Iowa Small Claims Court is a division of the District Court where you can sue to collect a debt, for breach of contract, to recover for damages suffered in an accident, or almost any civil claim against another party so long as the amount you claim is owed to you is less than $5,000 without having to go through extensive and technical proceedings.
You, the plaintiff or defendant, have the choice of either representing yourself or hiring an attorney to represent you. The purpose of this Manual is to assist the party who elects to represent himself or herself.
After the Original Notice has been filed, the defendant must be informed of the lawsuit before a trial is held. The manner in which the defendant is notified may vary depending upon such things as the type of relief sought by the plaintiff, the location of the defendant’s residence, whether defendant’s residence is known, etc.
If the defendant does not live in the State of Iowa but has made a contract with a resident of Iowa to be performed in whole or in part by either party in Iowa, or if the defendant committed a wrongful act in whole or in part in Iowa against a resident of Iowa and the lawsuit is over the contact or wrongful act involved, service of the Original Notice may be made by filing duplicate copies of the Original Notice with Secretary of State of the State of Iowa.
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