As of October 1, 2012, the civil department of the Merrillville Town
Court will no longer accept new filings. All existing judgements will
Step by Step Procedure for Filing a Small Claim
Ask yourself, "Do I have a claim of action?"
- A claim may be sought for harm of damage to oneself or personal property and or real estate. Other examples include eviction and money owed for services rendered.
- A $3000.00 limit is placed on all claims.
Come to the Small Claims Court Office Located at Merrillville Town Hall, 7820 Broadway, Merrillville, IN and file a notice of claim form.
- 1 original and 5 copies of the notice of claim form must include all parties names and addresses clearly stated, the nature of your claim and all supporting documentation which prove your claim of action.
- If your claim is due to a breach of a written contract/agreement, you must provide a copy of the contract/agreement.
- The small claims filing fee is currently $44.00 and must be paid at the time of filing.
- Once the notice of claim is filled out and the filing fee is paid, the clerk of the Small Claims Court will assign you a court date and notify all parties to which the action is filed.
Prior the the court date, you may attempt to negotiate your matter without court intervention.
- Should your attempts prove to be positive, you may request a continuance or a dismissal of your Small Claims Hearing date.
Pre-trial decisions may be made, by either party, in efforts to secure a fair hearing.
At the Small Claims Trial you must be aware of your responsibilities.
- Any and all documentation and/or material that support your claim, that were not provided at the time of your filing your notice of claim, must be brought with you at this time.
- Be aware that the Defendant may also bring him/her supporting documentation to fight your claim.
- It will be your responsibility to prove this claim through your evidence. Remember both liability (wrongdoing) and damages must be proven by you in order to win your case.
At of after the Small Claims Trial
- A Judgment, in your favor, could be awarded at the time of hearing of the Judge could make his/her determination at a later date.
- Regardless of the determination date, all parties will be notified of same, in writing, by United States Mail, First Class.
- Should the defendant fail to appear at this Trial, a Default Judgment (automatic judgment to Plaintiff for Defendant's failure to appear at Trial) may be entered against the Defendant.
Be Aware that a post-trial decision (appeal by plaintiff/defendant can be made after the trail date. Should the defendant fail to appear at the first trial, the judge may, at his own discretion, may set aside the default judgment and set the matter for hearing on same.
How to collect your Judgment.
- Should the Defendant fail to compensate you, per Court Order, you may proceed to file a motion for proceedings Supplemental and a Hearing on same will be conducted. The Court will issue the Defendant an Order to Appear at this hearing, and the Defendant will have to explain why he has failed to compensate you.
- Should the Defendant fail to appear at this hearing, a Contempt Citation may be issued at the Judge's discretion.
- The Defendant failure to appear at the Contempt Citation Hearing may result in a bench warrant being issued by the Judge.
- The form to file Motion for Proceedings Supplemental and Contempt Citation can be obtained at the place of filing the notice of Claim.