88-2 District Court General Civil Division
General Civil Lawsuits filed in the General Civil Division of the District Court usually involve attorneys and/or claims up to $25,000.00. It begins when the Plaintiff files the Summons and Complaint. The Summons and Complaint includes a caption that identifies the parties, the list of facts that give rise to the Plaintiff's claims and a request for relief (an award of money).
Before filing the Summons/Complaint, you must also decide whether you want the case set for trial before the Judge or a trial by jury. If you select a jury trial, a jury demand fee of $50.00 must be paid in addition to your filing fee.
Once the case is filed, the Plaintiff has the Defendant served with a copy of the Summons and Complaint. There are no process servers through our courthouse. All paper service may be served through Court approved process servers listed below (list coming soon) or the Montmorency County Sheriff's Department. You may also serve the defendant by certified/restricted mail.
After the defendant is served, they must file an Answer with the court within twenty-one (21) days from the date of being served the Complaint (twenty-eight (28) days if the defendant was served by mail). Answer forms also can be obtained from the District Court window.
Once the answer is filed with the Court, the Court Clerk will then set the matter for a pretrial conference with the Judge. A pretrial is a court appearance before a District Court Judge where he will briefly discuss the relevant issues in the case and see if a settlement can be reached. If a settlement cannot be reached, the Judge will set a specific time for discovery (procedures used to ascertain facts) and set a trial date.
At a trial, both parties are given ample opportunities to present their case. Either Plaintiff or Defendant may subpoena witnesses to testify on their behalf.
Upon the conclusion of the trial, the Judge will render a decision (or a jury if a jury trial was conducted). Either party has the right to appeal the decision to Circuit Court.
For a link to General Civil forms click here.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013 8:01 AM