Legal jargon can be daunting when you want to sue someone. To make things simpler, I have explained how to sue someone in this article.

What is a Lawsuit?

A lawsuit is simply a civil legal action you take against someone in court. People file civil legal cases for various reasons like family issues, land or property disputes, a breach of contract, damages to property (can be any property), loans, debt claims, accidents etc. The plaintiff (the person taking the legal action) can claim remedies or compensation for the damages caused by the other party with the court’s help.

When can you Sue someone?

We often rush to the court whenever we have any kind of disagreement with the other party. But do we need to go to court for every dispute we face? Lawsuits cost time and money. It may take months or even years to solve the problem. Sometimes the compensation isn’t even worth much after all the money you have spent on your attorney. So, the question is, when can you sue someone? 

You can sue someone if

  • You can’t settle the dispute by other means. There are plenty of ways to settle scores with the other party, like writing a complaint to the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services can help solve the problem under the Consumer Protection Act. 
  • You have sufficient evidence against the person you want to sue. Evidence can be anything from contracts, leases, and bond papers to voice recordings. 
  • The other party can pay for the compensation the court decrees. Courts do not help you get the money if you win. You have to collect it by yourself.
  • You have sufficient money to pay your attorney, file the civil claim and spend on court proceedings. The civil claim fee depends on the amount you’re suing. It ranges from $100 to $200.
  • You have the time to attend all the trials and hearings and the energy to fill out the court forms. 

How to Sue Someone?

If all the other methods to resolve a dispute fail, the court is the only viable option. Let us learn how to sue someone:

Name the Defendant Correctly 

You need to name the person or business/enterprise you’re suing. You won’t get any compensation if you give the wrong details and give incorrect names of the defendant in the court forms. You may even lose the ability to sue them since the statute of limitations will be over by the time you re-correct their names

Get your Money

You should ask for payment from the opposite party before filing a case. A demand letter is perfect in such instances to ask for money. If they refuse to pay, you will explain how you asked for your money on the court form. You can later present the demand letter to the court and show them that you had already asked for the money before filing the lawsuit.

Choose the right Court

You can file the lawsuit in a small claim court if your compensation fee is less than or equal to $500. If it’s more than that, go to a larger court. Filing in the wrong court might get your claim dismissed. You won’t be able to refile your case if the statute of limitations passes.

File your Claim and Complete the Court Forms

An attorney will help you prepare and file your complaint to the court. You will also need to present a copy of that complaint to the defendant. The complaint will explain the reason you filed the lawsuit and the compensation that you ask for. The defendant may either respond to it or present a counterclaim.

Serve your Claim

Serving of claim refers to when a person who isn’t involved in the case (eg a process server) gives a copy of the legal documents to the defendant and informs them about:

  • The claim that you’re making
  • What they can do
  • The date and place of the trial.

Get ready to face the court

  • Prepare your statements well.
  • Discuss the trial with your attorney beforehand.
  • Bring people who will support you.
  • Get hold of any witnesses if there are any.
  • Prepare your evidence and keep extra copies of them.

Tips for Filing a Lawsuit

Before you sue someone, keep these 10 tips in mind for a seamless procedure:

How big or small is your Claim?

You can go to a small claims court if your claims aren’t too big. In such legal cases, you can represent yourself without an attorney. Going to court means handing the decision of your case to the court. Court’s decision will be final, which means that the tables can turn. You might end up compensating the defendant. So, you should preferably go to court if your claims are lofty.

Consult an Attorney before you File the Case

Court cases have a lot of complications. We may not always know about the details. To be well prepared before filing a lawsuit, you need to consult an attorney or a lawyer. A lawyer will also tell you whether you can win the case before the litigation even starts. Don’t worry many lawyers don’t charge money on the first consultation. You can choose an attorney that suits your preferences after interacting with all the viable options.

Tell your Lawyer the Truth

Lying to a doctor or a lawyer never solves problems. Your attorney’s job is to defend you and make you win a case. They will do it even if you’re guilty. Just be honest with your lawyer.

Listen to Your Lawyer

You and your attorney are a team seeking justice from the court. If you don’t listen to your teammate and coordinate accordingly, it can be disastrous during litigation. Your attorney knows more and better than any people that may advise you. Plus you’re paying them. So why not listen to their advice first?

Gather Evidence

Evidence and witnesses are vital to prove a point in court. Gather any kind of evidence that you have. It can be anything from documents, recordings, contracts, bond papers, pictures, etc. If you lack physical evidence, try witnesses. Record their testimony and show it to the court.

Keep your Financial Reserves Ready

Filing a lawsuit costs money. Depending on your case, the costs may reach $5000 or more. If you can’t afford it, take a loan. Keep extra money ready in case you need them for some emergencies.

Have Patience

Suing requires a lot of energy and time. If you don’t hire a lawyer, you will have to spend more time on research work and gathering evidence. It can also be emotionally draining. Before you sue, ask yourself if you have the energy and the stamina. If you have, be patient. Follow the steps and have faith in your lawyer. (if you hire any)

Be prepared if Defendant Countersue

Courts can be battlefields when they extend for too long. What’s worse, defendants can countersue you. If that happens, you will have to spend extra time and money defending their lawsuit along with yours.

Did you file the Lawsuit on time?

In the US, there is a time limit to file certain lawsuits called the “Statute of Limitations”. They differ in different jurisdictions. Remember to check the statute of limitations in your area before you sue. The court will dismiss your case if you don’t file your lawsuit within the time limit.

Make Sure that you’ll Receive the Compensation that you’ve Asked for

Before filing the case, check if the opposite party can pay for the claim. There’s no point in winning the case if the defendant can’t pay the compensation fees. Keep this point into consideration even if you are suing for moral reasons.


Suing someone can be a stressful process. This article provides 10 tips for making the process as smooth as possible. By following these tips you can increase your chances of winning and receiving the damages you deserve. For more tips and information, follow our blog.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the maximum amount that I can sue?

In provincial civil courts, you can sue for up to $50,000, excluding interests. If your claim amount is more than $50k, you can take the help of the Court of Queen’s Bench

What kind of evidence do I need to sue?

Evidence can be anything that substantiates your point. It can be contracts, leases, bond papers, pictures, recordings etc.

In what instances can I sue?

There are several types of civil claims that you can file in a civil court. Some of them are:

  • Debt Claim
  • Breach of Contract
  • Wrongful Dismissal (in an Organization or Company)
  • Damages to Property
  • Personal Injury (Accidents including motorcycles)
  • Damage Deposit
  • Others

How long does it take to resolve the issue in Court?

It depends on your case. It can take months or years to receive a judgment from the court.