INSTRUCTIONS AND INFORMATION FOR FILING A SMALL CLAIMS COURT SUIT
1. The amount of the debt or damages or personal property for which you may sue in Small Claims Court may not exceed the limit of the court, which is $5000.00.
2. In all civil suits, the defendant(s), generally has the right to be sued in the county and precinct in which he resides. Should you be filing this suit in this county and precinct because it is convenient to you, there may be a motion by the defendant to transfer venue (request that this suit be transferred to some other county and precinct).
3. It is your burden as a plaintiff and it is important that you understand that for any potential judgment you may receive to be valid it is necessary for you to sue the defendant in their proper legal capacity, of which there are typically three. They are as follows:
a. Personally: Where an individual is responsible to you for damage he may have caused you as an individual.
b. Proprietor or partnership: A business that is not incorporated, but does have on file with the County clerk an assumed name e.g. John Smith dba Greenhouse Supplies.
c. Corporation: The business which has allegedly caused you damage is incorporated and therefore it is necessary to know the individuals name who is able to accept service on behalf of the corporation. (The authorized agent for service would be listed with the Secretary of State whose phone number is 1-800-252-5555) e.g. Greenhouse, Inc. Serve: John Doe
4. Any change of address or phone number must be supplied to the court and to the defendant.
5. Once you have filed the petition stating the facts and circumstances of your suit, a citation will be served to the defendant notifying him of the fact that a suit has been filed against him in this court.
6. The citation will order the defendant to answer to this suit on or before the Monday following the expiration of ten days from receipt of the citation.
7. If the defendant answers the suit, this court will notify both parties by mail as to the trial date. The trial date will be approximately two weeks from the date the defendant answered the suit. We discourage motions for continuance. However, any requests for a continuance must be in proper form and timely filed. At least 5 working days prior to trial date, to wit; written request supported by an affidavit.
8. If you have witnesses who will not come to court voluntary, you may come in two weeks prior to the trial and ask that a subpoena be prepared to secure their presence.
FEE SCHEDULE FOR SMALL CLAIMS COURT (NO CHECKS ACCEPTED)
|J.P. FEES||CONSTABLE FEES||TOTAL|
|FILING FEE - DEFENDANT||$27.00||$75.00||$ 102.00|
OUT OF COUNTY
|12.00||MUST CALL THAT COUNTY|
|ABSTRACT OF JUDGMENT||5.00||5.00|
|WRIT OF EXECUTION||5.00||100.00||105.00|
|WRIT OF GARNISHMENT||10.00||100.00||110.00|