Getting Your Civil Case Before the Judge

Although this information seeks to simplify the law, it cannot cover every aspect and provision of the law, nor all the rules of this Court. The Clerk’s Office seeks to be helpful, however, cannot provide legal advice. If you believe legal advice is necessary, you must contact a lawyer to provide this service.


Judges and court personnel are not permitted to give legal advise. Steps to be taken:

  1. Suit is filed in City Court.
  2. Receipt is mailed to plaintiff. (Be sure to keep your receipt, as we file by suit number only.)
  3. The Civil Office will send service information advising when the defendant was served.
  4. Defendant has 10 days from the date served in which to answer in writing. These ten days are a period of time in which you the plaintiff cannot take any action. After the ten calendar days the defendant can still file an answer at any time prior to your obtaining a judgment. So, you, the plaintiff, should call City Court at 389-3017 on the 11th day after the defendant has been served to see if he/she has filed an answer. If no answer has been filed, you will be informed when to come to court. Report to Room 251, 233 St. Louis Street, at 8 a.m.
  5. To help prove your case, bring any canceled checks, receipts, bills, correspondence, contracts, leases and anything else that may be used as evidence to support your claim. If you wish to keep a copy of any documents you use as evidence, you must make your copies prior to coming to court. Also, bring your witnesses. Some witnesses may come voluntarily-others will have to be subpoenaed. Contact the Clerk’s Office for this procedure.
  6. Between the time of filing your suit and coming to court for confirmation or trial, you should prepare your case by getting estimates, witnesses, documents, canceled checks, etc., to prove your case. The burden of proof is on you-the plaintiff.

If you (plaintiff) receive an answer, either from this office or from the defendant or defendant’s attorney, you must write City Court and ask for a trial date.

In a case where the Secretary of State’s Office is a defendant, 15 days are allowed to file an answer.