What follows is a brief but informative summary of rules, procedures, and filings requirements for small claims court in Minnesota. Keep in mind that rules and laws change. It’s always a good idea to confirm the rules with the court or with further research.
Maximum Jurisdictional Dollar Amount: The maximum dollar amount is $7,500, but only $4,000 in cases involving a commercial consumer credit transaction.
Where Suit May Be Brought: Cases should be brought where the defendant resides or where injury or property damage occurred. A corporation is deemed to reside where it does business or has a resident agent.
Proper Manner of Service of Process upon Defendant: Service may be made by First class mail (certified mail if claim exceeds $2,500), sheriff or court-approved adult.
Attorney Representation Rule: Attorneys are not allowed except with court’s permission. Attorney representation is required for corporations.
Special Provisions Regarding Transfer or Jurisdiction of Cases: By either side on jury demand or if defendant counterclaims for more than $3,500, the case shall be tried under regular civil procedure of County Court.
Availability of Appeals: Either litigant may appeal for a new trial to regular division of County Court within 20 days. (Jury trial permitted upon appeal).
Special Rules and Notes: In Minnesota, Small Claims is known as Conciliation Court.
Disputes about ownership of real estate are not allowed. Libel or slander cases are not allowed. Medical malpractice claims are not allowed. Jury trials are not available. No pre-trial attachments or garnishments are allowed. A defendant must file counterclaim within 5 days of the trial date.
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Michael Spadaccini is the author of 8 books on self-help legal matters such as, Ultimate LLC Compliance Guide: Covers All 50 States (Ultimate Series), Ultimate Book of Forming Corps, LLCs, Partnerships & Sole Proprietorships, and Ultimate Guide to Forming an LLC in Any State, Second Edition (Ultimate Series).
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