Case Initiation

In an effort to expedite the case initiation process, the Civil Records Department is requesting that you provide the following items to avoid delay in filing and scheduling your individual case.  Filings which do not comply with these requirements may be delayed. 


Form 4 must be completed and presented with all Circuit Civil Petitions.  Form 17 must be completed and presented with all Family Court Petitions. 


The case type (nature of action) code is required to be included on the first page of each new petition filed pursuant to Rule 3.1.  A list of valid case type codes is available on the court’s webpage under Forms


Supply enough copies when filing a new case or alias summons requests:

  • Original for Court file
  • Copy for each service
  • Copy for your file
  • Landlord tenant actions and unlawful detainer actions where service by posting is requested.  An original and three (3) copies of the petition, per defendant, must be supplied.  Add another copy for your file. Four (4) copies of the petition must be supplied for unlawful detainers.
  • Service issued to the Division of Insurance.  Two (2) copies of the petition for each person summoned. 



Provide a return self addressed stamped envelope.

CORRECT FILING FEE (Pro se filers)

 In addition, if service is to be perfected anywhere other than Jackson County, a check, made payable to the other jurisdiction, should be included.  Please refer to Rule 5.1 under Civil Records-Fees.  The court does not accept personal checks, except in Small Claims cases.


Service instructions should be included and need to be specific.  Information should also be included as to whether service will be by Civil Process or by private process.  Motion/Order and instructions are required for private process service.  Private Process Servers can be approved on a case by case basis, or be pre-approved and on the current year’s list of court approved private process servers. In addition, for pro se filers if service is to be perfected in any county other than Jackson County, the name of the sheriff and complete address information must be supplied or the summons will be returned to you for forwarding to the sheriff in the county where service is to be obtained..


Rule 4.9 states that the Court Administrator shall maintain a list of qualified process servers who have been pre-approved by the Presiding Judge (see list under Civil Records-Private Process Servers).  Approval by the Presiding Judge shall be good for the calendar year in which the approval is granted and shall remain effective until December 31 of that year.  The individual only has to submit an original application for approval once for that given year.  However, the plaintiff will have to file a Motion and Order to allow that approved individual to serve process on each individual case.  If the individual is not on the court’s approved list, they must file an original affidavit in each case.  Please go to the Civil Records – Miscellaneous Forms section for the application or affidavit.