Dispute Resolution Services assists those involved with Small Claims matters in San Joaquin County. The SJCBA cannot provide legal advice, but it can answer many basic questions, including how to file a case and the forms to use. Email or call the office, or attend a monthly Small Claims Clinic.
Before filing a claim, you must ask the other party (the defendant) for the money. This is called a “demand” and it can be done either in writing or orally.
A form called “SC-100” must be completed by you to start a Small Claims case. Once the SC-100 form is filled out, take it to the correct courthouse to file it with the court clerk. When it is filed, the court clerk gives you a hearing date; that is the day when you and the other party will appear before the judge to have your case decided. Before the hearing date you must have the defendant "served", which means you must properly notify the other party that they are being sued in Small Claims court and include the date of the hearing. Once they have been served, you will get a “Proof of Service” form.
Second Thursday of Each Month