You represent the plaintiff, Igor Herrera, in a Small Claims Court collection proceeding

You represent the plaintiff, Igor Herrera, in a Small Claims Court collection proceeding. The amount claimed by your client is $3,500. The defendant, Cicely McPhee, is represented by Sharon Harper, an agent with whom you have had dealings in the past and whom you happen to despise.

You attach copies of all documents on which Igor intends to rely to the plaintiff’s claim, as required by rule 7.01(2)2 of the Rules of the Small Claims Court.

When Harper faxes you a copy of McPhee’s defence and the defendant’s claim, there are no documents attached, although rules 9.02 and 10.02 require disclosure. The defence states the following: “The defendant denies any and all liability and puts the plaintiff to the strict proof thereof.” The defendant’s claim states that the Igor Herrera owes Cicely McPhee $5,000 for services rendered pursuant to a contract between the parties. There are no details as to the services provided.

You make repeated demands, both oral and written, for particulars of the defence and defendant’s claim and for copies of the defendant’s documents. There is no response from Harper.

At the pre-trial conference, you advise the pre-trial judge of your difficulties in obtaining particulars and copies of documents, and request an order for disclosure. The judge agrees, and sets a deadline of 15 days after the pre-trial date. Harper fails to comply with the court order.

A trial date is set. Two weeks before the trial, after numerous telephone calls and emails, Harper finally faxes you her client’s particulars and documents.

A couple of days before the date set for trial, you receive a call from Harper. “My personal assistant lost your plaintiff’s claim and the attachments,” she says casually. “Can you fax me a copy? It’s pretty urgent.”

You happen to know Harper can’t afford a personal assistant.

What should you do? Give reasons for your answer.


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