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District Court

Small Claims Hearing Procedure

FIRST APPEARANCE

At the hearing, the Plaintiff and Defendant will testify and call witnesses to testify, and present exhibits for the court to consider. Although the small claims judge has the authority to seek out evidence on his own, this is seldom done, and the court usually relies on the evidence produced by the parties.

All evidence must be marked prior to the day of trial.

The term appearance means personal appearance of the party involved. Personal appearance of a party is always more desirable. Affidavits or written statements do carry equal weight to personal appearance.

CONTINUANCES

Occasionally it is necessary for a case to be continued (postponed). Requests for continuance must be made in writing, detail the reason for the request, be signed by the party requesting it, and be served (delivered) to the other party as well as filed with the clerk at least five (5) days in advance of the scheduled hearing date (except in life threatening or similar emergency). You must ask for the continuance as soon as facts requiring the continuance become known to you. The request may not be granted, so check with the clerk for the court decision on the request.