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Small Claims

This page has information to help you if you are suing someone in small claims court or being sued. Which one applies to you?

Information for People Suing Someone (Plaintiffs)

Follow the steps below to sue someone in small claims. Click on one of the headings for details.

You can only sue someone to get money in small claims cases. You cannot ask the court to order the other person to do something (like give back property). The most you can ask for is $15,000. That amount includes lawyer fees, but does not include court costs or interest. 

Utah Code Section 78A-8-102

You cannot sue a government agency or sue to evict someone. You might want advice if your case doesn’t fit these limits. See our Finding Legal Help page to learn more.

Utah Code 63G-7-201, and 78A-8-102.


Is your case about a car accident?
Keep reading for more details. If not, skip to step 2.  

If someone damaged your property (like your car) in a car accident, you can also sue for injuries. If you sue for injuries you can either:

  • Sue for injuries in the same small claims case, or

  • File a separate case for injuries

Utah Code 78A-8-102.


If you file two cases, one case does not decide the other. You could win property but lose injury.

If you file two cases, only ask for property damage in the property case. Don't ask for more property damage in the injury case.

Small claims cases are usually filed in a justice court (except in Cache County, where you file in district court).  You have two options for where to file:

  • where the defendant lives, or 

  • where the events happened

Are you suing a business? Most businesses must register with the Department of Commerce. You can use their Business Search to find where a business “lives.” This tells you which court to file in. You can also find out how to serve them (read more in Step 4 below). 

Are you suing a skilled worker and do not know their address? A skilled worker is someone like a dentist, a contractor, or a beautician. Many skilled workers must also register with the Department of Commerce. Find links and search for people registered in those occupations.

How to find the right justice court
You need to file in the right justice court. File in the:

  • City or town justice court if they have one, and

  • County justice court, if no city or town court, and

  • District court if no county court (only Cache County has none) 

Use the court directory to find the right justice court.

Some cities and counties use another city or county’s justice court. If yours does, it means there is no courthouse in your city or county, but the court still exists legally. This affects where you file. 

Use this table to see which cities and counties share courts, and where to file.

If you would normally file in...   File here instead
Apple Valley
Washington County Justice Court
Brian HeadIron County Justice Court
Brigham CityBox Elder County Justice Court
Cedar CityIron County Justice Court
CenterfieldSanpete County Justice Court
Cottonwood HeightsHolladay Municipal Justice Court
EnochIron County Justice Court
FarmingtonDavis County Justice Court
Fruit HeightsDavis County Justice Court
GlendaleOrderville Municipal Justice Court
HooperRoy Municipal Justice Court
HuntsvilleUintah-Huntsville Justice Court
IvinsSanta Clara Municipal Justice Court
La VerkinHurricane Municipal Justice Court
Marriott-SlatersvilleWashington Terrace Municipal Justice Court
MayfieldSanpete County Justice Court
MendonNibley Municipal Justice Court
ParadiseHyrum Municipal Justice Court
PerryBox Elder County Justice Court
PriceCarbon County Justice Court
RockvilleWashington County Justice Court
SpringdaleWashington County Justice Court
St. GeorgeWashington County Justice Court
SunnysideCarbon County East Precinct Justice Court
VirginWashington County Justice Court
WalesSanpete County Justice Court
Weber CountyRoy Municipal Justice Court
WendoverTooele County Justice Court
West BountifulNorth Salt Lake Justice Court
West HavenRoy Municipal Justice Court


Once you know where to file, go to step 3. 

Choose the right forms.

First, figure out if your court is using Online Dispute Resolution (ODR). ODR lets you try to resolve your case on your own time using your phone or computer. This table lists courts using ODR. 

Alpine Justice Court 

Box Elder County Justice Court 

Carbon County Justice Court 

Clearfiled Justice Court 

Delta City Justice Court 

Duchesne County Justice Court 

East Carbon Justice Court 

Emery County Justice Court 

Fillmore City Justice Court 

Genola Justice Court

Goshen Justice Court

Grand County Justice Court 

Heber City Justice Court 

Highland Justice Court 

Holladay Justice Court 

Iron County Justice Court 

Juab County Justice Court 

Lehi Justice Court 

Lindon Justice Court 

Millard County Justice Court 

Morgan Justice Court 

Murray Justice Court 

Nephi City Justice Court 

Orem City Justice Court 

Ogden Justice Court 

Payson Justice Court 

Provo City Justice Court

 

Salt Lake City Justice Court 

Salt Lake County Justice Court

Sandy City Justice Court 

Santaquin Justice Court 

South Salt Lake Justice Court 

Sunset Justice Court 

Taylorsville Justice Court 

Utah County Justice Court 

Wasatch County Justice Court 

Washington County Justice Court 

Wellington Justice Court 

West Jordan Justice Court 

West Valley City Justice Court 

 

If your court is using ODR, fill out these forms:

  • 1024XX
  • 3001SC

If you can’t use ODR because of a disability, no internet access, or you don’t speak English, you can ask for a trial and skip ODR. File this form along with the forms above:

  • 3006SC

After filling out your forms, file them with the justice court.

 

If your court does NOT use ODR, fill out these forms:

  • 1024XX
  • 1025XX

After filling out your forms, file them with the justice court. There is a filing fee (check the cover sheet for the amount). If you cannot afford the fee you can ask for a fee waiver.

Once you have filed, go to step 4.

When you file your papers, the clerk will process them and then give them back to you with a case number. You must have the papers served on the defendant. Keep a copy of everything you serve for your records.

If your case is not using ODR, you must have the defendant served at least 30 days before the trial.

Rule of Small Claims Procedure 3.

Once you have had the papers served, file proof of service with the court. Then go to next steps. 

Here is what happens after you file:

  • The court emails you a password for ODR and a link. The court will use the email on your affidavit and summons
  • Visit odr.utcourts.gov and click “Login”

    • If you did not receive your password, click “Forgot/Reset password?”

  • You must log in within 7 days of filing or your case will be dismissed

After you log in, wait. The defendant has 14 days after being served to log in. The day they were served is day 0 and the next day is day 1. 

If the defendant logs in, a court facilitator will talk to you both to help try to resolve your case. They may ask you questions. You, the defenedant, and the facilitator will all communicate via chat. One person can send messages while you are logged out. You will receive an email or a text messages that will tell you to log in when there are new messages. 

If the defendant does not log in, you can ask for a default judgment. This means asking the court to rule in your favor based on your Affidavit. Use these forms:

  • 1352GE
  • 2011SC
  • 2012SC

Utah Supreme Court Standing Order No. 13. 

 

If you come to an agreement, the ODR facilitator will write a settlement agreement.

If there is no agreement, your case will be scheduled for a trial. Be sure to attend or you will lose your case automatically. Bring all evidence and explain why you should win. Read about Going to Court to help you prepare.

When preparing, you might need someone to testify or give you documents. You can make someone testify or give you documents by having them served with a subpoena. Read our page on subpoenas for more information.

You can ask to change the trial date if you have a good reason. File these papers:

  • 1037XX
  • 1038XX

If the court grants your request, they will tell the other party. 

Rule of Small Claims Procedure 6.

When you file, your case will be scheduled for a trial. Be sure to attend or you will lose your case automatically. Bring all evidence and explain why you should win. Read about Going to Court to help you prepare.

When preparing, you might need someone to testify or give you documents. You can make someone testify or give you documents by having them served with a subpoena. Read our page on subpoenas for more information.

You can ask to change the trial date if you have a good reason. File these papers:

If the court grants your request, they will tell the other party. 

Rule of Small Claims Procedure 6.

If you came to an agreement either in ODR or before your trial, you can ask for help from the court in enforcing your settlement. Follow these steps.

Step 1 - file these forms

File your papers with the justice court where your case was originally filed.

  • 1033XX
  • 1034XX

Step 2 - serve the other party

Serve the other party with the papers you file.

Step 3 - attend the hearing

When you file, the court will schedule a hearing. Be sure to attend.

If the court rules in your favor, you might get a judgment. Read about How to Collect a Judgment

If you go to trial the judge will usually decide who wins immediatly. If not, they have 60 days to tell you what they decide.

If you win, the defendant has to pay you. If they do not, see our page on How to Collect a Judgment

If you lose and think the judge made a mistake in your case, you can file an appeal. You must do this within 28 days of the judgment. Fill out these forms:

  • 1044XX
  • 1045XX

Then file the forms with the court that issued the judgment. The court will charge fees for the appeal.  

The court will send your paperwork to the nearest district court within the same judicial district. The district court will schedule a trial. What happened in the first trial will not control what happens in the new trial. Bring all of your evidence and be prepared to explain why you should win. 

If you win, the judge might tell you to prepare the order. Use this form:

  • 1040XX

Utah Rule of Small Claims Procedure 12

If you miss your trial, your case could be dismissed. If the other side filed a counterclaim, a judgment may be entered against you. 

You can ask to undo the judgment or dismissal. You must ask within 15 days after the judgment or dismissal was entered. If it has been more than 15 days, you must explain your delay. 

File these forms to ask the court to undo the dismissal or judgment:

  • 1042XX
  • 1043XX

The court will schedule a hearing. Make sure you attend. 

Information for People Being Sued (Defendants)

If you received an Affidavit and Summons for a small claims case, read it carefully to know what to do. What does your summons say?

ODR means Online Dispute Resolution.

Go to odr.utcourts.gov and click “Get Started” 

You must register within 14 days or you will lose automatically.

If you have problems registering, email odr@utcourts.gov

If you have a disability, no internet, or don’t speak English, you can ask the court to be excused from ODR. File this form:

  • 3006SC

After you log in, there are 2 possibilities:

  • the plaintiff has already logged in.  If they have logged in, a court facilitator will talk to you both to help try to resolve your case. They may ask you questions. You, the plaintiff, and the facilitator will all communicate via chat. One person can send messages while you are logged out. You will receive an email or a text messages that will tell you to log in when there are new messages. 
    • If you come to an agreement, the ODR facilitator will write a settlement agreement.
    • If there is no agreement, your case will be scheduled for a trial before a judge. Be sure to attend or you will lose your case automatically. Bring all evidence and explain why you should win. Read about Going to Court to help you prepare.
      • When preparing, you might need someone to testify or give you documents. You can require someone to testify or give you documents by having them served with a subpoena. Read our page on subpoenas for more information.
  • the plaintiff has not logged in yet.  If the plaintiff has not logged in yet, look to see when your papers were filed with the court. The plaintiff has 7 days from the date they file to log in. If they have not logged in yet, you can file a motion asking the court to dismiss the case. See our page on motions for forms and guidance. 

Utah Supreme Court Standing Order No. 13

You might have other options. Scroll down to "what are my other options" to learn more.

If the summons has a trial date, be sure to attend or you will lose your case automatically. Bring all evidence and explain why you should win. Read about Going to Court to help you prepare.

When preparing, you might need someone to testify or give you documents. You can require someone to testify or give you documents by having them served with a subpoena. Read our page on subpoenas for more information.the plaintiff has not logged in yet. 

You might have other options. Scroll down to "what are my other options" to learn more.

If you want, you can sue the plaintiff back, saying they are owe you money. There are some limits to small claims:

  • You can only sue someone to get money in small claims cases. You cannot ask the court to order the other person to do something (like give back property). The most you can ask for is $15,000. That amount includes lawyer fees, but does not include court costs or interest.
    Utah Code Section 78A-8-102
  • You cannot sue a government agency or sue to evict someone. You might want advice if your case doesn’t fit these limits. See our Finding Legal Help page to learn more.
    Utah Code 63G-7-201, and 78A-8-102.


Fill out these forms:

  • 1024XX
  • 1031XX

After filling out your forms, file them with the justice court where your case was filed. There is a filing fee (check the cover sheet for the amount). If you cannot afford the fee you can ask for a fee waiver.

Once you file, serve the papers on the plaintiff.

If you go to trial, the court will consider your claims at that point.

You can ask to change the trial date if you have a good reason. File these papers:

  • 1037XX
  • 1038XX

If the court grants your request, they will tell the other party. 

Rule of Small Claims Procedure 6.

District courts handle bigger cases. If you want a jury trial, your case will move there. You must do this within 15 days of getting your papers.

Follow these steps:

  1. Find the closest district court that is in the same judicial district. Use the court directory. File in the court closest to you in the same district.
  2. File this form with the district court: 1030XX
  3. Pay the $250 jury fee to the district court. 
  4. File this form with the justice court: 1028XX

The justice court will send its records to the district court. Ask the district court about scheduling.

After removal, district court rules apply - not small claims rules. 

Utah Rule of Small Claims Procedure 4A

 

When preparing, you may need someone to testify or provide documents. You can make them testify or provide documents with a subpoena. Read our subpoena page.

If you had to register for ODR, there are special rules that apply. You and the person suing you (the plaintiff) must talk with a facilitator to try to settle your case. If the plaintiff does not after 10 days, you can ask the court to dismiss the case. This means you win. But the plaintiff can sue again later if theey want. 

If you want to the case dismissed, follow the steps below.

Fill out these forms:

  • 2021SC
  • 2022SC 

After filling out your forms, file them with the justice court listed on your court papers. 

Once you file, serve the papers on the plaintiff.

If the court schdules a hearing, be sure to attend.

If you came to an agreement either in ODR or before your trial, you can ask for help from the court in enforcing your settlement. Follow these steps.

Step 1 - file these forms

File your papers with the justice court where your case was originally filed.

  • 1033XX
  • 1034XX

Step 2 - serve the other party

Serve the other party with the papers you file.

Step 3 - attend the hearing

When you file, the court will schedule a hearing. Be sure to attend.

If the court rules in your favor, you might get a judgment. Read about How to Collect a Judgment

If you go to trial the judge will usually decide who wins immediatly. If not, they have 60 days to tell you what they decide.

If you filed a counterclaim and you won, the plaintiff might have to pay you. If they do not pay, see our page on How to Collect a Judgment

If you lose and think the judge made a mistake in your case, you can file an appeal. You must do this within 28 days of the judgment. Fill out these forms:

  • 1044XX
  • 1045XX

Then file the forms with the court that issued the judgment. The court will charge fees for the appeal.  

The court will send your paperwork to the nearest district court within the same judicial district. The district court will schedule a trial. What happened in the first trial will not control what happens in the new trial. Bring all of your evidence and be prepared to explain why you should win. 

The court will schedule a new trial. What happened in the first trial will not control what happens in the new trial. Bring all of your evidence and be prepared to explain why you should win. 

If you win, the judge might tell you to prepare the order. Use this form:

  • 1040XX

Utah Rule of Small Claims Procedure 12

If you missed your trial, a judgment may be entered against you. 

You can ask to undo the judgment. You must ask within 15 days after judgment was entered. If it has been more than 15 days, you must explain your delay. 

File these forms to ask the court to undo the judgment:

  • 1042XX
  • 1043XX

The court will schedule a hearing. Make sure you attend.