Trial Court Rules

Uniform Small Claims Rules

Trial Court Rules Uniform Small Claims Rule 2: Filing a statement of claim

Effective Date: 10/01/2009
Updates: Amended November 22, 1989, effective November 30, 1989 Amended October 1, 2001, effective January 1, 2002
Amended July 22, 2009, effective October 1, 2009

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(a) Statement of claim

Each small claims action shall be begun on a Statement of Claim form. The claim shall be stated in concise, untechnical language, but with particularity and comprehensiveness. A statement shall not be insufficient merely because the plaintiff has failed to allege all the elements of a prima facie case. The plaintiff shall state specifically any amounts sought for damages, for multiple damages or statutory penalties, for attorney’s fees, and for costs, as well as the total amount being sought, exclusive of any prejudgment interest being sought from the court pursuant to G.L. c. 231, §§ 6B or 6C. If requested by the plaintiff or if otherwise feasible and appropriate to facilitate the filing of a legible and complete claim that conforms to the requirements of this rule, the clerk shall provide assistance to the plaintiff in completing the form. The clerk shall provide necessary and helpful procedural information to small claims litigants if requested.

(b) Additional requirements for plaintiffs in trade or commerce or pursuing assigned debt

Any plaintiff pursuing a claim incurred in the course of plaintiff’s trade or commerce, or pursuing a claim for assigned debt, shall file along with the Statement of Small Claim form the Verification of Defendant’s Address form, certifying that he or she has verified the defendant’s mailing address in the manner set forth therein. The form need not be served on the defendant.

Any such plaintiff shall include the following information in the description of claim in the Statement of Small Claim form when the claim is filed with the court:

(1) The name of the original creditor (if different from plaintiff’s);

(2) The last four digits of the account number assigned by the original creditor, if any; and

(3) The amount and date of the defendant’s last payment, if any.

If the plaintiff fails to comply with this section and the defendant does not appear at the scheduled trial, no default judgment shall be entered for the plaintiff and the claim shall be dismissed without prejudice.

(c) Filing with the clerk

A claim may be filed in person or by mail. In either case, except where waived by the clerk of the court under the Indigent Court Costs Law (G.L. c. 261, §§ 27A-27G), the claim shall be accompanied by the entry fee required by G.L. c. 218, § 22 and the surcharge required by G.L. c. 262, § 4C. The clerk shall provide a copy of the Statement of Small Claim form to the plaintiff as soon as is practicable, which copy shall show the date and time of trial. The date the Statement of Small Claim form is received by the clerk shall constitute the date of commencement of the claim.

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Updates: Amended November 22, 1989, effective November 30, 1989 Amended October 1, 2001, effective January 1, 2002
Amended July 22, 2009, effective October 1, 2009

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