How is the Defendant notified?
After the claim has been filed, the magistate court will serve (notify) the defendant with a copy of the claim and a summons to appear in court.
The defendant has 30 days, in most cases, to give the court a written or oral answer to the claim. If the defendant fails to answer within this time, the plaintiff can ask the judge for a default judgment.
The defendant may file a counterclaim against the plaintiff, if the counterclaim is related to the plaintiff's original charge and the defendant's total monetary claims are also less than $15,000. Counterclaims are usually heard at the same time as the plaintiff's claims. If the judge rules in the defendant's favor on a counterclaim, the defendant may collect damages from the plaintiff.