Massachusetts Instructions on Filing a Small Claims Application

Effective 8/6/2010

The limit for filing a small claim application is 7,000.00 (seven thousand dollars). The filing fees are:

Claims 500.00 or less  –  40.00

Claims 500.01 – 2,000.00  –  50.00

Claims 2,000.01 – 5,000.00  –  100.00

Claims 5,000.01 – 7, 000.00  –  150.00

You must bring your small claim in the court where either the plaintiff or defendant lives, works, or has a place of business.  Although you have a choice, the court does recommend that you bring your action in the court where the defendant is located so it is easier to enforce a judgment in your favor.  If you choose your own court, once a judgment is obtained you will have to file a Supplementary Process (collection of a judgment) in the court that the defendant is actually located. Type or print your application. You must bear down when printing to ensure that all pages are readable and intact.  Do not detach or keep any of the copies.  Submit the entire small claim application and appropriate fee to the court.

You may pay by check, money order, personal check, or cash.  If paying in cash you should have exact change.

Completing the application:

Please state whether the defendant is an individual, corporation, trust, or company.

If the defendant is a corporation, list the full legal name.

If the defendant is a trust, list the name of the trustee(s) or principal officer.

If the defendant is a company, list the name of the owner(s) d.b.a. and company’s name.

Note: If you are not sure of the defendant’s legal entity (legal name) you need to call the Corporation Department of the Secretary of State’s Office at (617) 727-2850.  If the defendant is not listed with that office, you must check with the city or town hall in which they are located to inquire if they are a d.b.a. (Note: Boston City Clerk’s Office number is (617) 635-4600.

Submission:  Do not include copies of evidence with your application.

More detailed SMALL CLAIMS INFORMATION is available from the Court’s website here.


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