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What if the Defendant Also Has a Claim?

Sometimes the person who is sued will also have a claim against the person who filed the lawsuit. This claim is called the Defendant's Claim. The defendant may file this claim in the same lawsuit. This helps to resolve all of the disagreements between the parties at the same time.

If the defendant decides to file a claim in Small Claims Court, that claim may also not be for more than $5000. If the value of the claim is more than this amount, the defendant may either give up the amount over $5000 and sue in Small Claims Court or file a motion to transfer the case to the Civil Division of the Superior Court for the full value of the claim.

The defendant's claim must be served on the plaintiff at least 5 days before trial. If the defendant received the plaintiff's claim 10 days or less before the trial, then the defendant's claim must be served at least 1 day before the trial. The same methods for service of process apply as described above.

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