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I just filed conciliation forms... what now?

Discussion in 'Civil Court, Procedure & Litigation' started by Deeeye, Nov 21, 2020 at 4:59 AM.

  1. Deeeye

    Deeeye Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I had to file two conciliation forms against two different people for separate reasons.

    The $15k lawsuit says this at the end of the submission:
    "If the amount of your claim is more than $2500, then you must serve each defendant and file proof of service with Court Administration within 60 days of when the Summons is issued by the court."

    The $800 one says this:
    "If the defendant's address is within the county you are filing in, and if your claim is $2500 or less, then Court Administratoion will try to serve each defendant."

    what does "you must serve each defendant" mean exactly? *I* need to go knock on this person's door?? and do what?

    there'd be a fist fight. do they really expect people to do this? i'm confused...
     
  2. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    The exact rules for service depend on the laws and rules of court for your state, and which type of court (county court, district court, common pleas, small claims, justice court, or whatever) in your state you are litigating the case. If you provide us with the state and type of court we can provide you more detailed information.

    However, very generally in many states when you sue someone other than in small claims court you typically need to ensure they get served with a copy of summons and complaint and the usual method for doing that is having someone personally serve the defendant (i.e. hand to them the documents in person). Typically, though YOU can't be the one to serve the documents. Someone else has to do it. You usually though can have some other adult — a friend, relative, or whomever — do the service for you. There are process servers who will do service for you for a fee. Depending on the rules of your state, you may be able to get that fee back if you win your case. In a few states you can pay a fee for a sheriff or constable to do the service for you. Whomever serves the summons and complaint would then complete an affidavit attesting to the time, date, and place that service was made. If service cannot be made in person, the state may allow service by other means.

    Small claims court rules often have more informal rules, including allowing service by mail or other means that might not be permitted in the more formal courts.
     
  3. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Are you still in Minnesota?

    Do these lawsuits have anything to do with your thread from July?

    ...and then she burned the place down.
     
  4. Deeeye

    Deeeye Law Topic Starter New Member

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  5. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    Ok, since you are in Minnesota, conciliation court is Minnesota's version of small claims court. The state court system has an overview of how things work that you can get here: Information About Conciliation Court

    You can also get some help with questions you have about what to do from the Minnesota courts self help center.

    As far as serving the defendant, when the amount of the claim exceeds $2,500 it is your responsibility as the plaintiff to serve the summons (which also functions as a complaint) to the defendant. The Minnesota Conciliation Court Rules allow you to serve summons on the defendant by certified mail. After you mail the summons to the defendant you must return the affidavit of service to the Court. You may mail the summons to the defendant yourself. However, if you cannot get service by mail or for some other reason personal service is required, you do have to get some other adult to serve the summons and fill out the affidavit.
     
  6. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    To "serve" a complaint means to cause it to be delivered to the defendant in some way that is permitted by your state's laws. I'm not aware of any state in which the plaintiff may personally serve a complaint form. Usually, you can pay a sheriff or process server to do it.
     
  7. Deeeye

    Deeeye Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you all for the replies. Looks like I'm going to mail her the summons (certified mail), and then prove it was sent.

    A) Mail what exactly. Where do I get the 'summons'?
    B) Just going to send it to her old address (the house that burned), and assume she's done a 'change of address'. But, what if she hasn't. I have no idea where she lives now.

    It's weird that it's up to me to do all of this for the big lawsuit, but the $800 one is all taken care of by the city.
    I'll do what I've got to do.... thanks again for the help, obviously I'm brand new to all of this.
     
  8. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    You file your statement of the claim with the conciliation court. The court clerk will then either send the summons for you if the case is for $2,500 or less, or if it is for more than that the clerk will give you the summons package to serve yourself with instructions on what you need to do to serve it.

    That may be a problem. If she doesn't actually get it then the service will be defective. So if there is no forwarding address you'll have to do the work to track down where she is now.
     

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