Small Claims Court in Marion County

In Marion County, IN small claims cases are filed in the Township Court. Marion County has nine Township Courts that handle small claims, serving different jurisdictions.

Squabble is here to assist you in navigating the small claims court system and filing a claim with ease. We recognize that not everyone is a legal expert, and our goal is to simplify the process for you. This guide will answer your questions about filing claims in the Marion Court System.

Small Claims Court

Marion County Small Claims Court allows any citizen to file a lawsuit without needing a lawyer. These courts were designed to provide a straightforward way to resolve disputes. It's your right to use this system without hesitation. Court and clerk staff can assist you with procedures but cannot offer legal advice.

The plaintiff completes a basic form explaining why money is owed or property should be returned. Each side presents their case to the judge at trial, who may ask questions to clarify details. The judge then decides based on the facts and evidence presented, applying the relevant law.

Cases Handled

In Marion County, Indiana small claims court is appropriate for various types of disputes where the amount sought is $8,000 or less. If you decide to hire an attorney for your case, you typically can't recover attorney's fees unless there's a specific written agreement stating otherwise or in cases involving bad checks. Additionally, there are limits on the interest rates you can request.

For instance:

  • Tenant/Landlord Dispute
  • Personal Injury
  • Stolen Property
  • Damaged Property
  • Debt Collection
  • Auto Repair
  • Poor Construction
  • Product Defect
  • Broken Contracts or Verbal Promises

However, Small Claims Court cannot be used for cases involving possession of real estate under a land contract or foreclosure actions; these must be filed in the appropriate Circuit or Superior Court.

Where to file

According to Small Claims Court rules, you can file your lawsuit in the county where any of the following conditions apply:

  1. Where the transaction or incident occurred.
  2. Where the debt or obligation was incurred.
  3. Where the obligation is supposed to be fulfilled.
  4. Where the defendant resides.
  5. Where the defendant is employed when the claim is filed.

If multiple counties meet these criteria, you have the choice to file your suit in any one of them. This ensures that the venue chosen is appropriate based on where the relevant actions or parties are located.

Small Claim Case Parties

In a Small Claims Court suit, the Plaintiff is the individual or business initiating the legal action, seeking assistance from the court to collect a debt or obtain other forms of relief from another party. It's crucial that the Plaintiff is the actual party owed money or seeking redress. For instance, a property manager cannot sue a tenant; it must be the landlord who files the lawsuit.

On the other hand, the Defendant is the party being sued, tasked with defending against the Plaintiff's claims. If multiple individuals or entities share responsibility for the issue, all should be named as Defendants in a single lawsuit. This ensures all relevant parties are included in the legal proceedings.

Updating Information

If your address, email, or phone number changes after you're involved in a small claims lawsuit, notify the court promptly in writing. All important notices regarding your case, including changes in trial dates, will be sent to your last known address. Failing to update your contact information could affect your case negatively. It's essential to send written notification to the court for any changes, ensuring you stay informed and involved in the legal process.

Statutes Limitations

Before filing a lawsuit in Small Claims Court, it's crucial to ensure it's done within the statute of limitations, which dictates the maximum time after an event within which legal proceedings can be initiated. Here are some common deadlines in Indiana:

  • Personal injury or damage to personal property: 2 years from the date of injury or damage.
  • Accounts, contracts not in writing, rents, damage to real estate, recovery of personal property, promissory notes: 6 years from the date the obligation accrued.

These time limits start from when the event (like injury or breach of contract) occurs. It's essential to be aware of these limits to avoid having your case dismissed due to expiration of the statute of limitations.

Filing a Small Claim

To file a lawsuit in Small Claims Court against someone, you must adhere to these guidelines:

  1. Fill out multiple copies of a Notice of Claim form, clearly stating the nature and amount of your claim against the Defendant. You can explain further in court. These forms are available at the clerk’s office free of charge.
  2. If your lawsuit involves a written contract, provide the court clerk with one copy of the contract for the court records and one copy for each Defendant.
  3. If your claim is based on an account, include an Affidavit of Debt with your Notice of Claim. The current form can be found at [link to form].
  4. Provide accurate details including the correct name, address, and telephone number of the Defendant. Ensure you're suing the correct party involved in the dispute.
  5. Pay the filing fees, whether you choose certified mail or sheriff delivery for the Notice of Claim. If you win the case, the Defendant will be ordered to reimburse these costs to you. No reimbursement occurs if you lose.
  6. By filing in Small Claims Court, you waive any claim exceeding the current jurisdictional limit of $8,000 and cannot later file a separate action for the remaining amount.

After Filing

Once you file your lawsuit in Small Claims Court, you'll get a notice of your trial date. Make sure to check with the court to see if you need all your witnesses and evidence ready. Usually, the first trial date checks if the Defendant disputes your claim. If they don't show up or you both settle, there might not be a trial. But if they disagree, the judge might set a new trial date.

The Defendant must be told about the lawsuit at least 10 days before court. If they can't be found in time, you might need to start over with a new notice. You can withdraw your claim before trial, but you won't get back fees for filing and serving the Defendant.

If there's important information that only the Defendant knows and won't share, you can ask the court to force them to disclose it, called "discovery." The Defendant can also request this to prepare their defense. The court will allow it if there's a good reason and both sides are told. They only share what's needed for the case.


If you're sued in Small Claims Court and believe you have a claim against the Plaintiff, you can file a counterclaim. Make sure it's filed early enough for the Plaintiff to receive it at least 7 days before the trial to avoid postponement. The court can only consider counterclaims within the small claims dollar limit. You can choose to give up any claim over this limit to stay in Small Claims Court. If not, you can ask to move the case to another court where you can pursue the full amount but might need legal representation.

If you think someone not in the lawsuit owes you for part or all of what's being claimed against you, you can file a third-party notice of claim before the trial. This involves filling out a form and explaining why this third party should be responsible.


When a Plaintiff files a claim in Small Claims Court, they forfeit their right to a jury trial. However, if the Defendant wishes to have a jury trial, they must request it within ten days of receiving the Notice of Claim. This request involves filing an affidavit that explains why there are factual issues needing a jury's consideration and paying a seventy-dollar fee.

If granted, the Defendant must pay a transfer fee within ten days. Once a jury trial is granted, it cannot be withdrawn without agreement from all parties. Moving to a jury trial shifts the case to the court's regular docket, where formal rules of evidence and procedure apply, potentially necessitating legal counsel for both parties.


When parties in a Small Claims Court case agree to settle before trial, they should write down the terms of their agreement and both sign it. This written agreement must then be filed with the court clerk for approval by the judge, who will make it the official judgment of the case. Courts often provide forms for these agreements. It's important to understand exemptions that might protect certain income and property from judgment collection. Personal property cannot be given to the court in a settlement or judgment without the judge's explicit approval under specific circumstances.


In Small Claims Court trials or hearings, arriving punctually is important. The Plaintiff starts by presenting their case, including testimony and any supporting evidence like receipts. Witnesses, including the Defendant, may testify and be cross-examined. After the Plaintiff, the Defendant presents their case similarly. Both parties can summarize their positions at the judge's discretion.

While the atmosphere is informal, all must comply with court rules, as contempt and perjury are punishable. The judge may ask questions or visit relevant locations. The judge bases decisions solely on presented facts and applicable law, emphasizing the need for thorough preparation and clear presentation of your case.


After a Small Claims Court trial, the judge may decide immediately or postpone the decision for later. Once decided, notice of the judgment, including any Default Judgment, is sent to the attorneys or parties involved. The judgment is then officially recorded by the court. Interest can accrue on the judgment from its date, as allowed by law. Once you receive full payment, you must file a Release of Judgment with the court clerk to formally release the judgment.

Default Judgment

If the Defendant fails to appear in Small Claims Court despite being properly notified, the Plaintiff can request a Default Judgment. To obtain this judgment, the Plaintiff must prove several things:

  1. The Defendant was served with notice of the claim in a timely manner.
  2. The Defendant does not have any legal, physical, or mental condition preventing them from attending court or understanding the proceedings.
  3. The Plaintiff has a valid claim against the Defendant.
  4. The Plaintiff must inform the court whether the Defendant is an active member of the military, which can be checked through a specific website.

Proof can be provided through signed affidavits or, if required by the court, by giving testimony in person.


If either party is dissatisfied with the decision and judgment of the Small Claims Court, they can appeal to the Indiana Court of Appeals. To qualify for an appeal, the party wishing to appeal must take specific actions within thirty (30) days of the Small Claims Court's judgment. Because appealing a decision involves complex rules and procedures, it is highly advisable for the appealing party to seek legal counsel promptly after the judgment is entered in Small Claims Court.

Collecting After Judgment

After winning a judgment in Small Claims Court, the debtor must pay the specified amount plus court costs. The judgment creates a lien on the debtor's local real estate for ten years, extendable for another ten. Payments can be made in full or installments through the court clerk.

If not paid, you can file a Proceedings Supplemental to summon the debtor to court, including potential employer inquiries. The judge may then order payment plans, wage garnishments, or asset seizures. Further hearings can address changes or non-compliance, and absence can prompt a show cause investigation. Extensions can help find missing debtors. Efficient legal process helps in securing collections.

Let Squabble Help You With Your Small Claim at Marion County

Don't allow the intricacies of the legal system to discourage you from pursuing justice and compensation for your claim. With Squabble, you have a dedicated partner to streamline the process and guide you toward resolution. Whether you're contemplating filing a claim at Marion County small claims court, Squabble is here to support you at every stage. Reach out to us today to commence your journey toward justice and compensation. Get started today and become one of the 95% of our customers who won or settled their case.

Courthouses Location:

  1. Center Township Small Claims Court

    300 E. Fall Creek Pkwy N. Drive #130
    Indianapolis, IN 46205
    (317) 920-4530


    • Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except court holidays.
  2. Decatur Township Small Claims Court

    3730 S. Foltz St.
    Indianapolis, IN 46241
    (317) 241-2854


    • Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except court holidays.
  3. Franklin Township Small Claims Court

    4351 Independence Square
    Indianapolis, IN 46203
    (317) 784-1751


    • Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except court holidays.
  4. Lawrence Township Small Claims Court

    4455 McCoy St.
    Indianapolis, IN 46226
    (317) 545-2369


    • Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except court holidays.
  5. Perry Township Small Claims Court

    4925 S. Shelby St., #100
    Indianapolis, IN 46227
    (317) 786-9242


    • Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except court holidays.
  6. Pike Township Small Claims Court

    5665 Lafayette Rd., Suite B
    Indianapolis, IN 46254
    (317) 293-1842


    • Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except court holidays.
  7. Warren Township Small Claims Court

    501 N. Post Rd., Suite C
    Indianapolis, IN 46219
    (317) 327-8919


    • Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except court holidays.
  8. Washington Township Small Claims Court

    5302 N. Keystone Avenue, Suite E
    Indianapolis, IN 46220
    (317) 327-8184


    • Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except court holidays.
  9. Wayne Township Small Claims Court

    5401 W. Washington St.
    Indianapolis, IN 46241
    (317) 241-9573


    • Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except court holidays.
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