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PLAINTIFF'S CLAIM AND ORDER TO DEFENDANT
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Court Document required Two copies per defendant of the Plaintiff’s Claim and Order to Defendant (form SC-100)
Purpose of Process The small claims court acquires jurisdiction to hear the case when the Plaintiff’s Claim and Order to Defendant is served on the defendant.
Sheriff's Instructions Specify an address for service where the defendant usually works or lives.
Time for Service The Sheriff must receive the process no later than four weeks before the hearing.
Manner of Service The defendant may be served by personal or substituted service. Personal service must be made not less than 15 days before the hearing, or 20 days if the small claims court hearing is in another county. Substitute service must be made at least 25 days before the hearing, or 30 days if the court is in another county.
Fee Deposit $40
Fee $40 if served or canceled, and $35 if Not Found.
Proof of Service The Sheriff will mail a Certificate of Service to the court and a Notice of Service to the plaintiff if the Claim is served. If not served, a Not Found/No Service return is mailed to the plaintiff explaining the reason for non-service.
Information Guide
Checklist
Sheriff's Instructions
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
Information Guide

A small claims case cannot be heard until the defendant (the person sued) is served with a copy of the Plaintiff’s Claim and Order to Defendant. The Plaintiff’s Claim and Order to Defendant may be personally served at least 15 days before the hearing if the place of service and the court are in the same county. If the court is in another county, personal service must be made at least 20 days before the hearing. Service may also be made by substitution in which a copy of the Plaintiff’s Claim and Order to Defendant is left with a suitable person at the defendant’s usual place of abode (residence) , employment or mailing address and a copy mailed to the defendant at that address. Substitute service must be made at least 25 days before the hearing or 30 days if the court is in another county. The Sheriff will make up to three attempts to serve the Plaintiff’s Claim and Order to Defendant including one night time attempt after 6:00 p.m. (unless the defendant cannot be found at the address in the evening.) If the defendant is served, the Sheriff will file a proof of service with the court and mail a notice of service to the plaintiff. If service is unsuccessful, the Sheriff will mail a certificate of not found/no service detailing the reasons for non-service to the plaintiff. The plaintiff should not appear in court unless advised that the Plaintiff’s Claim and Order to Defendant was served. The plaintiff should call the Sheriff for a status check if a mailed notification is not received at least five days before the hearing.

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Checklist
  • $40 fee deposit
  • Sheriff Instructions
  • Two copies of Plaintiff’s Claim and Order to Defendant
  • Deliver to the proper Sheriff’s civil process Branch office at least four weeks before the hearing date

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