The clerk cannot give you legal advice, nor tell you if you have the grounds on which to file a claim. The clerk can explain the options you have when filing a case.
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Yes. Filing fees are $65 for a Small Claims case and $80 for a Civil case plus there is a $2.50 fee for each Summons issued. You also will have to pay a fee to have your complaint served on the other party. The fee varies, but you may serve the other party by Certified Mail, through the Sheriff's office or by employing a private process server. The Court Clerk cannot tell you which method of service is "best". It is a personal choice, the clerk can simply tell you your options.
Small Claims cases involve claims for amounts of $5,000 or less. Civil cases include claims for amount of $25,000 or less. Civil cases also can involve attorneys. If you file a Civil case but do not hire an attorney, you are held to the standard of an attorney when pursuing your case. Further clarification can be found in the Small Claims Handbook as to things that may disqualify you from filing a Small Claims case.
You can obtain a Complaint form online or at our courthouse, 2706 S. Walton, Bentonville, Arkansas. This form is the same for a Small Claims or Civil case.
Yes. The fees are due at the time of filing. Payment should be made in the form of check or Money Order.
Please refer to the Small Claims Handbook for questions about the proper Court in which to file.
Yes. You will have to provide a good address for the Defendant at the time of filing. Without a good address for the Defendant it will be difficult, if not impossible, to serve the paperwork as required by Arkansas law.
You can file a Small Claims case, which allows each person to represent his/herself. Attorneys are not allowed in Small Claims cases, per Arkansas law.
No. The Court has recently launched a new mediation program. Mediation is offered at no charge to the parties. If both parties agree to mediation, a licensed mediator will listen to both sides and try to help them come to a mutually acceptable agreement which is fully enforceable. For additional information please read the Mediation information sheet.