Utah Small Claims Forms - Small Claims Court Utah

Utah Small Claims Court FAQ How To File Small Claims Utah

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 legal place where people can resolve disputes involving smaller amounts of money. In Utah, a small claims court is a specific court that handles cases where the monetary value of the dispute does not exceed a certain limit, usually around $10,000. This court is designed to provide a quicker, simpler, and more affordable way for individuals to resolve their issues without hiring a lawyer. People can present their own arguments and evidence in front of a judge who will make a decision based on the facts presented. The goal of a small claims court in Utah is to provide accessible justice to individuals seeking resolution for smaller disputes.

Why File a Small Claims Case?

Filing a small claims case is a way to resolve a dispute when the amount of money involved is relatively small. It can be a good option because it is less formal and expensive compared to other court cases. In Utah, small claims court is a helpful avenue to seek justice as it allows individuals to handle disputes without hiring a lawyer. This means you can save money on legal fees and represent yourself. Additionally, in small claims court, the procedures are simplified, making it easier for ordinary people to navigate through the process. So, if you're looking for a cost-effective and less complicated way to resolve a small dispute in Utah, filing a small claims case might be the right choice for you.

Small Claims Court Limits for Each State

Small claims court limits vary from state to state, but they all aim to provide an accessible and efficient resolution for disputes involving modest amounts of money. In Utah, the small claims court limit is set at $11,000, which means that individuals or businesses can file a lawsuit seeking damages up to this amount. This limit ensures that smaller disputes can be resolved quickly and inexpensively without the need for extensive legal procedures. It is important to note that these limits can change over time, so it's always best to consult the most up-to-date information if you find yourself in a small claims court situation.

Small Claims Demand Letter Example

A small claims demand letter is a written communication that a person in Utah sends to someone who owes them money, requesting payment for a specific amount. The letter serves as a formal notice before taking legal action in a small claims court. It is usually written in simple language that any person can understand, explaining the situation clearly and why the recipient is being asked to pay. The demand letter provides a chance for both parties to resolve the issue without going to court, allowing them to come to an agreement that is fair and satisfactory to both sides.

Filing a Small Claims Case in 5 Steps

Filing a small claims case in Utah can be done in five simple steps. First, gather all the necessary information and evidence related to your case, such as receipts, contracts, or photos. Next, visit the local county courthouse and obtain the appropriate small claims forms. Fill out these forms accurately, providing all the required details about your case. After completing the forms, make sure to make copies for your records. Then, file the forms and pay the required filing fee at the courthouse. Finally, serve the defendant with a copy of the filed forms and a summons, informing them about the upcoming court date. Following these steps will help you initiate a small claims case in Utah.