You are known as the plaintiff. The person you are suing is known as the defendant. You must present your own claim on a form provided by the court clerk. The court clerk will assign a court trial date to your claim.
Prior to your court appearance, please investigate the defendant’s place of employment and his/her residence address, as only persons residing in or employed/doing business in Tahoe Township may be a defendant in a small claims action in this court.
You may subpoena a witness at your own expense and you may do this at our office after the case has been served and court has received the affidavit of service. There is no fee for issuing a subpoena. However, the Sheriff’s Civil Department, the County Constable, or a private process service company will charge a fee for service.
You may file your claim in this court only if:
- The party you are suing resides, works or operates a business in the Tahoe Township, and you have a current address (physical and mailing) of the defendant. If your claim meets these criteria, you will file your claim at the Tahoe Justice Court.
- You are 18 years of age or older.
- You have demanded payment of the amount for which you are suing. A letter sent by certified mail, with return receipt serves as proof that a demand has been made. Allow sufficient time for a reply. If there is no satisfactory reply, bring in your post office certified mail receipt, or other proof, and we will file your claim.
- Your claim is for money only and does not exceed $10,000. If your claim is for more that $10,000, you may waive any amount over that sum and sue for just $10,000; however, you cannot divide a claim and file separate actions to reduce the sum claimed to meet the maximum allowed. If your claim exceeds $10,000, we suggest you contact an attorney.
The filing fees for your claim depends on the amount of money for which you are suing: See the below summarized table or see the full table of Justice Court fees under Quick Links.
- For suits in the amount of $1.00 to $1,000.00, the filing fee is $71.00
- For suits in the amount of $1,000.01 to $2,500.00, the filing fee is $91.00
- For suits in the amount of $2,500.01 to $5,000.00, the filing fee is $111.00
- For suits in the amount of $5,000.01 to $7,500.00, the filing fee is $151.00
- For suits in the amount of $7,500.01 to $10,000.00, the filing fee is $201.00
Add to the above a certified mail fee as part of your required demand.
Service of Process
Service of process can be handled by a private process server or by any individual, other than the plaintiff or relative of the plaintiff, over the age of 18.
Or, the plaintiff can contact the Douglas County Constable’s Office or the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Civil Division for information on costs for service of process. The court does not arrange for service of process. You must file proof of service of process with the court clerk before the trial of your small claims case.