How to adjourn a small claims case

Updated February 21, 2017

Adjournment is when a case is suspended until a later date. Having a small claims case adjourned is no easy task because granting an adjournment request is at the judge's discretion, and most judges won't grant an adjournment unless there is a compelling reason. Still, it is possible to have a small claims case adjourned, and making the actual request is fairly easy.

Notify the other party in the case that you intend to request an adjournment. It does not matter what method you use to send the notification; it only matters that the party was notified.

Review why you are requesting an adjournment. Make sure you have all of your facts straight, and try to predict any questions the judge may ask you. The judge will heavily scrutinise your request, and the better prepared you are to answer questions, the more likely the adjournment may be granted.

Request an adjournment from the judge. This request is usually made in court, although some jurisdictions allow you to make this request by mail or even by phone. Contact your court clerk if you are interested in submitting a request by mail or phone.


The more compelling your reason for an adjournment, the more likely it will be granted. Write down the statement you intend to make to the court, and rehearse it. If at all possible, rearrange your schedule so you can make your trial date.


If you are the defendant in the case, the judge may penalise you by granting an award to the plaintiff without hearing your argument.

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About the Author

For three years, Etch Tabor worked as the technology and online editor at "InsideCounsel" magazine, a national publication for in-house counsel. He currently is a full-time freelance writer, specializing in legal, technology and comedy writing. He graduated in 2004 from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a degree in journalism.