How to support your Claim of Exemption

You can give the judge more information and any proof you have to support your Claim of Exemption. This is called a reply. Doing this is optional. 


You must file a reply at least 5 court days before your court date.

How to provide more support for your Claim

  • Write your reply

    A reply (statement, declaration, or affidavit) is your written side of the story with facts and proof about what you’re saying.
    You can use a Declaration (form MC-30) to write your reply. If you need more space, use Attached Declaration (form MC-031). 

  • Attach any proof

    You can attach other papers to the Declaration that prove what you’re saying. Examples:

    • Paystubs or other paperwork to prove how much you make and who pays you
    • Bills - to show expenses 
    • Bank statements - especially for a bank levy, showing account activity and source of deposits at least one month before the levy. If your deposits were not direct-deposited into your account, you may need other paperwork, like paystubs, to show who deposited into the account.

    Be sure to black-out any account numbers on the paperwork.

  • Make copies

    Make 3 copies of your Declaration and any attachments.

  • File your Declaration

    File the original and 3 copies with the court. Keep 1 filed copy for yourself. The other you need to have served on the other side.

  • Serve your Declaration

    Once you've filled out your Declaration, you must share it with the other side in your case. You do this using a court process called service, or serving papers. This means another adult, not you or anyone else in your case, mails (or hands) the other side the papers. This person is your server.

    The serve must mail the forms at least 5 court days before your court date. A court day is a day the court is open, Monday through Friday, not including holidays.

    After your server mails the form, they must fill out and sign a Proof of Service form. The server will fill out a Proof of Service (form SC-112A).

  • File Proof of Service

    • Make 1 copy of the filled out Proof of Service.
    • File the original and copy with the court clerk.
    • Keep a filed copy for yourself.

Small claims collections

What's next?

After you've filed and served your Declaration, you'll go to your court date. If your court uses tentative rulings, call the court or check the court's website the day before the court date to see what the judge’s decision will be.

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