California small claims court is a special court in which disputes are resolved quickly and inexpensively. The legal claims are limited to disputes of up to $10,000 for individuals, and $5,000 for corporations, partnerships, and similar business entitles.
An important aspect of initiating a small claims court cause of action is serving the required legal documents on the named defendant(s). The defendant must be given sufficient “notice” of the lawsuit asserted against him or her.
Read or to learn how to serve small claims court legal documents on the defendant and why you should use Direct Legal Support, Inc. for your process serving needs.
How to Serve Small Claims Court Legal Documents
The plaintiff in a California small claims lawsuit must give the named defendant notice of the cause of action asserted against him or her. This notice, also referred to as “service of process,” consists of providing the defendant with a court summons and complaint of the pending legal proceeding.
California law requires the plaintiff to have someone over 18 years of age who is not a party of the lawsuit to perform service of process upon the defendant. The defendant is required to be served during a specified time frame and the person who serves the defendant must sign court paperwork showing when the defendant was served. This document is called the “proof of service” and it must be filed with the court five days prior to the trial. If the deadline regarding service of process is not met, the trial will be postponed.
There are three main ways a person can serve process on the defendant in a small claims lawsuit:
- Personal Service
Personal service of process occurs when a copy of the summons and complaint are delivered personally upon the defendant.
- Certified Mail
A defendant can be served by certified mail in California. This task must be performed by the clerk of the court.The clerk of the court where the claim was filed will send a copy of the claim by certified mail. Note, if the named defendant does not sign the receipt for certified mail, the service of process will be deemed invalid.
- Substituted Service
There are certain situations in which the defendant cannot be personally served with the copy of the claim. When this occurs, the individual rendering service of process can do the following: Deliver the claim to someone over the age of 18 at the defendant’s residence, place of business, or usual place of mailing.
Why You Should File & Serve Your Legal Claim with Direct Legal Support, Inc.
You should file and serve your legal documents with Direct Legal Support, Inc. because we are the best process servers in the business. We have been in business for over 50 years and have successfully served court documents to individuals throughout California and across the nation.
We will serve your small claims court documents on any named defendant in the most efficient manner. Connect with us today for more information on how we can help you file and serve your small claims legal documents in California, or throughout the nation.