Ask to cancel (vacate) the judge's decision
If you did not go to your small claims court date, you can ask the court to cancel (vacate) what the judge decided that day and get a new court date.
Before you start
Either side that missed the court date, the plaintiff or defendant, can ask for a new court date.
To get a new court date:
- You must have a good reason for missing your court date, like a serious emergency, or that you were never given the court forms.
- Ask for a new court date within 30 days from when the judge's decision was mailed to you.
How to ask to cancel the judge's decision
Fill out the Notice
- Fill out a Notice of Motion to Vacate Judgment and Declaration (form SC-135)
This form lets the court and other side know that you are asking the judge to cancel what they decided at the court hearing you missed.
Make 2 copies of the Notice.
File the Notice and pay the filing fee
- Give the original and the 2 copies to the court clerk
Pay a $20 filing fee
If you can't afford the fee, you can ask for a fee waiver.
The clerk will give you a court date and mail a copy of the form with the court date to the other side.
Go to your new court date
At your court date, the judge will decide if they will cancel the judgment. You will need to tell the judge why you didn't go to the court date.
If the judge agrees to cancel the decision, you may have a new trial that day or on another day.
If the judge decides to cancel the judgment, you may have a trial that same day or you may have it another day. To be ready, learn how to prepare for a small claims trial.