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Small-claims
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The records custodian for records in the custody of the Clerk of Court is:

Tina Wallace
Clerk of Court
Bastrop City Court
P. O. Box 391
Bastrop, LA 71220
FAX: (318) 283-3386

SMALL CLAIMS

WHAT ARE SMALL CLAIM COURTS?

Small Claim Courts is a division of city court where you may sue to resolve minor civil disputes, or to collect small sums of money which are owed to you. The amount of money for which you may sue in small claims court is currently limited by law to $5,000. Small Claims suits are not a suit of record and cannot be appealed. The decision is final and binding on both parties. Formal rules of procedure and evidence do not apply. Procedures in small claims cases are intended to be simple enough for a person to file all the necessary forms and represent himself/herself at an informal hearing. However, you must still prove by competent evidence that the defendant owes you money you seek. When defendant is a corporation, partnership or limited liability company, you must provide the agent for service of process to serve the citation. These may be listed with the Louisiana Secretary of State. A filing fee is required.

The suits you can file are contract disputes, action for money, actions for possession of personal property, breach of warranty, defective products, unreturned deposits or leased property suits for unpaid rent and damage to premises.

WHO MAY SUE IN SMALL CLAIMS COURT?

Any individual acting in this behalf who is 18 years of age or older may sue in the Small Claims Court. The person who files suit is called the "PLAINTIFF". A minor may sue only through a parent or guardian. An officer or employee of a corporation or unincorporated association, partnership or limited liability company may file suit on behalf of the organization if the amount in controversy does not exceed $5,000 and involves an open account or negotiable instrument (LA R.S. 32:212(C). Otherwise, a corporation, partnership or limited liability company must be represented in court by a licensed attorney. Any person who claims to represent the corporation must have a resolution giving that person authority to act on behalf of the entity.

WHO MAY BE SUED IN THE SMALL CLAIMS DIVISION?

The person or company being sued may be an individual, a sole proprietor, a partnership, a corporation or an unincorporated association such as a club or association. The person being sued is called the "DEFENDANT". In some cases there may be more than one defendant. It is important that you properly identify and sue the person or company that has caused you damage or injury.

The following types of cases are NOT handled in Small Claims Court:

In addition to the $5,000 amount in controversy limitation, the following type of cases may NOT be instituted in the small claims divisions:

    1. Summary proceedings
    2. Executory proceedings
    3. Class actions lawsuits
    4. Injunctions
    5. Restraining Orders
  1. Suits involving annulment, divorces, alimony, separation of property, succession, interdiction, receivership, liquidation, habeas corpus, or the title to real estate; suits against a state agency, parish, municipality or other political subdivisions, or suits against a public official performing official duties may not be filed in city court.

PETITION FOR REGULAR PROCESS:

In addition to small claims suits, petitions or civil suits may be filed for amounts in dispute up to $15,000. See Forms for examples of other types of suits. Individuals may file a suit up to $15,000. However, if the plaintiff is a corporation, limited liability company or partnership, an attorney must be retained to represent the plaintiff to sue for any amount over $5000, as per Louisiana Revised Statute 32:212 (C). The technical rules of evidence are relaxed and all relevant evidence is admissible provided the judge is satisfied as to its reliability, and the judge has sufficient competent evidence on which to base his judgment.

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER YOU FILE SUIT?

The Clerk of Bastrop City Court will prepare a citation to be served on the defendant informing the defendant that the defendant is being sued and must appear in court if the defendant wishes to dispute the claim. Once the defendant has received the citation, the defendant has ten (10) calendar days, inclusive of holidays, in which to file an answer disputing the claim. If the defendant does not file an answer, judgment will be granted by default after 10 days from service of the citation. If an answer is filed by the defendant, the case will be set for hearing before the court and you will be notified of the hearing date by the court. At this time, you will need to bring all material to support your claim and any evidence or witnesses you may have or wish to present at trial. At the hearing, the court will rule in favor of the plaintiff or defendant.

Small Claims judgments are not appealable. However, regular process suits can be appealed to the Second Circuit Court of Appeal. A case can be transferred to the regular civil docket if the defendant desires to have the right to appeal the decision. A written notice must be filed to request the transfer. All the regular rules of evidence would apply and both parties would be given the opportunity to hire an attorney.

The civil judgment becomes a legal obligation after it is signed and is good for 10 years. It is the responsibility of the plaintiff to file the judgment in the mortgage records with the Morehouse Parish Clerk of Court. It is also the plaintiff's responsibility to collect on this judgment. Any additional filings to collect a judgment, such as a garnishment, judgment debtor exam or seizure by a writ of fifa will require additional payment of court costs. However, these funds are court costs and can be added to the judgment against the defendant which the defendant must pay if the judgment is collected.

Bastrop City Court, 202 East Jefferson, Bastrop, LA
(p) 318-283-0257
(f) 318-283-3386
(e) info@bastropcitycourt.com
Monday - Friday 8:00am - 5:00pm
The Court only accepts Cash or Money Orders.
Please make money orders out to "BASTROP CITY COURT"