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How do I name the defendant on the form?

It is very important that you name the defendant or defendants correctly when you prepare your claim. Use these guidelines:


If the defendant is: You will need:
An individual The person’s name including first, middle (if known) and last names and list any other names the person uses with the words "also known as" or "aka" separating the names.
A business owned by an individual The owner’s complete name and the business name.
A business owned by two or more individuals The complete names of all the owners and the business name.
A corporation or limited liability company The exact name of the corporation or limited liability company.
A vehicle accident defendant The complete names of the driver and registered owner(s) of the vehicle.

If you learn the correct name after you file, you can ask the judge to change this information on your court date. You will need the correct name if the judgment is in your favor or your judgment may be hard to enforce.


If there are several possible defendants then you should name each person you believe is liable. The judge can decide if the people you named are the correct defendants and legally responsible.

More Small Claims Q&A Topics
Small Claims Basics
Thinking about Filing a Small Claims case?
Filing my case
Serving Notice of my case to the defendant
Responding to a Small Claims case as a defendant
Appearing in Court
Your Day in Court
Collecting a Judgment
Paying a Judgment
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