In Kentucky, district courts handle small claims, civil cases involving less than $4,000 in damages, juvenile matters, probate, traffic violations and misdemeanors. If you are in a civil dispute that you want the court to resolve, you must file a complaint and then a motion to have the judge rule on the issue, according to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. The motion states what you wish to happen, and after you file it, the person you filed the complaint against has the opportunity to respond. You can then respond with a brief or wait for a hearing from the court.
Contact your local Kentucky district clerk of court to obtain motion forms. The clerk will provide you with a general form that you must complete. Ask for the “general motion form for use by pro se litigants in civil cases.”
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Insert the caption on the motion form. The caption includes the name of the defendant, who is the person you have a complaint against, and your name under “plaintiff.” If you are filing against more than one person, add only the first person’s name, and follow it with “et al.” Insert what you are filing a motion for. The motion is used for any civil matter, so insert that information after “Motion for” at the top of the motion form you received from the clerk.
Tell the judge what you want. Begin the first paragraph of the motion by telling the judge who you are. State what you want exactly. If it is a dollar amount, be precise. Build the following paragraphs by providing your supporting data. State only facts, and do not include information that is not relevant to your case. Personal identification, such as Social Security numbers, dates of birth and driver's license numbers, should be partially disguised. For instance, a Social Security number will be “xxx-xx-0000,” with the “0000” being the last four digits of the number. Minor children are referred to only by first and last initials.
Sign the motion and take it to the Kentucky district clerk of court in your area. The motion you file must be the original, but request at least two copies of the original with the clerk’s receipt on the document.
Serve the defendant with the motion. You may serve the other party’s lawyer if he has one, or you will have to pay the sheriff or a process server to serve the documents to the defendant. Have the process server fill out a certificate of service stating that he did serve the documents to the defendant. If you serve the lawyer, you will need to have the lawyer sign the certificate of service when you deliver the motion to his office.
File the original certificate of service with the district court.
Rebekah Smith is a writer and editor from Montana and the owner of several businesses. Smith has consulted and worked with businesses in the fields of commercial greenhouses, ecommerce, technology and home improvement. She holds a Master of Business Administration and is working on a Ph.D. in business.