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1. Claims must not be greater than $4,000.00, exclusive of interest, costs, and any damages for worthless checks which may be awarded under KSA 60-2610.
2. Those who file must be over 18 years of age, or be represented by someone over 18. Any business or corporation may use Small Claims Court. However, collection agencies may not use the Court to collect for their clients.
3. A person cannot file more than 20 cases in Small Claims Court in one calendar year. (January 1 through December 31) [KSA 61-2704(b)]
4. The applicable docket fee*.
5. To file a case, you must fill out a Civil Information Sheet showing your name, address and daytime phone number, and name and address of the person being sued. You will also fill out a form called a petition showing the amount of money or property you are asking for, and why you are asking for it.
6. The person being sued must be able to be located so they can be legally served, or given an official summons (or notice to appear) in court. It is your responsibility to furnish the address to the Clerk's office.
* Pursuant to KSA 28-110, a $15.00 Sheriff Service of Process fee may apply.
You should also decide ahead of time the exact amount you want to recover, and be prepared to give a written explanation of your case.
You may then fill out the petition at the Clerk's office and file it, or you may take it home to complete and file later. The petition must be notarized or signed before the Clerk.
Depending on the circumstances, the judge may either make a decision immediately after hearing both sides, or may continue the case to another date. If the defendant was served and does not show up for the hearing, the judge may declare the defendant in default and award judgment to the plaintiff.
Once the judge has announced a decision in a case, the Small Claims procedure is over. It is up to you to collect what is owed to you if you win. If you lose, an appeal may be filed in District Court. Appeals do cost more money since they involve payment for another filing fee, legal advice from an attorney etc.
The loser (Judgment Debtor) has 14 days after the judgment to pay the judgment or file an appeal.
Unless an appeal has been filed or full payment made to you or the Clerk of the District Court within 14 days of the date of the judgment, you (the Judgement Creditor) are required to do the following:
1. Send a copy of the Judgment Form or Journal Entry of judgment and the blank form, Judgment Debtor's Statement of Assets, to the loser.
2. File proof of mailing with the Clerk of the Court. The Judgment Debtor has 30 days to complete the for Judgment Debtor's Statement of Assets and return it to the Clerk of the Court, who will in turn send it to you.
If you do not consult an attorney, the Clerk’s office has an appeal form available for your use.
If you have a claim against the plaintiff in connection with the same matter that his claim concerns, you may file a counterclaim. Fill out the "Defendants Claim" form that came with the summons and return it as soon as possible to the Court.
If you do not settle the claim against you out of court, then you must appear in court at the time scheduled or the judge can rule against you. Bring with you any papers that will support your side of the dispute, and any witnesses who can speak on your behalf. The judge will give both you and the other party a chance to speak before they make a decision. If the judge decides against you, you are legally bound to pay the plaintiff whatever the judge orders you to pay. You may appeal the judges decision.