Change your small claims court date

You can ask to change your court date. This is sometimes called a continuance or postponement. 

Before you start 

Either side can ask for a new court date 

The person who started the case (the plaintiff) or the person they're suing (the defendant) can ask for a new court date. The judge will only give a new court date if there's a good reason. For example, if the plaintiff needs more time to serve the other side. Or, if the defendant needs more time to gather evidence.

Ask at least 10 days before the court date if possible

Generally, you can turn in a form to ask for a new court date and the court will make a decision and mail it to you. If the court date is less than 10 days away, though, you'll need to explain on the form why you waited so long to ask. If you wait too long, the judge won't have time to review your request before the court date. You'll need to go to your court date and ask in person.

How to ask to change your court date

  • Fill out and make copy of form

    Fill out a Request to Postpone Trial (Small Claims) (form SC-150) or write a letter to the court. Make a copy of the form for yourself and all the other people in your case. 

    Explain why you need to change the court date in detail. If you have proof about why you need to change the date, attach a copy. A change isn't automatic. You need to convince the judge that postponing your case is necessary.

    • example: You had a vacation booked before you knew there was a court case

      You can attach the email/tickets that show when the travel is and when the tickets were bought.

    • Example: you can't serve the defendant

      Describe in detail what you've done to try to find the defendant or, if you have a process server, ask them to explain.

    What if I'm feeling sick and the court date's today (or within the next few days)?
    If your court date's within the next few days and you're sick call your Small Claims Advisor or clerk's office to find out how your court wants you to handle it.
  • Serve your request

    Have someone 18 or over, not you or anyone else in your case, mail a copy of the Request or letter to the other side in your case. The person who mails the Request is your server.

    Have your server fill out and sign a Proof of Service by Mail (form SC-112A) for everyone they mailed a copy to. Make a copy of the Proof of Service for your records.

  • File Request and Proof of Service

    Attach the original Proof of Service to the original Request or letter. File these with the court.

    You may need to pay a $10.00 filing fee if you are:

    • A plaintiff
    • A defendant and were served on time with the Plaintiff's Claim

    There's no fee if this is your first request and you need more time to find an interpreter.

    What is served "on time"?

    You must pay the fee if you're a defendant and the Plaintiff's Claim (form SC-100 or SC-500) was already served on you on time.

    "On time" means the Plaintiff's Claim was served at least either

    • 15 days before your court date if you live in the same county as the court
    • 20 days before your court date if you live in another county
    • 25 days (or 30 days) before your court date if you were served by substituted service
  • Get decision from judge

    The court will mail you the judge's decision. Usually, the decision will be on an Order on Request to Postpone Trial (form SC-152). The court will send this notice to you and any one else in your case.

    • If the judge gives you a new court date, it will be on the Order or similar notice
    • If the judge doesn't postpone the trial, the trial will be on the date it's currently scheduled. The court will let you know why your request was denied on the Order
    • If you don't hear from the court, go to court on your scheduled trial date
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