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Replying to a claim

Introduction

Anyone can sue you for $25,000 or less in Small Claims Court.

  • Never ignore the claim or do nothing if someone sues you:
    • If you ignore a Plaintiff's Claim or Defendant's Claim, it will be assumed that you agree with the claim against you. The other party can then get a judgment against you, without having to tell you.
    • Once there is a judgment against you, the court can order your property to be seized or your income garnished, which means that part of your income will be given to the other party.
  • You can defend yourself in court, sue the party suing you, or propose a payment plan, but you must act within 20 days of receiving the other party's Plaintiff's Claim or Defendant's Claim.
  • You have a right to sue the party who is suing you if they owe you money or have your property.
  • You can only be sued for money or the return of things valued at $25,000 or less plus interest and costs in Small Claims Court.
  • You do not need to be represented by a lawyer or paralegal in Small Claims Court.
  • You can represent yourself or you can appoint someone else to act as your agent.
  • You have the right to be represented by a lawyer or a paralegal, but if you win, you will probably only get back part of your legal costs.
  • You can use this website or guides prepared by the government to help you fill out the proper court forms.
  • If you can't afford the court filing fees, you can apply for a Fee Waiver to avoid paying most court fees

Learn more

  1. Decide if your problem relates to replying to a claim in Small Claims Court.
  2. Read Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to learn more about how to reply to a claim in Small Claims Court.
  3. Follow the Steps for instructions on replying to a claim in Small Claims Court.
  4. Review the Resources to find new and in-depth legal information about your problem.
  5. See the Links for news and other helpful websites.

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DisclaimerLast updated 07/30/2009