Small Claims Division

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General Information

The information provided about Small Claims is not intended as legal advice but to help you understand the Small Claims process. If you have any questions, you should contact an attorney.

To file a small claims case in the Crawford County Municipal Court, the action must have occurred or the defendant must reside within the Court's jurisdiction. The jurisdiction of this Court includes all of Crawford County.

The Court cannot offer any legal advice or assist in the completion or filing of a complaint. If you have questions, you are advised to seek legal counsel. The Court may not appoint an attorney to represent you in civil matters. If you feel you need an attorney and cannot afford one, you may contact Legal Aid Services of Northwest Ohio at 1-800-837-8908

Small Claims Guide

What cases can the Court hear?
Most claims for money damages of $6,000 or less, plus interest and court costs. Small claims court resolves small monetary disputes only, and does not have the power to direct a party to turn over a specific item or property other than to give a judgment for money.
Who can sue or be sued?
Anyone over the age of 18; anyone under the age of 18 through a parent or guardian; and a corporation or limited liability company through its officer, salaried employee or attorney. By law, if you are an officer or salaried employee of a corporation or limited liability company you will only be permitted to present the company’s claim or defense, but cannot engage in cross examination, argument or other acts of advocacy without an attorney.
Where do I file my claim?
You will need to come in person to the clerk’s office and file a Small Claim complaint form. You must provide a statement of your claim and the names and current addresses of each person making a claim or liable for the claim. A filing fee of $75.00 is due at the time of filing.
How do I prepare my case?
The person making the claim must prove it by a preponderance of the evidence, which means it is more likely than not that the claimant should prevail. The court may only consider the evidence actually presented at trial. You must come to your scheduled trial prepared to prove your claim or defense to the best of your ability. Anything that can support your case may be useful as evidence, including your own testimony, witnesses, documents, photos, etc. Certain kinds of testimony may be especially useful. For example, a professional repair person could be a good witness when poor or incomplete workmanship is an important question.
Friends, neighbors, or bystanders who are familiar with the incident or transaction may be witnesses. If you wish to require a witness to attend, you must pay a fee and file a request for a subpoena with the clerk’s office well in advance of the trial date.
What if I do not appear at the trial?
Failure to appear at the trial means you might immediately lose, regardless of the merits of your claim or defense. If you are a party to the case, you must appear. Any continuance of the trial date must be by agreement of all parties or for good reason shown to the court. A continuance is rarely granted without agreement of the parties.
What do I do at the trial?
This is your day in court. There will be several trials that day, each scheduled in 15 minute intervals. Please arrive on time and check in at the clerks’ office. Because some cases will take more than their allotted time, be prepared to wait for your case to be called.
Small claims cases are heard by a magistrate. Before your trial begins, the magistrate will give you an opportunity to work out a settlement with the other party. If you reach a settlement, an agreed judgment entry will be prepared. If you cannot reach a settlement, the trial will begin. The court will not order a deadline for payment unless by agreement of the parties.
Bring all of your evidence and witnesses with you. The magistrate can only consider the evidence it receives at the trial. The plaintiff will present its case first. Once the plaintiff is finished, the defendant can present its case. At the completion of each witness’s testimony, the court will allow the other parties to ask that witness questions. The magistrate may ask its own questions. Answer all questions directly, politely and to the best of your knowledge. Be brief and stick to the facts relevant to the claims before the court. Remember, good manners and a calm orderly presentation promote the fair and efficient conduct of the trial. Each side may make a brief closing argument at the end of the trial.
How will a decision be made?
The magistrate will most likely take the matter “under advisement.” The magistrate will carefully consider the evidence presented by both sides and prepare its recommendations for the outcome of the trial. The clerk’s office will mail these recommendations to each party along with an explanation of the objection process. Ultimately, the judge will review the magistrate’s recommendations and any objections that are filed and render a final judgment. The clerk will mail a copy of the final judgment to the parties. It is your responsibility to keep the clerk’s office informed of your current address.
How can I collect my judgment?
Once the judgment is issued, the debtor can voluntarily pay the amount due. If the debtor does not pay, it is up to the creditor to collect its own judgment. The creditor may choose to garnish the debtor’s earnings or bank account; to attach the debtor’s personal property; to obtain a lien against the debtor’s real estate; or to take any other actions permitted by law. Many of these processes require filing documents with the court and paying additional fees. The court cannot give you legal advice to help you collect your debt.

Service Requirements

Whenever you file a document of any kind with the Court (with the exception of the complaint) you must serve a copy of the document filed on the opposing party. You accomplish this by mailing or hand delivering a copy to the opposing party at his/her last known address.
You must prove to the Court that you served the opposing party by adding a statement to the document informing the Court of the date and manner of service. For Example:
“A copy of the foregoing document was mailed on the 1st day of May, 1994 to John Doe at 11 Anywhere Road, Crawford County, Ohio, 44---.”

Small Claims Complaint Form

You can print this form (Small Claims Complaint) and take it to the Crawford County Municipal Court. You can file this complaint form either in the Galion office at 301 Harding Way East, Galion, Ohio 44833 or the Bucyrus office at 112 E. Mansfield Street Suite 100, Bucyrus, Ohio 44820.

Small Claims Complaint Form Download

Small Claims Court Costs

Civil Complaint - Non Refundable $110.00
Civil Complaint - Publication $400.00*
Cognovit Note $110.00
Eviction (FED)
($110.00 filing fee + $90.00 deposit)
$200.00*
Amended Complaint $30.00
Order of Revivor $50.00
Small Claims $75.00
Cross-Complaint or Counterclaim
with Required Monetary Judgment
$30.00
Third Party Plaintiff/Defendant $30.00
Appeal $150.00
Execution of Property $75.00*
Debtor Exam with Personal Service/Sheriff
($35.00 DE/$65.00 deposit)
$100.00*
Debtor Exam other than Personal Service $35.00
Motion to Set Aside Previous Judgment/Post Judgment Actions $75.00
Request for Jury Trial
($25.00 fee to set JT/$270.00 deposit)
$295.00*
Sheriff's Fee Deposit Including Issuing of Subpoenas per Defendant $45.00*
Small Claims Transferred to Civil Docket $35.00
Filing Certificate of Judgment from Foreign Court $50.00
Answer of Employer
(amount received over $20.00)
$5.00
Garnishment
(Personal Earnings)
$50.00
Bank Attachment
(Other, not including $1.00 to Bank)
$50.00
Certificate of Judgment $5.00
Issuing Writs $5.00
Issuing of Subpoenas (each) $5.00
Certifying Copy with Court Seal/Exemplified Copy $5.00
Satisfaction of Judgment $2.00
Copies $1.00
Certifying Judgment to BMW $5.00
Issue/Reissue Certified Mail per Defendant $10.00
Issue/Reissue Certificate of Mailing per Defendant $5.00
BMV Appeals, 12 PT Appeal, 12 PT Petition
Non-Compliance Appeal & Reinstatement Fee Payment Plan
$50.00
Preparation of Bench Warrant $10.00