How do I serve a Defendant's Claim and ORDER to Go to Small Claims Court?
A Defendant's Claim (SC-120) can be served in 2 ways, Personal Service or Substituted Service. Service must be made Personally on the Plaintiff/Cross-Defendant at least 5 days prior to the court hearing date, or served by Substituted Service and mailed 15 days prior to the court hearing date. If the Defendant was served with the Plaintiff's Claim (SC-100) 10 days prior or less prior to the court hearing date, the Plaintiff/Cross-Defendant can be served Personally up to 1 day prior to the court hearing date. Since this document is usually filed after the Plaintiff's Claim (SC-100) and as a result of being served with the SC-100, there is little often little time to serve the SC-120 in a timely manner. Service should be made anyway and let the Judge determine if valid service was attained. Even if you have to serve it at the hearing. (CCP 116.360)