Mississippi Small Claims Forms - Small Claims Court Mississippi

Mississippi Small Claims Court FAQ Mississippi Small Claims Court Forms

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 everyday people can go to resolve their disputes, such as problems with money or property, without the need for expensive lawyers or complicated legal procedures. In Mississippi, the small claims court works similarly. People can file a claim by filling out some simple paperwork and paying a small fee. Both parties involved in the dispute can present their side of the story to a judge in a relaxed and informal environment. This court is designed to provide a quick and fair resolution to smaller legal issues in Mississippi.

Why File a Small Claims Case?

Filing a small claims case can be useful in a variety of situations. When you feel that you have been wronged by someone or a business, filing a small claims case can help you seek justice and resolve the issue. In Mississippi, filing a small claims case is advantageous as it allows individuals to seek compensation for damages up to $3,500 without the need for an attorney. This saves time and money, since you can represent yourself and present your case in a simple and straightforward manner. Furthermore, small claims court in Mississippi offers a relatively informal setting where both parties can be heard and a fair resolution can be reached.

Small Claims Court Limits for Each State

Small claims court limits vary from state to state, and in Mississippi, the limit is $3,500. This means that if you have a dispute with someone and the amount you are seeking is $3,500 or less, you can file a claim in small claims court. Small claims court is designed to handle minor legal issues in a faster and less formal manner. It allows individuals to resolve their disputes without the need for expensive legal representation. Remember, each state has its own specific limit, and in Mississippi, it's $3,500.

Small Claims Demand Letter Example

A small claims demand letter is a written communication sent by a person in Mississippi to demand payment or resolution of a dispute in a small claims court. It is a simple and straightforward way to communicate one's grievances to the other party involved. The purpose of the letter is to outline the issue, state the desired outcome, and provide a deadline for response or action. It is an important step in trying to resolve a dispute before filing a small claims court case.

Filing a Small Claims Case in 5 Steps

Filing a small claims case in Mississippi can be done in five simple steps. First, gather all relevant information and evidence related to your case, such as receipts, contracts, or any other documents that support your claim. Next, visit your local justice court and request the appropriate forms needed to file a small claims case. Fill out these forms accurately and completely, ensuring you provide all necessary details about your claim. Then, file the completed forms with the court clerk, paying any required filing fees. After filing, you must serve the defendant with a copy of the complaint and summons, either through certified mail or by hiring a process server. Finally, attend your scheduled court hearing and present your case before the judge. It's important to remember that each small claims case is unique, so it may be helpful to consult a legal professional for guidance specific to your situation.