Small Claims Court 101 - Part 5 | Tessmer Law Firm
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How to file in Small Claims Court

To file your suit, you will need the following information:

  • Your complete name and address
  • The complete name and address of each person or business your claim is against
  • The amount you intend to claim in damages (must be $10,000.00 or less)
  • A statement of the basis for your complaint, plainly stated and including relevant dates and information (you should write this in advance).


You will want to call the clerk about two weeks after you file to confirm the defendant was served and when. This is important because the service date is used to set the trial date.  Find out your trial date and time; if you are late, your case may be dismissed.  If you are on time but are not prepared, your case may be dismissed.  Once set for trial, only legal excuses for not appearing will be accepted.  Dress appropriately and address the court respectfully.  If you are confused about anything the judge says, do not be afraid to ask.  You will have the opportunity to tell the judge your story; you may call witnesses, show photographs, etc.  Be sure that you present facts that establish your complaint against the defendant; the burden of proof is on you!