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Small Claims Court
|What is Small Claims Court?
Small Claims Court is a court of limited jurisdiction. The Justice of the Peace presides over this court. This court provides a forum for the resolution of simple civil claims in which;
A monetary judgment is sought;
Parties may represent themselves;
Informal procedures are used; and
Issues are resolved quickly
What is the jurisdiction of Small Claims Court?
A plaintiff may bring suit in small claims court if the controversy is not more than $10,000.00.
What about Venue?
Generally, an action in small claims must be brought in the county and precinct in which the defendant resides, in the county where an obligation for which performance was contracted to be performed in a specific county, or, if the suit is for payment of labor performed under oral contract, only in the precinct in which that labor was performed.
How do you file in Small Claims Court?
A person, or that person's attorney or agent, may file a Plaintiff's Petition for Small Claims, along with a money order for the appropriate filing fees. NOTE: Service fees are per individual, so if multiple defendants are to be served, multiple filing fees must be included. If service is to be performed outside of Montgomery County, please contact the Constable's Office in the County in which service must be performed to determine their appropriate service fee.
What happens after filing a claim?
Once the Defendant has been properly served (notice of suit), they have until the Monday next after ten (10) days after the date of service to file a Defendant's Original Answer. Once the defendant answers, a court date will be set, and both parties will be notified via mail of that date and time. NOTE: If you move or have a change of address or phone number, you must notify the court of that change. Failure to do so may result in you not receiving notification of the court date and the case being dismissed.
Who may appeal and how is it done?
A dissatisfied party may appeal the final judgment of small claims court to the County Court as long as the amount in controversy, exclusive of costs, is more than $20.00. An Appeal Bond in an amount set by the court is required to perfect the appeal. The Appeal Bond must be filed with the Court within TEN (10) days from the judgment date.