Small Claims Booklet
This is a Missouri form that can be used for Small Claims within Local Circuit Courts, 16th Circuit (Jackson County).
Last updated: 4/13/2015
CIRCUIT COURT OF JACKSON COUNTY, MISSOURI COURT ADMINISTRATOR'S OFFICE SMALL CLAIMS BOOKLET American LegalNet, Inc. www.FormsWorkFlow.com SMALL CLAIMS COURT FILINGS Western Jackson County (Kansas City, Grandview) Jackson County Courthouse 3rd Floor - Associate Circuit Judges' Records 415 E. 12th Street Kansas City, MO 64106 (816) 881-3983 Eastern Jackson County (Blue Springs, Independence, Lee's Summit, Raytown, etc.) Jackson County Courthouse Annex 308 West Kansas Avenue 2nd Floor - Associate Circuit Judges' Records Independence, MO 64050 (816) 881-4493 NOTICE TO THOSE WISHING TO FILE A SMALL CLAIM The clerks of these offices will explain and provide all forms and pleadings necessary for the presentation of your claim or counterclaim to the Court Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. You may check your case status at anytime via Case.net at www.16thcircuit.org. If an attorney, party or witness to any of the proceedings will require an accommodation for a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, please contact the ADA Coordinator at 881-3652. CIRCT 4204 (08/13) 2 American LegalNet, Inc. www.FormsWorkFlow.com Small Claims Court is designed to settle uncomplicated disputes of $5,000.00 or less. However, filing a small claim can be far from uncomplicated: The information below is important to the success of your claim. Please Read It Carefully: I. THE PETITION A. THE PLAINTIFF AND DEFENDANT 1. In Small Claims Court plaintiffs act as their own attorney unless they choose to retain an attorney to represent them. The plaintiff must complete all forms and present their own evidence in court. The Court provides all forms necessary for the filing of a small claims case. They should be filled out by the plaintiff and must be legible, printed in black ink or typed. The plaintiff must properly identify himself both on the petition in the upper lefthand corner, then again when he signs the complaint. If there is more than one plaintiff, both must sign the petition. It is essential that you name the defendant properly. If you do not, the judge may dismiss your case or you may not be able to collect your judgment. As a general rule, there are three types of plaintiffs and defendants. The following are examples of how each must be listed on a small claims petition: a) b) c) An individual is listed as "John Doe" An unincorporated business or a partnership is listed as, "John Doe and James Roe d/b/a Roe's Tractor" A Corporation is listed as: Doe's Tractor, Inc. (Serve) John Doe, Registered Agent (or) James Roe, President 2. 3. 4. FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS 5. 6. 7. To find out if a business is incorporated, contact the Secretary of State's Office. The phone number is (816) 889-2925. The website is www.sos.mo.gov. Ask them if the business is incorporated. If it is incorporated, ask for the name of the registered agent and his address. The Secretary of State's Office will provide this information over the telephone free of charge or you can send $5.00 and a request for this information to: Corporation Information, Secretary of State's Office, 615 East 13th Street, Room 513, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. 3 American LegalNet, Inc. www.FormsWorkFlow.com 8. If the business is not incorporated, but is a partnership, you must find out who the partners are. You must sue and serve each partner individually. (The Secretary of State's Office may also be able to help you with this information.) Information about ownership may also be available through City Hall, OCCUPATIONAL LICENSES, in the city where the business is located. If the business is located in Kansas City, the number is (816) 513-1135; in Independence the number is (816) 325-7079; in Lee's Summit the number is (816) 969-7722 and in Blue Springs the number is (816) 228-0131. If you are suing more than one defendant, list each by number on your petition. B. YOUR COMPLAINT 1. 2. When writing out your claim against the defendant, please be brief and to the point. Use exact dates and locations; do not stray off the subject. Be sure and sign the petition at the bottom. If you are acting as an agent for a business or corporation, be sure and sign your name, your capacity in the business, and the business' legal name. C. FILING THE PETITION 1. Where to file (venue) a) You can file your small claim: (i) in the county where the defendant resides; (ii) in the county where the transaction occurred; or (iii) in the county where the plaintiff resides and defendant may be served. In Jackson County, venue is split between the Western and Eastern portions of the County. If your venue lies on the Western side of Jackson County (Kansas City, Grandview, etc.) then you should file your claim at the Kansas City Courthouse located at 415 East 12th Street. If your venue lies on the Eastern side, (Blue Springs, Independence, Lee's Summit, etc.) then you should file your claim at the Independence Courthouse located at 308 West Kansas. b) 2. Fee Information Filing Fees: Service Fees: a) b) Certified Mail Out of County Service $ 10.00 (Each Defendant) You must call the sheriff of the county where the defendant will be served to inquire about service fees. $36.00 (Each Defendant) $27.00 + service fee c) Personal Service by Deputy (Jackson County only) 4 American LegalNet, Inc. www.FormsWorkFlow.com d) Private Process Server (Hired by Plaintiff) - No Fee A Motion and Affidavit for Private Process Server must be filed and an order must be signed by the Judge. A service return must also be filed with the Court. (These forms are available from the Small Claims clerk.) $36.00 $46.00 Garnishment Fees: a) Request for Execution, Garnishment or Sequestration b) Request for Sequestration 3. The Court accepts personal checks numbered over 500. All checks or money orders should be made payable to the Department of Civil Records. All cash transactions, should be done with exact change, as the Department of Civil Records has limited access to funds for change. 4. Although not required, we recommend personal service in almost all cases to avoid possible delays. Plaintiffs should be aware that service is not guaranteed by the Jackson County Circuit Court. Your defendant must receive a copy of the summons and your petition or make an appearance in court before your case will be heard. At least one week before your court date, call to make sure the defendant has been served. You may obtain this information on the website www.16thcircuit.org. If service was