How Do You Take Someone to Small Claims Court?


Quick Answer

Take someone to small claims court by preparing a complaint that outlines the issues involved, and file the complaint at the small claims court that holds jurisdiction over the case, as Nolo explains. Anyone wanting to file a small claims case should first review the rules of the court and obtain the proper paperwork. Many courts have this information available online.

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How Do You Take Someone to Small Claims Court?
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Full Answer

The court clerk in the small claims court that holds jurisdiction can offer information regarding the court forms and rules, states Rocket Lawyer. Generally, the court that holds jurisdiction is the court that is closest to the business or residence of the person being sued.

The plaintiff files out a form usually known as a statement of claim and must pay the filing fee. The form usually asks for the nature of the claim and the dollar amount for which the plaintiff is suing, Rocket Lawyer notes. Filing fees vary by state, according to Nolo. Once the proper paperwork is complete, the papers are served on the defendant. The court clerk can advise the plaintiff how this process works.

Defendants usually have 20 days to answer the complaint, or 30 if they reside out of state. During this time frame, the defendant may decide to pay the money owed to the plaintiff, in which case the plaintiff can advise the court to close the case. If the defendant does not respond, a default judgement may be granted, Rocket Lawyer notes.

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