Community Justice and Tribunals System (CJTS).

What you will need

For the application, you will need to provide your:

  • Claim number.
  • Order number.
  • Reason for applying.
  • Supporting documents (if any) in PDF format.

How to file

Log in to CJTS. Under the Online Applications tab, select Set aside application. Follow the instructions to fill in the required information.

For detailed instructions, refer to the CJTS user guide for small claims (PDF, 4434 KB)

Filing of an application does not mean the order will automatically be set aside. The SCT will make the decision at a hearing that you and the other party must attend.

After you file

The SCT will inform you of the date and time of the hearing of the application through CJTS. You should bring all evidence to support your application to the hearing.

You must attend. If you are absent, the application may be dismissed and you may be unable to file any further applications to set aside.


Even after you have filed the application to set aside, the claimant can still enforce the default order. The order will only be set aside if your application is successful.

Outcomes of the application

A registrar or tribunal magistrate will decide whether to allow or dismiss the application.

If your application is dismissed, the default order stands.

If your application is allowed, the case will then proceed with the consultation or hearing, depending on which stage your case is at.

Need help?

The information here is for general guidance as the courts do not provide legal advice. If you need further help, you may want to get independent legal advice.

Find out more


Legislation associated with this topic includes:

Related questions

If the other party in your case has filed an application to set aside, you will receive a Notice of Hearing to Set Aside through CJTS. You must attend court on the stated date and time as the SCT may proceed to hear the case if the set aside application is allowed.

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