Small Claims Court is a division of district court. Small Claims Court is a less formal court process than district court. However, there is no right to a jury trial and Small Claims Court decisions cannot be appealed.
Overview of Starting a Small Claims Court Action
A claim may be brought in Small Claims Court if:
- You want to recover money and the amount you want to recover is $15,000.00 or less; OR
- You want to cancel an agreement that involved material fraud, deception, misrepresentation, or false promise, and the amount of the agreement is $15,000.00 or less." AND
- No more than six years has passed since the date of the debt or date of the last payment.
To start a Small Claims Court action, the Plaintiff completes the Claim Affidavit (Form 2) and files it with the clerk of court.
Then, the Plaintiff arranges for service of a copy of the completed Claim Affidavit and five (5) other forms from the Small Claims Court packet on the Defendant. The Plaintiff files the completed Affidavit of Mailing/Personal Service (Form 6) with the clerk of court.
When the Defendant is served a copy of the completed Claim Affidavit, the Defendant has twenty (20) days to do one of the following:
- Request a hearing in Small Claims Court (Form 3);
- Move the entire case to District Court, where it becomes a district court civil action (Form 3).
If the Defendant requests a hearing in Small Claims Court, the Defendant has the option of also filing one or both of the following before the date of the hearing:
- File a written answer (Form 4).
- File a counterclaim against the Plaintiff (Form 4).
If the Defendant does nothing and twenty (20) days from service passes, the Small Claims Court may order a default judgment in the Plaintiff’s favor.
Forms and Guides for Small Claims Court
Forms are not available for every legal issue or circumstance. If you do not find the form on this website, the form is not available through the North Dakota Legal Self Help Center. You may need to create your own legal documents.
Small Claims Court Forms Packet:
Review the forms and instructions carefully! Follow the instructions for the packet and for the individual form.
The forms and instructions can be printed out and handwritten, if desired. You can fill in the blanks of the forms listed below by typing in the requested information on your computer keyboard. Print out each form when you complete your work. The form will clear when you close it.
- Form 1 – Small Claims Court Information
- Form 2 – Claims Affidavit
- Form 3 – Defendant’s Request for Hearing/Removal to District Court
- Form 4 – Defendant’s Answer/Counterclaim
- Form 5 – Affidavit of Mailing/Personal Service – Defendant’s Counterclaim
- Form 6 – Affidavit of Mailing/Personal Service –Plaintiff’s Claim Affidavit
- Form 7 – North Dakota Small Claims Court Act
- Form 8 – Affidavit of Identification of Judgment Debtor
- Form 9 – Satisfaction of Judgment
- Form 10 - Notice of Entry of Judgment
Small Claims Court Forms 1 through 10 and their instructions can be printed out and handwritten. Use blue or black ink and make sure your handwriting is readable.
Small Claims Court Guides:
- Preparing for a Small Claims Court Hearing
- Judgment Collection for the Winning Party (Judgment Creditor)
- Judgment Collection for the Losing Party (Judgment Debtor)
Selected Statutes (Laws) & Rules
- North Dakota Century Code Chapter 27-08.1: Small Claims Court Act
- Rule 10.2 of the North Dakota Rules of Court: Small Claims Court
Following are other resources related to Small Claims Court proceedings that may be of interest.
- Legal Research Resources for Answering a Small Claims Court Case (Flickertale, April 2020, Pages 12-13)
If you do not understand any of this information, or if you have trouble filling out any of the forms located here, please see an attorney for help.
The information provided on and obtained from this site does not constitute the official record of the Court. This information is provided as a service to the general public. Any user of this information is hereby advised that it is being provided "as is". The information provided may be subject to errors or omissions. Visitors to this site agree that the Court is not liable for errors or omissions of any of the information provided.
If you have a question relating to a case that is already filed please contact the clerk of court for the county.