Connecticut Small Claims Forms - Small Claims Court

Connecticut Small Claims Court FAQ Small Claims Connecticut

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 special court that helps people resolve disputes over small amounts of money. It is designed to be simple and inexpensive so that individuals can resolve their issues without the need for a lawyer. In the state of Connecticut, a small claims court follows similar principles but has its own rules and procedures. It provides a way for people to bring their claims, such as unpaid debts, property damage, or breach of contract, to be heard and decided by a judge. This court has a limited jurisdiction, meaning it can only handle cases involving small amounts of money, typically under $5,000. It aims to provide a fair and accessible process for individuals seeking justice for their smaller disputes.

Why File a Small Claims Case?

Filing a small claims case in Connecticut can be a helpful solution when you have a simple dispute or disagreement with someone, like over unpaid bills or property damage. Choosing to file a small claims case allows you to seek justice and compensation without the need for costly lawyers or complex legal procedures. It's an accessible option for everyday people where you can present your side of the story, provide evidence, and get a fair resolution. Whether you want to get back what you're owed or simply resolve a disagreement, filing a small claims case in Connecticut can provide a straightforward and affordable way to address your concerns.

Small Claims Court Limits for Each State

Small claims court limits refer to the maximum amount of money that can be claimed or sought in a small claims court case. Each state in the United States has its own limits set by law to determine how much money can be involved in a small claims court case. In Connecticut, the small claims court limit is $5,000. This means that if someone has a dispute or wants to sue another person for an amount that is equal to or lower than $5,000, they can bring their case to the small claims court. It is important to check the specific limits in your state to ensure you understand the rules and requirements of filing a small claims court case.

Small Claims Demand Letter Example

A small claims demand letter is a written request to settle a dispute without going to court. In Connecticut, if you have a dispute with someone and the amount in question is below a certain limit (usually around $5,000), you can send a demand letter to the person or company involved to try and resolve the issue. This letter should clearly explain the problem, provide any relevant evidence or documentation, and state a demand for compensation or a solution. It's important to use simple and straightforward language in the letter to ensure that the recipient understands the issue and the desired outcome.

Filing a Small Claims Case in 5 Steps

Filing a small claims case in Connecticut is a fairly straightforward process that can be completed in just five steps. The first step is to gather all necessary documents and evidence to support your case, such as receipts, contracts, or photographs. Next, you need to determine the appropriate court to file your claim and obtain the necessary forms. Fill out these forms accurately, providing clear details about the dispute and the amount you are seeking. Once completed, make copies of the forms and file them with the court, paying any required filing fees. Finally, ensure that the defendant is properly served with a copy of the filed documents, either through certified mail or by a state marshal. By following these steps, you can navigate the small claims process in Connecticut without much difficulty.