Small Claims Court
The Small Claims section of the Draper Justice Court is designated to settle monetary legal issues and problems arising from contractual, service disputes and other claims. The current maximum amount you may sue for in a small claims action is $11,000.
Small Claims court is less formal and you do not need an attorney to represent you. A small claims court allows an individual or business to be compensated by a party who has not performed according to an agreement or who had committed some wrongdoing. Small Claims cases are governed by Utah Code title 78A, Chapter 8.
The rules for Small Claims can be found in the Utah Court Rules annotated, Utah Rules of Small Claims Procedure.
How to File and Prepare for Court
1) Determine where to file. Before you can bring a suit in Small Claims Court, it must be determined that the court has jurisdiction over your type of legal problem, and that it has jurisdiction over the party you are suing. A case must be filed where the defendant resides or the claim arose (where the events happened). Draper Justice Court has jurisdiction only within the Draper City boundaries. Once you have determined that Draper City Justice Court has jurisdiction over your case, it is suggested that you use our court specific forms for all filings.
2) Observe a session. It is suggested that you observe a session in the Small Claims Court before your trial date. By doing so, you will be more at ease at your trial and will present a more relaxed and calm evaluation of your case. You will also become more familiar with the procedures of the Court. Contact the court at (801) 576-6540 for dates and times.
3) Compile pertinent information that applies to your case. Please provide originals and two copies of all evidence to be presented at court hearing. This information may include canceled checks, purchase orders, written contracts and other evidence. Organize your information or items in chronological order and be sure to check the dates carefully. Accuracy will be a crucial factor in determining the outcome of the case. You should also be prepared to prove to the court how much money you will need to fix the problem. Your own estimate of the cost is usually not sufficient. It is strongly suggested that you file copies of written contracts, evidence, checks, or items that are pertinent to the case with the court at the time of filing or anytime before your trial date. The Small Claims Judge will usually review the file before going into to court to preside over your case.
4) Bring a disinterested party. If your claim deals with the adequacy of a service, or workmanship, or some other issue where the opinion of a disinterested party who is knowledgeable and or is an expert about the subject may be available, he/she should appear in person at the trial on your behalf.
5) Tell your story. When you get to court and it is your turn to speak, simply state what your claim is. The plaintiff (the person who filed the claim) will tell his/her side of the story to the judge and present any witnesses or documents to support the claim. The defendant (the person the claim is filed against) will do the same.
Contact the Draper Court for forms and filing fees at 801-576-6540.