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Circuit Court District Division - Small Claims

e-filing is now available for small claims cases that started electronically (not in paper) at ALL District Division locations. Please go to the e-filing small claims page here.

 

Basic Facts

Definitions

Small Claims Checklist

Sample Complaint

Collection Process

Below is a diagram of the periodic payment process:

Collection Process

In addition to the periodic payment process, the Plaintiff may seek a post judgment attachment upon real or other property owned by the Defendant. The process is much the same as the process before a judgment.

Also, a successful Plaintiff may now secure a judgment upon real estate owned by the Defendant by filing a certified copy of the judgment in the Registry of Deeds in the county where the Defendant's real estate is located. Court staff will provide the copy as requested; however it is the Plaintiff's burden to file the judgment with the appropriate registry and to pay any costs associated with the filing. There may also be a cost at the court for the copy.

When the small claim judgment is paid or satisfied in some other way, it is the Plaintiff's burden to provide the Defendant with a discharge releasing the lien. The court does not have a form for this. It may be advisable to consult with an attorney or with the local Registry of Deeds as to form/format. If the Plaintiff refuses to provide a discharge in 30 days, or if a discharge is needed immediately, the Defendant can ask the court for assistance. The Defendant may file a request for a discharge with the court. There is no fee. The court may set the matter for a hearing at which both parties should appear.

Once the discharge has been provided, either by the Plaintiff or via a court order, it is the Defendant's responsibility to record/file the discharge with the appropriate Registry of Deeds and pay any fees associated therewith.

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