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Step 4: Tell the Court That You Have Served Your Forms
(Proof of Service)

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The judge cannot hear your court case until you have filed your court forms properly, given (served) copies of these forms to the person, business or government agency you sue, and then file a form that shows that those forms were served in the right way.

First:

To prove to the court that you had the defendant served in the right way, your server has to fill out one copy of page 1 of the following form for each person, business or government agency served.

  • Proof of Service (Small Claims) (Form SC-104) Opens new window

(For personal service or substituted service -- the server must also fill out and sign page 2 of: 

  • Proof of Service (Small Claims) (Form SC-104) Opens new window

(Finally, for substituted service -- the server must also fill out and sign:

  • Proof of Mailing (Substituted Service) (Form SC-104A) Opens new window

Second:

  • Make one copy of each Proof of Service form and mail or take the original form(s), plus the copies, to the court clerk. The clerk will file and stamp all of the forms. The court will keep the original of each form, and will give the copies of these forms back to you.
  • KEEP YOUR COPY OF EACH PROOF OF SERVICE IN A SAFE PLACE and take it to any court hearing that has been scheduled in this case.

NOTE: You have to file your Proof of Service (Form SC-104) with the court at least 5 “court days” before your hearing. (“Court days” are Monday through Friday. Court days do not include Saturday, Sunday, or holidays.)


Next, you should prepare for your hearing. To learn how to do this, click on the links:


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