Before you start
There are online programs to fill out the forms
You have choices for filling out the forms to start a small claims case:
- Use an app. For a free app that asks you questions and fills out the forms for you, go to Guide & File. Set up an account so the app will save your work. Then answer the questions, and at the end, you can print out the forms to start your case.
- By hand or as a fillable form online. You can either fill them out on your device (they’re fillable PDF files) and print them out or print them out and write on them.
If you need help
- Review the Information for the Small Claim's Plaintiff (form SC-100-INFO)
- Contact a Small Claims Advisor. Most courts have a Small Claims Advisor, someone who gives free legal information about small claims cases. The type of services they offer varies by court.
How to fill out forms to start a small claims case
Fill out forms
You must fill out:
- Plaintiff's Claim and Order to Go to Small Claims Court (form SC-100)
This form tells the court who you are, who you're suing, why, how much you are suing for, and why you're suing in this county.
On this form, you
- List the proper legal name of the person or business you're suing (called the Defendant). If you don't, you might not be able to collect the money if you win. Learn how to name the Defendant.
- Write the court address where you'll file the forms. And, check the box with a legal reason you can sue in that county. Find out where you can sue and get the court address.
Find out if there are any local forms to complete
Some courts have additional local forms they require you to use.
Contact your court clerk’s office, check your court’s website, or talk to the Small Claims Advisor to ask if they have any local forms you need to use.
Fill out and attach other forms
In some cases, you need to fill out and attach other forms to form SC-100.
If you need more space to add other Plaintiffs or are suing more Defendants, also fill out:
- Other Plaintiffs or Defendants (Attachment to Plaintiff's Claim and ORDER to Go to Small Claims Court) (form SC-100A)
This form gives you more space to provide the information of other people or businesses.
If you are a business with a Fictitious Business Name, also fill out:
- Fictitious Business Name (Small Claims) (form SC-103)
This form tells the court and other side about your business Fictitious Business Name.
If you are suing about an attorney fee dispute that went to arbitration, also fill out:
- Attorney Fee Dispute (After Arbitration) (Attachment to Plaintiff's Claim and ORDER to Go to Small Claims Court) (form SC-101)
This tells the court that the case is about an attorney fee dispute for less than $5,000 and that you went to arbitration.
Make copies of your forms
Make 1 copy for you and 1 copy for each person, business, or agency you’re suing. So you’ll have the original and at least 2 copies.
After you've filled out and made copies of your forms, you will need to file them with the court.