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IOWA SMALL CLAIMS PRIMER


What is small claims court?

Small claims is a simple court process for resolving civil disputes involving small amounts of money. Applicable Iowa laws may be found in Iowa Code chapter 631.

What kinds of cases are heard in small claims court?

A small claims case is a civil action for a money judgment in which the amount of damages is $6,500 or less. An action for forcible entry and detainer arising out of a landlord tenant dispute can be brought in small claims court. In small claims court, cases are tried before a judge, not a jury.

How do I start a small claims case?

To begin a small claims case, review the instructions for self-represented litigants filing small claims actions. You will then electronically file the appropriate small claims Original Notice form and pay the $95 filing fee. The official forms to use in Iowa small claims cases are available free of charge. You may have an additional cost for having the petition served on the other party. Once you have filed the Original Notice and paid the filing fees and other associated fees, you have started your case. You must file electronically unless you get permission from the court to file in paper. The official forms to use in Iowa small claims cases are available free of charge on the Iowa Courts website.


Make sure you hire a professional Process Server to serve all legal documents to avoid any problems later in your small claims case. Atlas Legal and Process Service is here to help you in all phases of your small claims case.

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