The clerk will assist you with forms and general information about the process. The clerk is not allowed to give legal advice or attempt to predict how the judge might rule in a given situation. Service of the claim form can be accomplished by any of the following:
- The Sheriff's Office
- A process server
- Any person of legal age 18, who is not connected with the case either as a witness or as a party
- Mailing the copies to the defendant by registered or certified mail with a return receipt requested.
The Notice of Small Claim must be served on the defendant not less than ten days before the hearing. If you are having the sheriff's office serve the Notice, it is recommended that you take the paperwork to their office immediately to allow sufficient time to perform service in a timely manner. A return of service, or mail return receipt bearing the defendant's signature, must be filed at or before the time of the first hearing. You cannot personally serve the claim. See RCW Chapters 4.28 and 12.40, and CRLJ 5 for more detailed information.