Shelby County Small Claims
The rules have changed regarding service. In the past the Clerk sent service via either certified mail or the Sheriff's Department and the Sheriff's fees were paid to the Clerk of the Court. Effective July 1, 2016, the filer
is responsible for service. Once the Clerk has processed the summons and/or complaint and/or proceeding supplemental, it will be returned to the filer. The filer will then decide what type of service will be attempted under Rules 4-5 of the Indiana Rules of Trial Procedure.
If the filer decides to use certified or registered mail, the filer shall ensure that all return documents have the Shelby County Clerk's address (407 S. Harrison Street, Shelbyville, IN 46716) on them. Upon mailing, the filer shall complete a Certificate of Issuance of Summons
and return it to the Clerk.
If the filer decides to have documents served by Sheriff, the filer shall deliver three (3) sets of the documents to be served, along with $25 cash (exact-no change provided) or at $25 attorney trust account check to the Shelby County Sheriff's Department 107 W. Taylor Street, Shelbyville, IN 46176 Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 4:00 pm. Monday-Friday.
If the filer desires to personally serve the Defendant, the filer must complete a Return of Service
and return it to the Clerk. If the filer leaves a copy, but doesn't personally serve the Defendant, the filer must also sent a copy of the summons and complaint/pleading/proceeding supplemental to the Defendant via United States Mail per the trial rules.
Unless the plaintiff is a corporation seeking more than $1,500 one does not have to be an attorney to file a small claim. A Small Claims Litigant’s Handbook is available here
or at the court. Small claims rules can be found at http://www.in.gov/judiciary/rules/small_claims/
A claim must be filed in the county where the transaction or occurrence took place, where the obligation was incurred, or where the defendant resides or has his/her place of employment. In additional to State law, plaintiffs should ensure they are in compliance with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Court costs must be paid in advance. The court may order the defendant may pay court costs if the plaintiff wins the case.
The court cannot award more than $6,000 in a small claims action. $1,500 is the limit for corporations represented by someone other than an attorney.
If the claim is on an account or contract, an affidavit of debt for the account or a copy of the contract must be filed with the claim. Give the clerk two copies of the affidavit or contract, one for the file and one for the Defendant. Keep the original for trial. Explain on the complaint if you don't have a copy of the contract.
If an agreement to resolve the case is reached before trial, either dismiss the case or file an Agreed Judgment with the court. The Agreed Judgment must be signed by both the Plaintiff and the Defendant. The court has Agreed Judgment forms to use.
Be on time for trial. The claim may be dismissed or judgment may be entered against an absent party.
Requests to continue the trial by either party must be received by the court at least 2 business days before the trial date. Continuances are not granted by telephone.
Bring to trial all documents, photos, etc that you wish to submit concerning this claim. Written lists of damages with written explanations are very helpful to the court.
The court will not consider exhibits displayed solely on electronic devices so print out documents and photos. The clerk will furnish subpoenas if requested.
The Court will conduct a contested trial on the first trial setting so both parties should be prepared to go forward. Notify the court at least business two days in advance
if the trial will take more than 1/2 hour.
An appeal must be initiated within 30 days of the entry of judgment. Appeals are complicated. An attorney should be consulted regarding an appeal.
The Defendant must file any counterclaim with the Clerk in time to be mailed and received by the Plaintiff at least 7 calendar days before the trial date
Plaintiff waives the right to trial by jury by filing a small claim. The Defendant may, within 10 days following service of the Notice of Claim, demand a trial by jury in writing, specifying that the demand is made in good faith, and supplying the affidavit required by Indiana Code 33-29-2-7. The Defendant must pay the difference in filing fees to the Clerk’s office at the time of the jury request.