Colorado Small Claims Forms - Small Claims Court Colorado

Colorado Small Claims Court FAQ Small Claims Court Denver

Who hears the claims in small claims court?

In small claims court, the trial is an informal hearing before a judge. There is no jury and the plaintiff presents his or her evidence and witnesses. The defendant is also responsible for presenting his or her witnesses. After hearing both sides of the dispute, the judge will render a verdict based on the law and the facts presented.

Who may file a claim in small claims court?  An individual, partnership or corporation (or LLC) may file a claim against another individual(s), partnership or corporation (LLC) in small claims court, if jurisdiction exists to hear the claim, if the amount of the claim does not exceed the statutory limits.

What must I do before I file a claim?  Before you file a claim, get the facts straight so you can complete the forms correctly and answer any questions court personnel may need to know. Be sure to obtain the correct legal name of the defendant, correct address and place/address of employment. If the defendant is a corporation or LLC you would use the legal corporate or LLC name as the defendant. 

How do I file a claim?  The plaintiff or the plaintiff's attorney should go to the small claims division of the district court in the particular county where the person or business to be sued has an office or is domiciled and file a Statement of  Claim Form. The plaintiff is responsible for furnishing the court with the correct and complete address of the defendant. The clerk will assign the plaintiff a case number and this number must be used whenever contacting the court concerning the particular case. A filing fee is required at the time the claim is filed. If the plaintiff cannot afford to prepay the fee at the time of the filing, he or she can submit an Affidavit of Substantial Hardship and request that the judge delay the payment. 

Who serves the defendant with summons or process and how is the defendant served?  The clerk of the court will issue a summons ordering the defendant to appear in court. The summons and the complaint must be served on the defendant. The summons and the complaint may be served by certified or registered mail. If the court provides this service, there may be an additional fee. If the defendant cannot be served using these methods, the precinct constable or any registered private process server will serve the summons and complaint for a fee. 

How are hearings scheduled? The clerk of the court will provide you with the procedure to set the case for trial or hearing at the time you file your claim. 

May I subpoena witnesses? If witnesses are required, but unwilling to attend the hearing unless they are subpoenaed, you may obtain a subpoena issued by the court clerk for service on the witness. The subpoena is an order for the witness to appear at the hearing to testify. Some employer may require that an employee be subpoenaed in order to be excused from work. 

What are the trial procedures? The trial procedure is generally more informal than other courts. The case will usually be called in open court and you will respond that you are present and ready to proceed. You will then be advised when to present your claim. Be prepared to present your claim in your own words. Be prepared to question witnesses if witnesses are needed. 

What happens if the defendant does not appear at trial?  If the defendant does not appear at trial, a default judgment will be entered in the plaintiff's favor for the amount of the claim or other relief. After judgment is obtained and the appeal time has expired, the plaintiff may seek to collect the judgment by acceptable means of collection. 

What are the common forms used in small claims court?  Common forms used in small claims court are:

  • Claim Statement/Complaint
  • Summons
  • Return of Summons
  • Answer
  • Subpoena
  • Abstract of Judgment

What Is a Small Claims Court?

A small claims court is a place where regular people can go to resolve minor legal disputes without needing a lawyer. It is designed to be simple and accessible. In Colorado, a small claims court works similarly. It can help people resolve disagreements about things like unpaid bills, property damage, or personal injury. It is meant for cases where the amount of money involved is relatively small. Going to small claims court in Colorado is generally less formal compared to other courts, and the rules are less complicated. This makes it easier for people without legal experience to navigate. Overall, the main goal of a small claims court in Colorado is to provide a fair and inexpensive way for people to resolve their disputes quickly.

Why File a Small Claims Case?

Filing a small claims case can be a helpful way to resolve minor legal disputes without the need for hiring an expensive lawyer or going through a lengthy court process. In Colorado, going to small claims court allows individuals to present their case in a simple and straightforward manner, using everyday language and without the need for complex legal procedures. It offers an accessible and affordable avenue for seeking justice, providing an opportunity for individuals to resolve their disputes in a fair and efficient manner. Whether it's a disagreement over a damaged property, unpaid bills, or a breach of contract, filing a small claims case in Colorado can help laypeople to assert their rights and find a resolution.

Small Claims Court Limits for Each State

Small claims court is a legal process where individuals can resolve disputes over small amounts of money without needing to hire a lawyer. Each state has its own set limits on the maximum amount of money that can be claimed in small claims court. In Colorado, the small claims court limit is $7,500, meaning you can only file a case if the amount you are seeking to recover does not exceed this limit. This is helpful because it allows individuals to seek justice for smaller disputes without going through the more complex and costly process of regular court proceedings.

Small Claims Demand Letter Example

A small claims demand letter is a written message that you send to someone in Colorado when you believe they owe you money or have done something to harm you financially. It's a way to inform them about your issue and give them an opportunity to resolve it before filing a lawsuit in small claims court. For instance, if you hired a contractor in Colorado to do some repairs on your home, but they didn't complete the work or did a poor job, you can write a small claims demand letter explaining your dissatisfaction and requesting a refund or compensation for the damages. The letter should be clear and concise, explaining your side of the story and the amount you are seeking. Remember to keep a copy of the letter for your records and send it via certified mail to have proof of delivery.

Filing a Small Claims Case in 5 Steps

Filing a small claims case in Colorado can be done in 5 simple steps. The first step is to identify the person or business you want to sue and gather all the necessary documentation and evidence to support your case. Next, visit the courthouse in the county where the dispute occurred and request a small claims complaint form from the clerk. Fill out the form, making sure to provide accurate and detailed information. Then, pay the filing fee and submit your complaint form to the clerk. Finally, wait for the court to serve the defendant with a copy of the complaint, and once that is done, you will receive a court date for your case. By following these steps, you can navigate the small claims process in Colorado smoothly and effectively.