How Do I Start a Small Claims Case?
You, or someone on your behalf, must come to the Small Claims Court to file a statement of your claim. You should be prepared to give a brief statement of the facts that form the basis of your claim. Check any documents relating to your case for the relevant dates and names If you are suing on a contract or for property damage, you may claim interest as well as damages. You must sue in a court having a Small Claims Part in an area where the defendant lives or works or has a place of business. You will be required to pay a filing fee of $10.00 if your claim is for $1,000 or less and a filing fee of $15.00 if your claim is for more than $1,000. When the claim is filed, the clerk will tell you when the case will be tried. The clerk will then send the notice of claim to the defendant by both certified mail an ordinary first mail. The notice of claim and the amount of money you are seeking. If the copy of the claim sent by ordinary mail is not returned as undeliverable within 21 days, the defendant is presumed to have received notice even if the claim sent by certified mail has not been delivered.
If the notice is not delivered by the post office, the court will set a new trial date and tell you how to arrange for personal service of the notice of claim on the defendant. Personal service may be made by any person (including a friend or a relative) who is 18 years of age or older, except that you or any other party to the action may not serve the notice of claim. If service of the notice cannot be made upon the defendant within four months of the date when the action was first started, the action will be dismissed without prejudice to your bringing the action at a later time.
A Small Claims Case will not proceed to trial until the defendant has been served with a notice of claim.