California Small Claims Court is a special court in California where disputes between parties are resolved in a quick and inexpensive manner. It is a special type of case filed in the civil division of a county’s superior court. Each County in California has a superior court. Small Claims cases are generally handled in the county where the plaintiff resides. The rules are simple and informal compared to a regular civil case. You may ask a lawyer for advice before you go to court, but you are generally not allowed to be represented by one. You do not need to be a United States Citizen to file or defend a small claims court case. However, each individual must be at least 18 years of age. Only cases where a party seeks monetary damage can be filed in small claims court. Injunctions or other equitable relief are not available to a party in these courts. Common examples of California small claims court cases are:
- Your landlord will not return a security deposit
- A person damages your car and refuses to pay
- Any case where a plaintiff, if they are a person, is seeking $10,000 or less. (Note: The limit was previously raised from $7,500 to $10,000 on January 1, 2012)
We provide all the resources you need to file or defend a small claims court action in California and even filing an appeal. Here you will find articles on all the different aspects of small claims actions including:
- Small Claim Court Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) A quick runthrough of the most frequently asked questions we get here at CASmallClaims.com.
- Demand Letters A guide to writing your first demand letter (which is actually the first step toward taking your case to small claims court!).
- Small Claim Court Rules What rules apply for small claims court? Do I need to know the Evidence Code? This article walks you through what rules apply to your small claims court case.
- Who will be the judge at my small claims hearing? This article describes what type of judge you will most likely have (here’s a hint, they probably won’t “technically” be a judge”).
- Can I appeal the judge’s ruling? I lost. Can I appeal? How? This article outlines the appeals process for small claims court cases. And lets you know what “trial de novo” really means.
- Do I need to hire an attorney? I have a case but am not sure if I should hire an attorney. This article debunks the myths that most people have regarding attorneys and small claims court cases.
Small Claims Court for Your County
California has 58 counties and each county has its own superior court. Small claims cases are filed with the superior court of your County. In fact, a small claims court case can sometimes be filed in a number of places. Usually, the venue where the plaintiff lives is an appropriate venue for your small claims court case. Looking for information for your specific County? We have you covered:
- Alameda County Small Claims Court
- Contra Costa County Small Claims Court
- Fresno County Small Claims Court
- Kern County Small Claims Court
- Los Angeles County Small Claims Court
- Monterey County Small Claims Court
- Orange County Small Claims Court
- Placer County Small Claims Court
- Riverside County Small Claims Court
- Sacramento County Small Claims Court
- San Bernardino County Small Claims Court
- San Diego County Small Claims Court
- San Francisco County Small Claims Court
- San Joaquin County Small Claims Court
- San Luis Obispo County Small Claims Court
- San Mateo County Small Claims Court
- Santa Barbara County Small Claims Court
- Santa Clara County Small Claims Court
- Solano County Small Claims Court
- Sonoma County Small Claims Court
- Stanislaus County Small Claims Court
- Tulare County Small Claims Court
- Ventura County Small Claims Court
We are adding new Counties each week!
Out-of-state Small Claims Court Information
Not from California? Don’t worry, we’ve created a separate page for your state that will help you to discover some great resources for the small claims case in your state. Some articles on our website will still be applicable to you even though your case may be filed in a different state, so feel free to check them out.
Make sure to bookmark our site as we are constantly adding new material to assist with your California Small Claims Court case.