Small Claims

The small claims division of the Court cannot award more than $5,500, plus court costs, even if your claim is worth more. Court costs are ordered by the Judge at the time of the judgment and should not be included in your claim. 

By having your case tried in the small claims division, you give up the following rights:

  • The right to have an attorney.
  • The right to a jury trial.
  • The right to appeal to a higher court.

If either party objects to these conditions, the case will be transferred to the general civil division of the district court for a hearing.

Filing a Claim:

  1. Fill out the Affidavit and Claim, form DC 84 plus 3 additional copies.
  2. Submit the filing fee (see fee schedule). When filing by mail, send check or money order made payable to the 31st District Court.
  3. You must provide Defendant's first and last name.
  4. You must provide Defendant's current address (route or post office box numbers are not enough when you want a process server to make personal services). If you furnish an incorrect address and the court officer attempts service, he is allowed by law to charge you for his time.
  5. You must provide the amount of the claim and pertinent dates.
  6. You must provide a brief and concise statement detailing the nature of the claim. It is your responsibility to prove two things to the Court. First, liability- Why does the defendant have an obligation or responsibility to pay the money you claim? Second, damages- What is the exact amount of the money owed?
When the claim is filed, the Court will set a date within 60 days for the parties to attend mediation. If mediation fails to produce a settlement, the case will be set for a hearing before the Judge.