This is a multi-page document.  Begin by perusing all the pages  (text and forms) contained herein and then begin reading carefully at the "start."

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start: Upon arriving at the SCC office (in Brooklyn) on the 9th Fl. of the Kings County Courthouse at 141 Livingston St),  take a turn ticket from the dispenser. Fill in the Initial Claim form (PLDZ-3), When it's your turn, give the claim form to the clerk, and  pay the filing fee which will depend on the amount you are claiming for (maximum $5000) and type of claim: individual or commercial--and will cost you between $15 and $32.60 (CASH ONLY...maybe nowadays modernized courts let you pay by credit card. Be safe; bring cash. See also related Purchase items that will help you minimize the pitfalls.

The clerk will then issue you an "INSTRUCTION FORM" (See below)  bearing your name (the plaintiff) and the name of the person you are suing (the defendant), the date of your court hearing and the index number of your case. [strong advice: make a few copies of it and PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION TO THE INDEX NUMBER OF YOUR CASE, DAY AND TIME OF YOUR HEARING]. You can now leave. Your name has been officially placed on the court calendar.

The clerk now sends ("serves")  a summons to/on  the  defendant by mail:  ordinary mail AND registered return-receipt mail--part of which is a green card that the defendant must sign when the postal-person delivers it to the defendant. That green card is then delivered back to the SCC clerk. This may take as long as three weeks. It is the way the court verifies that the summons has been served and is essential for the court to have if they are going to issue you a Subpoena for Records. My Purchase items PLDZ-2, and PLDZ-8 will be enlightening and useful to the uninitiated.

Service of the summons is considered complete when ...Purchase this document: Total pages 10