Small Claims

The Small Claims Court allows every citizen to bring a lawsuit in an informal manner and does not require that a party hire an attorney. You may hire an attorney if you want; however, in most instances you will not be able to get the other party to pay your legal fees even if you win unless there is some written agreement making the other party liable for your attorney’s fees.

The Small Claims Courts were created so that you would have a speedy, reasonably inexpensive, uncomplicated means of determination of your claim. It is for your benefit. It is your right. Do not be afraid to use it. The court’s staff and the clerk’s staff will assist you but they cannot give you legal advice.

Suing in Small Claims Court 

  • Simple rules of procedure and allow you to represent yourself without an attorney.
  • The judge’s job is to settle disputes between you and another party that you have been unable to settle yourselves.
  • The judge’s decision must be based solely on the evidence given by the parties at the time of the trial and in accord with the applicable law. 
  •  Prepare your case before the trial.

Suing in Small Claims Court

Filing Fee - $96.00 plus $10.00 for each defendant after the first.  A separate money order for $25.00 made out to the Sheriff of St. Joseph County must be included for the case to be served by Sheriff.