Time limits for filing a claim
Before filing your case, be sure that the time limit for doing so has not expired (statute of limitations). You cannot file your case after the statute of limitations have expired. The time limit begins for a contract case when the contract is breached (or broken) and for a personal injury or property damage case when the injury or damage occurs. Listed below are the most common statutes of limitations for different kinds of cases.
2 years – personal injury; damage to personal property.
4 years – contract for the sale of goods (whether written or oral).
6 years – accounts; oral contracts other than the sale of goods; rent and landlord-tenant disputes; damage to real estate; promissory notes and written contracts for payment of money.
Venue- where to file
Small claim rules provide that the proper county for a small claim case is:
1. Where the transaction or occurrence actually took place; or
2. Where the obligation or debt was incurred; or
3. Where the obligation was to be performed; or
4. Where the Defendant currently lives; or
5. Where the Defendant has his or her place of employment at the time the cased is filed.
Marion County must meet one of the above requirements in order to be the proper county for venue. If there are several counties that qualify under the above requirements, then you as the Plaintiff may file suit in the qualifying county of your choice.
Preparing your claim
The burden is on you to prepare for your claim or counterclaim before trial and to bring any evidence, including witnesses, which will help you prove your case. For example, you should bring the original contract, a copy of the rental lease, damaged goods if not too cumbersome, repair bills, doctor bills, receipts, photographs of damaged property, and copies of ledgers. Remember, the Judge knows nothing about your case and must make the decision solely on the basis of the evidence presented at trial. If there are witnesses who have direct and personal knowledge of your case, and you expect them to testify for you, be sure they know the time and place of the trial. If they are reluctant to appear at trial, you can require them to appear with a subpoena. The Clerk will provide you with a blank subpoena for you to complete. Requests for subpoenas should be made at the earliest possible date. Having exhibits and witnesses are the sole responsibility of the parties.
File a Claim
The Claim Form must be filled out completely in order to process your claim. With the submission of your claim, you must submit the proper filing fee and costs for service to the Court at:
MARION COUNTY SMALL CLAIMS COURT
4455 McCoy Street, Suite 200
Indianapolis, Indiana 46226
(317) 545-1662 – Fax
The effective day of the filing of your claim will be deemed the date the Court receives the filing fee and service costs. We will not process your claim until all filing fees have been paid.
Include a self stamped envelope, to send you a copy of your claim with the cause
number and court date. The fee for filing a Notice of Claim is $101.00 (fee increases without notice, contact the court to verify the fee).