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How do I Amend My Claim?

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Before the hearing, a plaintiff (or a defendant who filed a counterclaim) in the small claims case may ask to change their claim.  The plaintiff can change the Plaintiff’s Claim (Form SC-100), and the defendant can change the Defendant’s Claim (Form SC-120) – if they have one.

Some reasons to change your claim include: 

  • You learned the correct name of the plaintiff or defendant after you filed your claim; 
  • You want to change what you asked for in your claim; 
  • You decided you don’t want to sue one of the parties anymore, or want to sue another party.

Changing the name of a person or business listed on the claim


A. If your claim has ALREADY been served:

Step 1. If your claim already has been served, fill out a:

  • Request to Amend Party Name Before Hearing (Form SC-114) Opens new window

Step 2. File Opens new window form SC-114 with the court clerk.

Step 3. Serve Opens new window -- mail or personally deliver a copy of your Form SC-114 -- to all of the other parties in your case.

NOTE:  Another approach would be simply to ask the judge to amend the name at your hearing. (See Code of Civil Procedure, Section 116.560(b)) Opens new window

 

B. If your claim has NOT been served simply amend your claim form, as described below:

Making changes using an “amended” claim form (SC-100 or SC-120)

If you want to change what you asked for in your claim, decided you don’t want to sue one of the parties anymore, or want to sue another party.

Step 1. Get a new copy of the claim form:

  • Defendant's Claim and ORDER to Go to Small Claims Court (Form SC-100Opens new window
    (for the Plaintiff’s claim.)
    See the instructions Opens new window for this form.
  • Plaintiff's Claim and ORDER to Go to Small Claims Court  (Form SC-120Opens new window
    (for the Defendant’s claim.)
    See the instructions Opens new window for this form.
  • Write “Amended” on the 1st page, above the title of the form.  If possible, highlight “Amended” in yellow. 
  • Make the changes you need to make.

To add a defendant on the Plaintiff’s Claim (Form SC-100):
On the 2nd page, no. 2 -- on the line that says “If more than one Defendant, list next Defendant here” – put the new defendant’(s) name. Add the other information -- their phone number and address -- for the defendant you are adding.

To remove a defendant on the Plaintiff’s Claim (Form SC-100):
On the 2nd page, no. 2 -- on the line that says “If more than one Defendant, list next Defendant here” – write only: “Remove… (and put the name of the defendant you are removing in parentheses).” Don’t add any other information -- their phone number and address -- for the defendant you are removing.

  • Complete the remainder of the form like the first copy of your claim. 
  • Make as many copies as you need: 1 for you and 1 for each of the other people or businesses involved in the case.


Step 2. File the form with the court. There is no fee for filing. The clerk will file stamp the copies.

Step 3. Serve the claim on all of the other people or businesses involved in the case. (If you already served a claim on any of the other parties in this case, and you then make any changes, you must re-serve everyone.)
 

Making the changes using a “Declaration” form

Another way to tell the court that you want to change your claim in some way is to use a Declaration (Form MC-030).

Step 1. Get a copy of the Declaration (Form MC-030Opens new window

  • Fill in the form, briefly telling the court what you want to change on your claim and why. 
  • Make as many copies as you need: 1 for you and 1 for each of the other parties in the case.

Step 2. File the original Declaration (Form MC-030) with the court.

Step 3. Serve the Declaration (Form MC-030) on all of the other parties in the case.

NOTE: You may not use the clerk to serve a Declaration by certified mail.

 

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