North Dakota Small Claims Forms - North Dakota Small Claims Court

North Dakota Small Claims Court FAQ Nd Small Claims

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 type of court where people can resolve legal disputes that involve smaller amounts of money. In North Dakota, this court is designed to provide an accessible and affordable option for individuals to seek justice and resolve their grievances. It is intended for cases involving claims of up to a certain monetary limit, which varies depending on the state. The procedures in small claims court are more informal, and individuals often represent themselves instead of hiring lawyers. The goal of small claims court is to simplify the legal process, make it easier for people to resolve disputes, and ensure a fair outcome for all parties involved in North Dakota.

Why File a Small Claims Case?

Filing a small claims case in North Dakota is beneficial for several reasons. First, it allows individuals to seek justice and resolve disputes without the need for hiring expensive lawyers or going through a complex legal process. Second, small claims court provides a convenient and accessible way to address small monetary issues, such as unpaid bills or damages, quickly and efficiently. It allows regular people to present their case before a judge, who will listen to both sides and make a fair decision. Filing a small claims case in North Dakota empowers individuals to assert their rights and find a resolution in a straightforward and cost-effective manner.

Small Claims Court Limits for Each State

Small claims court is a legal avenue for resolving disputes that involve small amounts of money. Each state sets its own limits for how much money can be claimed in small claims court. In North Dakota, the limit is set at $15,000, which means that individuals can only file a small claims lawsuit for that amount or less. This limit ensures that minor disputes can be resolved quickly and without the need for costly legal proceedings. It provides an accessible and affordable option for individuals seeking justice for smaller financial matters in North Dakota.

Small Claims Demand Letter Example

A small claims demand letter is a written request that somebody in North Dakota sends to another person, asking them to resolve a legal dispute in a small claims court. It is a way to communicate your desire to settle the matter before taking legal action. In the letter, you clearly explain your side of the story, details about the dispute, and the resolution you seek. It's important to use simple and straightforward language in the letter to ensure that the recipient can easily understand your position and take necessary action to resolve the matter.

Filing a Small Claims Case in 5 Steps

Filing a small claims case in North Dakota can be done in 5 simple steps. First, make sure your case meets the requirements for small claims court, such as the maximum dollar amount allowed. Next, gather all necessary documents and evidence to support your case. Then, fill out the small claims' complaint form provided by the North Dakota court system, making sure to include all relevant information. Once completed, submit the form to the appropriate court clerk, paying any required filing fees. Finally, serve the defendant by delivering a copy of the complaint and a summons, following the proper legal procedures.