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Robert L. McCurdy, Staff Attorney


Procedures for Transfer of Cases from Magistrate Courts to Circuit Courts when Counterclaims Exceed $7,500.00

DATE: August 25, 2004

Code § 22-3-30 requires the transfer of cases from magistrates courts to circuit courts when counterclaims by the defendant exceed $7,500.00, the jurisdictional limit in magistrate’s court. This memorandum provides you with procedures to be followed to transfer these cases.


Any time a counterclaim is filed with the magistrate, the magistrate is responsible for serving a copy of the counterclaim on the plaintiff. (See Rule 8, Administrative and Procedural Rules for the Magistrate’s Court).

When a counterclaim is filed in magistrate’s court which exceeds $7,500.00, the magistrate, upon motion of either party or on his own motion, must transfer the case to circuit court. Please make sure that the addresses of both plaintiff and defendant are in the file, since the clerk of court must mail the Notice of Transfer to the parties. A sample transmittal form is enclosed, which you may copy and use. The magistrate should prepare two copies of this form, retaining one copy and forwarding the other copy to the clerk of court along with all original documents in the case file. (The copy of the transmittal form forwarded to the clerk of court will be returned to the magistrate with a completed receipt.) You may want to copy the file and retain the copies until you receive the receipt from the clerk of court.


When you receive the transmittal form and case file from a magistrate, treat the case just like any other new common pleas filing, EXCEPT:

1. Do not charge a filing fee. A fee has already been collected by the magistrate, who has attended to transmittal of that fee to your county treasurer; and

2. Do mail to all parties, or their attorneys, a Notice of Transfer of the case to circuit court. A copy of a sample form is enclosed, which you may copy and use. It is important that the parties have notice of the transfer, and that they be directed to use the proper case number on all documents to be filed with your court. The magistrate would not have this information to give to the parties; and

3. Do complete the receipt on the transmittal form, and return the entire transmittal form to the magistrate for his files.