What follows is a brief but informative summary of rules, procedures, and filings requirements for small claims court in Montana. 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 $3,000.

Where Suit May Be Brought: Case may be brought where the defendant resides. Contract cases may be brought where the performance expected.

Proper Manner of Service of Process upon Defendant: Service may be made by Sheriff or constable. (Justice court only: disinterested adult).

How the Hearing Date Is Selected: District Court 10-30 days from filing of claim. Justice Court 10-40 days.

Attorney Representation Rule: Not allowed, unless all sides represented by attorneys.

Special Provisions Regarding Transfer or Jurisdiction of Cases: District Court There is no provision. Justice Court If defendant files notice within 10 days of receipt of complaint, the case shall be tried under regular civil procedure of Court.

Availability of Appeals: Allowed by either party within 30 days (from Justice or City Court to District Court) for new trial. Within ten days (from Small Claims Court to Justice or District Court) on law, not facts.

Special Rules and Notes: A jury trial is available to the defendant unless a counterclaim is filed. The right to sue may not be transferred or assigned. No personal injury or property damage cases are allowed. Plaintiffs are restricted to a limit of ten claims a year. Defendant’s counterclaim of up to $2500 arising out of the same transaction or occurrence must be served on plaintiff at least 72 hours before the hearing date.

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