Small Claims Court Series Part 3: How do I start a lawsuit in Small Claims Court?
Possible claims may include:
- Unpaid accounts for goods or services;
- Unpaid loans;
- Breach of contract; or
- Property damage.
Generally, you must start a lawsuit within two years from the date of the incident, otherwise you will be prohibited from recovering anything.
To start a lawsuit, you must first fill out a Plaintiff’s Claim (Form 7A) that should include:
- How much you are owed;
- Why are you owed this money;
- Who was involved (including full legal name or business name); and,
- A summary of the events that took place (including date).
Next, you must file your Plaintiff’s Claim at the proper courthouse location (i.e. the region where the event took place or where the Defendant lives or operates business) and pay a fee of $95.00. You can also file it online.
Third, you, a friend, or a private process server must personally serve the Plaintiff’s Claim on the Defendant(s) within six months from the date it was filed.
Finally, the individual that served the Defendant must complete an Affidavit of Service (Form 8A) confirming that the Plaintiff’s Claim was served. This form must also be filed at the courthouse.
Nothing contained, expressed or implied in this series is intended to be legal advice. You should contact a lawyer or licensed paralegal if you have questions.