Filing a Claim in Conciliation Court
If you are filing the claim, you are the plaintiff in the action. The person you file against is the defendant. You should contact the Court Administrator's Office in the county where you are filing the claim. The form for filing your claim is available from any Court Administrator's Office or online. Upon request, a person from that office will help you complete the form. You must have the following information:
- Your name and address
- The name and address of the defendant
- Home address if the defendant is an individual
- The amount of your claim
- The reason for the claim and the date your claim arose
You must sign the claim before a notary public or court clerk and pay the current filing fee. The amount of the filing fee will be added to your claim.
Serving the Claim
After you have filed your claim, it must be served on the defendant. For cases under $2500, the Court Administrator's Office will serve the claim on the defendant by 1st class mail stating the date and time that the case will be heard. You will also receive a notice from the court as to the date and time of the hearing.
For claims $2500 and over or if service cannot be made by first class mail, the Court Administrator's Office will give you instructions as to how service must be performed. Many cases settle when the defendant receives notice of the hearing. It is your responsibility to inform the Court Administrator in writing if you and the defendant settle your case.
The defendant may file a claim against you. This is called a counterclaim. The defendant must file the claim at least 5 days before the date set for a hearing (Saturday, Sunday, and holidays are not included).
The defendant will pay a filing fee and the Court Administrator will notify you if a counterclaim is filed. The counterclaim will be heard at the same date and time as your claim.
District Court Transfers
If the counterclaim is more than $7,500, your case will be transferred to District Court and you will be notified if a transfer is needed. If the defendant then fails to file the counterclaim in District Court after giving notice of intent to do that, you may have your claim reinstated in Conciliation Court. You may do this any time after 30 days and before 3 years expire by filing an affidavit with conciliation court. The affidavit must say that the defendant has not served you with a District Court summons stating his counterclaim.