Marion County’s Small Claims Courts hear civil cases involving claims under $8,000. Most cases involve either collecting a debt (including medical and credit cards) or landlord/tenant disputes (e.g., evictions and damages). The Small Claims Court is also responsible for approving wage garnishments to collect on judgments entered by that Court.
While most businesses use attorneys, most individuals do not. Pleadings and hearings are more informal than in the Superior or Circuit Courts, and timeframes for raising defenses or asserting your rights are much shorter. As with all courts, judges and clerks are not allowed to give legal advice, but they can try to help you with following basic court procedures.
Before You Go:
- Read the Notice of Claim so you know who is suing you and why.
- Read the Small Claims Court Manual before you go.
- Print out any emails, texts, or pictures you want the judge to see. Many judges will refuse to look at your cell phone if you try to use it as evidence.
If the attorney for the other side wants to talk to you:
- He or she will probably try to convince you to settle “to avoid having to go before the judge.”
- You are not required to talk to the other side’s attorney, or to agree to their proposal.
- If you are given a document that you don’t understand or agree with, don’t sign it.
- You have the right to have your case heard by the judge.
The day of the Hearing:
- Go to the hearing. If you do not appear, the court will probably enter a judgment against you.
- Arrive early, and check in with the court staff before entering the courtroom.
- Be respectful of the judge and the court staff.
- Be ready to wait. There may be dozens of cases before yours.
If they are coming after your income:
- If your wages are going to be garnished, you can ask the judge for a lower percentage, but be ready to show why it should be lower.
- Social Security benefits cannot be garnished. Do not agree to any payment if your only source of income is Social Security.
Every township in Marion County has its own small claims court. To find yours, click here. If you have been sued in a small claims court, you can identify which court you need to go to by (1) reviewing the Notice, or (2) using the first 5 characters of the Cause Number to find your court:
Pike Township (49K05)
Judge: Hon. A. Douglas Stephens
5665 Lafayette Rd., Suite B
Indianapolis, IN 46254
Washington Township (49K07)
Judge: Hon. Stephen G. Poore
5302 N. Keystone Avenue, Suite E
Indianapolis, IN 46220
Lawrence Township (49K03)
Judge: Hon. Kimberly J. Bacon
4455 McCoy St.
Indianapolis, IN 46226
Wayne Township (49K08)
Judge: Hon. Gerald B. Coleman
5401 W. Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN 46241
Warren Township (49K06)
Judge: Hon. Garland E. Graves
501 N. Post Rd., Suite C
Indianapolis, IN 46219
Decatur Township (49K02)
Judge: Hon. Myron E. Hockman
3730 S. Foltz St.
Indianapolis, IN 46241
Perry Township (49K04)
Judge: Hon. Cheryl Rivera
4925 S. Shelby St., #100
Indianapolis, IN 46227
Franklin Township (49K09)
Judge: Hon. John A. Kitley
4351 Independence Square
Indianapolis, IN 46203