How to File a Case in Small Claims Court (with Pictures), small claims court costs.#Small


How to File a Case in Small Claims Court

In small claims courts, individuals can file lawsuits quickly and inexpensively. You can file suits against individuals, corporations, partnerships and other entities. Each state sets the maximum amount that you can sue for in these courts. The dollar amounts range from $2,500 to $25,000. [1] Rules for filing a case in small claims court vary between states and even counties. Before filing your case, be sure to check with your county clerk or an attorney to find out the rules in your state.

Steps Edit

Part One of Four:

Reviewing and Evaluating Your Case Edit

Small claims court costs

Small claims court costs

Small claims court costs

Small claims court costs

Small claims court costs

Small claims court costs

Part Two of Four:

Small claims court costs

Small claims court costs

Small claims court costs

Small claims court costs

Small claims court costs

Small claims court costs


Small Claims Court FAQ, how to take someone to small claims court.#How #to #take #someone


Small Claims Court FAQ

Questions

In a handful of states, including California, Michigan, and Nebraska, you must appear in small claims court on your own. In most states, however, you can be represented by a lawyer if you like. But even where it’s allowed, hiring a lawyer is rarely cost efficient. Most lawyers charge too much compared to the relatively modest amounts of money involved in small claims disputes. Happily, several studies show that people who represent themselves in small claims cases usually do just as well as those who have a lawyer.

The answer depends on the state in which you live. Many states allow either party to appeal within a certain period of time, usually between 10 and 30 days, and obtain a new trial. In many states, appeals must be based solely on the contention that the judge made a legal mistake, and not on the facts of the case. Other states have their own unique rules. For more information, see Nolo’s article Appealing a Small Claims Court Case.

Yes. States establish rules called “statutes of limitations” that dictate how long you may wait to initiate a lawsuit after the event giving rise to the lawsuit occurs. Statutes of limitations rules apply to all courts, including small claims. For more information about time limits for lawsuits, see Nolo’s article Statutes of Limitations: Is It Too Late to Sue? For various statutes of limitations in your state, see Nolo’s Chart: Statutes of Limitations in All 50 States.

The limit is normally between $3,000 and $10,000, depending on your state. For instance, the maximum is $5,000 in New York, $10,000 in California, $7,500 in Minnesota, and $5,000 in Vermont. Recently, there has been a trend toward increasing small claims court limits. To find out the limit in your state, see Nolo’s article How Much Can I Sue for in Small Claims Court?

Assuming the other party lives or does business in your state, rules normally require that you sue in the small claims court district closest to that person’s residence or headquarters. In some instances, you also may be able to sue in the location (court district) where a contract was signed or a personal injury occurred (such as an auto accident). Check with your small claims clerk for detailed rules.

If a defendant has no contact with your state, you’ll generally have to sue in the state where the defendant lives or does business. Because of the distance involved, out-of-state small claims lawsuits tend to be expensive and unwieldy.

To learn more about the small claims system where you live, check out Small Claims Court in Your State.

What can I do to resolve my problem without going to small claims court?

If you want what’s owed to you, but you don’t want to take on the trouble of bringing a lawsuit, you have a couple of options to consider. First, make a demand in the form of a straightforward letter, concluding with the statement that you’ll file in small claims court in ten days unless payment is promptly received. For more information, see Demand Letters: The Basics.

In addition, many states offer community- or court-based mediation designed to help parties arrive at their own compromise settlement with the help of a neutral third party. Mediation works best where the parties have an interest in staying on good terms, as is generally the case with neighbors, family members or small business people who have done business together for many years. This type of dispute resolution can be remarkably successful. For more information, see the Mediation, Arbitration Collaborative Law area of Nolo’s website.

Will I get paid if I win the lawsuit?

Not necessarily. The court may decide in your favor, but it won’t handle collection for you. So before you sue, always ask, “Can I collect if I win?” If not, think twice before suing.

Ask yourself whether the person you’re suing has a steady job, valuable real property, or investments. If so, it should be reasonably easy to collect by garnishing his wages if you win.

But some people and businesses are “judgment proof” — that is, they have little money and few assets and aren’t likely to acquire much in the foreseeable future. If they don’t pay voluntarily, you may have a hard time collecting your judgement. For people who seem to have no job or assets, ask whether they are likely to be more solvent in the future, since court judgments are good for 10 to 20 years in many states and can usually be renewed for longer periods. You’ll want to consider now whether the person might inherit money, graduate from college and get a good job, or otherwise have an economic turn-around sometime down the road. For more, see Nolo’s Representing Yourself in Court area.

If I’m sued in small claims court but the other party is really at fault, can I countersue?

In some states, you can countersue as long as your claim arises out of the same event or transaction. In fact, in some states you must file a countersue if you have a claim against the other party; in those states you cannot sue over the same dispute in a later lawsuit.

If the amount you sue for is under the small claims limit, your case will probably remain in that court. If, however, you want to sue for more, check with your small claims clerk for applicable rules. Often, you’ll need to have the case transferred to a different court that has the power to handle cases in which more money is at stake.

What should I do to prepare my small claims case?

Whether you are a plaintiff (the person suing) or the defendant (person being sued), you need to back up your story with evidence. One of the best ways to prove your case is with letters or in-person testimony from eyewitnesses or expert witnesses. For more information, see Nolo’s article Offering Witness Testimony in Small Claims Court. Depending on the facts of your case, you can also use photographs, advertisements falsely hyping a product or service, and written contracts to convince the judge you are right.

More Information

Before you go to court, you might want to learn some common (and perhaps even not-so-common) legal terms. Get Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary, now available as a free iPhone app (also compatible with iPod touch).

What’s the best way to present my small claims case to a judge?

First, understand that the judge is busy and has heard dozens of stories like yours. To keep the judge’s attention, get to the point fast by describing the event that gave rise to your claim. Immediately follow up by stating how much money you are requesting. After you have clearly stated the key event, double back and tell the judge the exact events that led up to your loss. For more information, see Nolo’s article Presenting Your Testimony and Evidence in Small Claims Court.

Can any kind of case be resolved in small claims court?

No. Small claims courts primarily resolve small monetary disputes, and in a few states, evictions and restitution of property. No state allows you to use small claims court to file a divorce, guardianship, name change, or bankruptcy, or to ask for emergency relief (such as an injunction to stop someone from doing an illegal act). A few states also prohibit small claims suits based on libel, slander, false arrest, and a few other legal theories.


Illinois Attorney General – Small Claims Court, how to take someone to small claims court.#How


Small Claims Court

Things You Should Know About.

Small Claims Court

Does someone owe you money? Has your landlord failed to return your security deposit even though you did not damage the rental property? Did you pay for merchandise, but the store never delivered it and won’t give you a refund? You may want to consider bringing a lawsuit in small claims court. You may not need a lawyer and the rules are simpler than in most court proceedings.

Small claims court is under the jurisdiction of the Clerks of Courts Act (705 ILCS 105) and Supreme Court Rule 282. Fees are based on the population of the county and designated by county boards.

Who May Sue?

Any individual or corporation doing business in Illinois can sue or be sued in small claims court. The court may require the appointment of a guardian for those under 18 years of age.

What Types Of Cases Are Handled In Small Claims Court?

Small claims court may be used only for certain types of cases. For example:

Lawsuits such as breach of contract, property damage, or personal injury.

All evictions, regardless of the amount of rent claimed.

Repossessions of property if the property consists of consumer goods which are leased or purchased on credit from a dealer, or if the value of the property does not exceed the amount that is determined by county where filed.

Garnishments to enforce judgments from funds owed to debtors.

The maximum judgment allowed in small claims court is $10,000.00 plus costs; therefore, your claim may not exceed $10,000.00.

Is an Attorney Required?

In small claims court you can handle your personal or business legal matters without an attorney; however, you can hire an attorney to represent you if you wish. If the other party has an attorney, your chances of winning might be better if you also have an attorney.

If you do not have a lawyer and want help finding one, contact the Illinois State Bar Association’s Illinois Lawyer Finder by calling (217) 525-5297or visit their website at www.IllinoisLawyerFinder.com. This service can provide you with the name of a lawyer in your area who has experience in dealing with your type of legal situation and will provide an initial consultation for an hourly fee. You do not have to hire the lawyer after the initial consultation. If you do decide to hire a lawyer to represent you in a small claims court action, be sure to ask in advance about the lawyer’s fees.

Completing the Forms

Eight Step Process

Go to the courthouse. The small claims court clerk will supply you with the necessary forms (a summons and a complaint form) to begin the lawsuit.

  • List your name as the plaintiff. You are the person filing the lawsuit.

  • The party you are suing is called the defendant. Make sure you have the correct name and address of the defendant. If the papers can’t be delivered to the defendant, you might have to start over and pay additional fees.

  • List the amount of money you request as damages.

  • Include a brief explanation about why you are suing the defendant.

  • The clerk will assign a number to each small claim case. Write down the number and refer to it in all dealings with the clerk and sheriff.

  • If you should change your address after you file your case or your appearance, be certain to notify the clerk and the opposing party of your new address. This applies if you change your phone number as well.

  • All small claims court sessions are open to the public. You may attend any of these courtroom proceedings to familiarize yourself with the procedures.

    After completing the forms, they must be filed with the court. You will be charged a filing fee which differs from county to county. The filing fee must be paid in advance.

    Copies of the forms must then be “served on” or delivered to the defendant. Many counties allow service by regular or certified mail if the defendant lives in that county. The court will mail the forms for you, but will require a fee for this service.

      Preparing Your Case

      In preparing your case, keep in mind that your proof must be more convincing than the other side’s evidence. Consider the following:

      Think about how you are going to prove the defendant owes you money. Start by making a detailed list of what happened so that the facts are clear in your mind.

      Gather all written information and paperwork that pertains to the situation–contracts, rental agreements, receipts, order forms, warranties, cancelled checks, or credit card statements.

      Talk to people who may have witnessed important aspects of the dispute. For example, if you are suing your landlord for the return of your security deposit, ask a neutral person to testify concerning the condition of the rental unit when you started renting and when you left.

      If you are suing on the basis of defective merchandise or faulty repairs, it may be very helpful to have an expert witness testify on your behalf. You might present a notarized written statement from an expert concerning the nature of the defect and the decrease in value due to the defect. However, if it becomes necessary to go to trial, you’ll have to get the witness to testify in person. Full-time mechanics with several years of experience qualify as experts.

      Going To Court

      After your claim is filed, the court will probably set a date to review the facts in your case. Many small claims court cases are settled at this time, so come prepared to argue your case. All cases are heard by a circuit court judge and will be decided by the judge if both parties cannot reach an agreement.

      Collecting the Judgment

      If you win the case, ask the court to include court costs and any money you spent as part of the settlement. The court can require reimbursement for such fees as: the money paid to file the action, the cost to have the summons and complaint mailed or personally served, and any attorneys’ fees.

      A judgment will be entered in court stating what the opposing party owes you. In many cases, the opposing party will pay the judgment immediately. In other instances, you may find it necessary to take further informal action or consult an attorney who can proceed with more formal legal steps to collect the debt. The court will not force the defendant to pay what is owed you.

      The court will order the debtor to provide a disclosure statement to you or to the clerk of the court within 15 days of entry of the judgment. The statement must contain the debtor’s name and address, his or her employer and the employer’s address, any real property owned by the debtor, cash on hand and financial institutions in which the debtor has funds.

      If you are unable to satisfy the judgment by contacting the other party, contact the clerk of the court that heard your case. From the clerk, you can obtain the forms necessary for garnishment proceedings–if the other party receives wages or has bank accounts.

      Remember, there is always the possibility that the small claims court will not rule in your favor. Carefully consider all your options before proceeding with a lawsuit. If you do decide to bring a lawsuit in small claims court, prepare carefully to increase your chances of success.


    • Small Claims Court Fees, how to take someone to small claims court.#How #to #take #someone


      how to take someone to small claims court

      Taking somebody to the Small Claims Court in the UK will cost you money, there is a sliding scale of costs depending on how much you claim, for example, if you are claiming £1000 from a person or business, it will cost you £140* in Court fees. If you are claiming for £4000, the fees will be £520*.

      (*These are the total Court fees to take a Small Claims case, in England Wales, through to a Judgment, figures correct as at Jan 2016).

      e.g. if you claim £4000 and win the Case, the defendant will be ordered to pay your claim + costs, i.e. £4520.

      • A Fee to Start your Claim (sliding scale: £35-£410)
      • A Hearing Fee (sliding scale: £25-£355) payable if/when your case goes to a Hearing.

      HM Courts Form EX50 provides details of all small claims court costs. It’s a large document and IMO a difficult one to navigate as it contains details of fees for all Courts (High Court, County Court, etc). To work out the costs applicable to your claim, search the EX50 document, for the following terms:

      Starting your claim

      Additional Fees – Enforcing the Judgment .

      There is a possibility that you may incur additional court costs even after the Judgment. If you win your case and the defendant refuses to pay, you can, and probably should Enforce the Judgment, which again requires a fee. As of Jan 2016, all the enforcement options (e.g. A Warrant of execution, to send in the Bailiffs) have a flat fee of £100.

      As with the other Court fees, the enforcement fee is added to your Claim, and assuming the defendant does eventually pay up, you will get the fee back.

      There are a number of Remissions or exemptions to court fees for those people on low pay or in receipt of Income Support, Job Seekers allowance or Working tax Credit etc. There are actually quite a wide range of remissions available so it’s certainly worth checking to see if you qualify. See form EX160A for an explanation of the remissions system and to check your entitlement.


      Change Your Claim or Court Date, how to take someone to small claims court.#How #to


      Change Your Claim or Court Date

      After you file your Plaintiff’s Claim (Form SC-100) you may realize you need to change something on the claim. You may need to:

      • If your claim has not been served, go to the small claims court clerk and ask to amend (change) your claim. Take your original forms with you. After you file your “amended claim,” serve it on the defendant.
      • If your claim already has been served on any of the defendants, fill out a Request to Amend Claim Before Hearing (Small Claims) (Form SC-114) or write a letter to ask for permission to change your claim. File Form SC-114 or your letter with the court clerk.
        • A copy of your Form SC-114 or letter must also be mailed or personally delivered to all of the other parties in your case.
      • Another approach would be simply to ask the judge to amend the defendant’s name at your hearing. (Read Code of Civil Procedure section 116.560(b) for the law.)

      Change what you ask for in the claimIf your claim has not been served, go to the small claims court clerk and ask to have an “amendment” attached to your claim. Take your original forms with you.

      If your claim already has been served on any of the defendants and you then make any changes, you must re-serve the defendant.

      Remove 1 or more defendants from the claim

      You got something called a “dismissal form” when you filed your claim. Use this form to say which defendants you do not want to sue anymore.

      There are 2 types of dismissals:

      • “Without Prejudice” – This means that you keep the right to file the claim against the dismissed defendant in the future.
      • “With Prejudice” – This means that you cannot file the claim against the dismissed defendant in the future.

      How to Change Your Court Date

      If you want to change your court date, you must ask for a postponement (also called a “continuance”).

      To ask for a postponement at least 10 days before your trial:

      • File a Request to Postpone Trial (Small Claims) (Form SC-150), OR
      • Write a letter to the court explaining why you need to change your court date.

      AND

      • Mail or personally give a copy of your Form SC-150 or letter to the other people named in the claim.
      • You may have to pay a $10 filing fee to ask for the postponement.

      If your trial is in less than 10 days:

      • Take your completed Form SC-150 or letter to the clerk’s office. Ask the clerk to attach it to your file. Or go to your trial and ask the judge for a postponement (or continuance).
      • In your Form SC-150 or letter, give the judge a good reason why you are filing your request late.
      • Also, mail or personally give a copy of your Form SC-150 or letter to the other people named in the claim.
      • Pay a $10 filing fee.

      After you request to postpone the trial

      The court will mail you an Order on Request to Postpone Trial (Form SC-152) stating the court’s decision on your request or may use another type of similar notice.

      If the court postpones the trial, it will give you the new court date on Form SC-152 or on a similar notice. The court will send this notice to you and all the defendants.

      If the court does not postpone the trial, the trial will be on the date when it is currently scheduled. The court will let you know that your request was denied and why on Form SC-152 or other similar notice.

      If you do not hear from the court, go to the court on the scheduled trial date.


      How to Take Someone to the Small Claims Court in the UK, how to take


      how to take someone to small claims court

      How to take someone to small claims court

      Hi, my name is Paul Fletcher from Lancaster in the UK. In 2015, I successfully used the Small Claims Court to settle a rental dispute with my Landlord. I was a complete novice when I started this process having never had any involvement with the Law or the UK Court system. When researching my case I could not find a simple, concise, ‘How-To’ guide to the Small Claims procedure so I decided to write one.

      • Taking somebody to court is actually quite easy, you go to the MCOL site www.moneyclaim.gov.uk, register as a user and away you go (but please take advice from this website before doing that!). I had a consult with a solicitor before launching my case, but that wasn’t strictly necessary.
      • Taking someone to court will cost you money, you pay Fees as the Case progresses through the Court system, I paid £375 in Court fees, the fees vary depending on how much you claim (see MY CASE below).
      • Taking someone to court will take time, the wheels of due process move slowly, you need to accept this and play the long game. My case took over 6 months from start to finish.
      • The Small Claims process actually works, if you have been ripped-off and are considering legal action, I say go for it, I’m certainly glad I did.

      I have divided the Small Claims process into a number of Logical Steps (see above left) on the Main Menu. I would advise you to read through the entire process before starting your Claim, as I stated above, taking someone to court is easy, but you need to know what you are letting yourself in for before going ahead.

      MY CASE: I claimed £1650 from my Landlord who evicted me at short notice and then refused to return my deposit and 6 weeks advanced rent. The fees were £105 to start my Claim on MCOL, then a Hearing fee of £170. And finally, £100 to Enforce the judgment. Total £375. I won the case and the fees were added to my Claim, i.e. the final cost to my Landlord was over £2000. For an explanation of costs, see Small Claims Court Fees or see My Court Case for details of what happened to me.

      Terminology: Why the Small Claims ‘Court’ doesn’t exist

      The term ‘Small Claims Court’ has slipped into common parlance, it is however something of a misnomer; the term ‘Small Claims Court’ is unofficial shorthand for the Small Claims Track of the County Court. There are 3 County Court Tracks that deal with Cases according to their complexity and the amount/value of the Claim. Your Claim will be dealt with by the County Court, but using the rules, processes and procedures of the Small Claims Track.

      When you take a person or company to Court, what you are in fact doing is Making a Claim against them, your Claim becomes a Case when it is allocated to a Court Track. This terminology is important to understand when dealing with the Court Office and following Court procedures. Both Online and hardcopy Court documentation use the term Claim in the early stages and Case in the later stages.

      This website, and my experience, is with the Courts system in England and Wales. In Scotland and Northern Ireland there are equivalent Small Claims tracks, but the rules/procedures are different (e.g. the limit for a Small Claim in Scotland is £3000 whereas in England and Wales it is £10,000). See the Useful Sites page for the respective Scottish and NI Court websites.

      The first step is trying to stay out of Court. You may have been ripped-off and want to see justice done, but you need to at least try to settle the matter before going to Court. If your Case progresses to a Hearing, the Judge will want to see that you took reasonable steps to avoid Court action, so the first step is Resolving the dispute without going to Court.


      Small Claims Court Rules listed by State, small claims court procedure.#Small #claims #court #procedure


      Court Rules for Each State

      Small Claims Court!

      Who Serves Papers

      District where defendant lives

      Small Claims Court

      Court Nearest Defendant

      Peace Officer (recommended)

      Certified Mail through Clerk

      Small Claims Division of Justice of the Peace Court

      Court Nearest Defendant

      First Class or Certified Mail

      Small Claims Division of Municipal Court

      Where Defendant lives

      Small Claims Court

      District where Defendant lives or lived when promise was made

      Certified or Registered Mail

      County Court, Small Claims Division

      County where defendant lives or works

      Certified or Registered Mail

      Small Claims Court

      County where defendant lives

      Regular Mail through Clerk

      Justice of the Peace

      Anywhere in the State

      Coroner, Deputy Sheriff

      District of Columbia

      Superior Court or Small Claims Court

      Only One Location in State

      Certified or Registered Mail

      County Court Summary Procedure Division

      County where defendant lives

      Certified or Registered Mail

      County where defendant lives

      Marshall of Court

      Person appointed by court

      District Court; Small Claims Division

      Judicial District where defendant lives

      Certified or Registered Mail

      Person appointed by court

      Small Claims Department of Magistrate’s Division

      County where defendant lives or where the claim arose

      Small Claims Court

      County where defendant lives or where the claim arose

      Small Claims Court

      County where defendant lives or where the claim arose

      Person appointed by court

      Registered or Certified Mail

      Small Claims Court

      County where defendant lives or where the claim arose

      Peace officer (recommended)

      Person appointed by court

      Small Claims Court

      County where defendant lives

      Small Claims Court

      County where defendant lives

      Bailiff appointed by court

      Justice of the Peace

      County where defendant lives

      Person appointed by court

      Small Claims Court

      County where defendant lives

      County where defendant lives

      District where defendant or plaintiff lives

      Person appointed by court

      Registered or Certified Mail

      County where defendant lives or where the claim arose

      County where defendant lives

      County where defendant lives or where the claim arose

      Small Claims Court

      County where defendant lives

      Registered or Certified Mail

      Small Claims Court

      County where defendant lives

      County where defendant lives

      Person appointed by court or authorized by law

      Justice’s Court for Small Claims

      City where defendant lives

      Small Claims Court

      District where defendant or plaintiff lives

      Registered or Certified Mail

      Superior Court, Special Civil Division

      County where defendant lives

      Person appointed by court

      Sergeant at Arms

      Magistrate’s Court: Small Claims Division

      County where defendant lives

      Small Claims Court

      County where defendant lives

      Small Claims Court

      County where defendant lives

      Small Claims Court

      County where defendant lives

      Small Claims Court

      County where defendant lives

      Person appointed by court

      Small Claims Court of the District Court

      County where defendant lives

      Person appointed by court

      Registered or Certified Mail

      District Court: Small Claims Division

      County where defendant lives

      Registered or Certified Mail

      Where defendant can be served

      Small Claims Court of the District Court

      County where defendant lives

      Registered or Certified Mail

      County where defendant lives

      Small Claims Court

      County where defendant lives

      Disinterested Elector of County

      Registered or Certified Mail

      Court of General Session

      County where defendant lives

      Registered or Certified Mail return receipt requested

      Small Claims Court

      Precinct where defendant lives

      Small Claims Division of Circuit Court

      County where defendant lives or where claim arose

      Disinterested Adult over 21

      Small Claims Court

      County where defendant or plaintiff lives

      Person appointed by court

      Registered or Certified Mail

      Small Claims Court in Fairfax and Arlington counties, Circuit Court in other counties

      District where defendant lives or where claim arose


      New York City Small Claims Court>, small claims court procedure.#Small #claims #court #procedure


      Starting a Case

      Anyone 18 years of age or over can sue in Small Claims Court. If you are younger than 18, your parent or guardian may sue on your behalf. Only an individual can sue in Small Claims Court. Corporations, partnerships, associations, or assignees cannot sue in Small Claims Court. However, they can be sued in Small Claims Court. If you are a corporation, partnership, association or assignee, you can bring a Commercial Claim or Consumer Transaction. For more information, click on Commercial Claims and Consumer Transactions.

      In general, the person suing is called the claimant. The person being sued is called the defendant. You may sue more than one person at the same time.

      You must be the proper person to sue in Small Claims Court. For example, if you are involved in an accident while driving an automobile that is not registered in your name, you cannot sue for the damage caused to the automobile during the accident. Only the registered owner of the automobile can sue for the damages caused to the automobile.

      To learn more about bringing a Small Claims Court case, continue reading below. You can also read the law on this procedure, by clicking on Civil Court Act section 1803.

      Small claims court procedure

      Where to Sue: Venue

      A claimant must begin the lawsuit in the proper county. In general, a claimant can sue in the county where either party resides. If no party resides within the City, the action can be brought in the county where either party has employment or a business address. If the defendant does not have a residence, employment, or have a business address within the City of New York, you cannot bring the lawsuit in the Small Claims Court. To find the location in your county, click on Locations.

      Small claims court procedure

      Starting the Case

      To begin an action in Small Claims Court, a person, or someone acting on his or her behalf, must come to the Small Claims Court Clerk s office in the proper county and fill out a statement of claim. To find out where the clerk s office is located in your county, click on Locations. To find out when the Small Claims Court Clerk s office is open, click on Court Hours. You may also use an outside service to fill out your statement of claim and electronically file it with the Court. If you are interested in starting your case this way, click on electronic filing.

      The person filling out the statement of claim must be able to explain the reason for the lawsuit, know the amount of the claim, and have the correct name and address, including zip code, of the person or business that is being sued. If you are not sure of the correct name of the business, you should go to the County Clerk s office in the county where the business is located and look up the certificate of doing business, photocopy the certificate and bring it to the court. The person filling out the statement of claim must be able to explain the reason for the lawsuit, know the amount of the claim, and have the correct name and address, including zip code, of the person or business that is being sued. If you are not sure of the correct name of the business, you should go to the County Clerk s office in the county where the business is located and look up the certificate of doing business, photocopy the certificate and bring it to the court. View and print the small claims claim form.

      You can watch a short tutorial to explain how to fill in the form.

      Small Claims Form Instructions:

      Video (run time: 4:52 minutes/seconds, Windows Media format )

      Small claims court procedure

      You will have to pay the court fee to file your claim. If your claim is for an amount up to and including $1,000.00, there is a fee of $15.00. If your claim is for an amount over $1,000.00 and up to $5,000.00, there is a fee of $20.00. The fee must be paid by cash, certified check, money order or bank check made out to Clerk of the Civil Court. Personal checks will not be accepted.

      The clerk will give you a date for the hearing. Small Claims Court hearings are usually held at 6:30 p.m. If you are a senior citizen, a disabled person, or a person who works during the evening, you may request that your small claims hearing be heard during the day. You or the person appearing on your behalf must show proof of age, or disability, or nighttime employment. The proof can be in the form of a letter from your job or from a doctor, a driver s license showing your birth date, or other similar documents.

      If you live outside the City of New York and want to sue a party within the City of New York, you may file your claim by mail. Contact the Small Claims Court Clerk s office in the county where the defendant lives, works or has a place of business to obtain the necessary form.

      Small claims court procedure

      The court system does not provide electronic filing at this time. However, several private vendors provide this service. The service provided by each of the vendors is different, and you must review their requirements. We advise that you review this entire website, as it offers a lot of information on how to proceed with your case.

      The current vendors are:

      Small claims court procedure

      Notifying the Defendant

      After your claim is filed, the Small Claims Court clerk will serve a notice of your claim by sending it to the defendant. The notice of claim tells the defendant when to appear in Small Claims Court, and includes a brief statement of your claim and the amount of money you are requesting.

      The notice of your claim will be sent to the defendant by certified mail and by ordinary first class mail. If the notice sent by ordinary first class mail is not returned by the post office within 21 days as undeliverable, the defendant is presumed to have received notice of your claim, even if the notice of claim sent by certified mail has not been delivered.

      If the post office cannot deliver the notice of your claim (for example, the defendant may have moved without leaving a forwarding address), the court clerk will give you a new hearing date and will tell you how to arrange for personal delivery of the notice to the defendant. Anyone who is not a party to the small claim and who is 18 years of age or older can personally deliver the notice of claim to the defendant. The claimant or any other party to the action may not serve the notice of claim personally on the defendant.

      If the notice of claim cannot be served on the defendant within 4 months after you filed your claim, your claim will be dismissed. If you learn new information about the defendant s location at a later date, you can file your claim again.

      A small claims case will not proceed to trial until the defendant has been served with a notice of your claim.

      The defendant may want to file a counterclaim. For information about this procedure, click on Counterclaims.

      Small claims court procedure

      Preparing for Court

      Before the date of the hearing, you should gather all the evidence that supports your claim or your defense. Evidence may include: photographs, a written agreement, an itemized bill or invoice marked paid, receipts, at least two itemized written estimates of the cost of services or repairs, a canceled check, a damaged item or article of clothing, or letters or other written documents. If there are records that are not in your possession, you may wish to subpoena them to be produced at the hearing date. For information about this procedure, click on Subpoenas.

      You should also prepare any witnesses you plan to testify at the hearing in support of your claim or defense. The testimony of a person who has special or expert knowledge and experience concerning the subject of your claim may be necessary for you to prove your case. For example, if your claim involves the quality of medical care, you must find a doctor who is willing to give an opinion, in court, about the quality of the care you received. While you might find an expert witness who will testify at no cost to you, it is more likely that you will have to pay for an expert witness testimony.

      If a witness, other than an expert witness, will not testify voluntarily, you can serve the witness with a subpoena requiring them to appear in court and testify. For information on how to do this, click on Subpoenas.


      How to File a Case in Small Claims Court (with Pictures), small claims court online.#Small


      How to File a Case in Small Claims Court

      In small claims courts, individuals can file lawsuits quickly and inexpensively. You can file suits against individuals, corporations, partnerships and other entities. Each state sets the maximum amount that you can sue for in these courts. The dollar amounts range from $2,500 to $25,000. [1] Rules for filing a case in small claims court vary between states and even counties. Before filing your case, be sure to check with your county clerk or an attorney to find out the rules in your state.

      Steps Edit

      Part One of Four:

      Reviewing and Evaluating Your Case Edit

      Small claims court online

      Small claims court online

      Small claims court online

      Small claims court online

      Small claims court online

      Small claims court online

      Part Two of Four:

      Small claims court online

      Small claims court online

      Small claims court online

      Small claims court online

      Small claims court online

      Small claims court online


      How to File a Case in Small Claims Court (with Pictures), small claims court online.#Small


      How to File a Case in Small Claims Court

      In small claims courts, individuals can file lawsuits quickly and inexpensively. You can file suits against individuals, corporations, partnerships and other entities. Each state sets the maximum amount that you can sue for in these courts. The dollar amounts range from $2,500 to $25,000. [1] Rules for filing a case in small claims court vary between states and even counties. Before filing your case, be sure to check with your county clerk or an attorney to find out the rules in your state.

      Steps Edit

      Part One of Four:

      Reviewing and Evaluating Your Case Edit

      Small claims court online

      Small claims court online

      Small claims court online

      Small claims court online

      Small claims court online

      Small claims court online

      Part Two of Four:

      Small claims court online

      Small claims court online

      Small claims court online

      Small claims court online

      Small claims court online

      Small claims court online