California small claims court limit raised to $10,000

On July 8, 2011, Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 221 into law.  As of January 1, 2012, small claims litigants can now recover $10,000 from the previous limit of $7,500.  There are two caveats to this increase: 1.) for claims of bodily injury from a car accident against a defendant if the defendant is insured and the policy contains a duty to defend and 2.) the limit remains $5,000 for suits brought by corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships, and other corporate entities.

An individual still cannot file more than two small claims actions that exceed $2,500 in any year.

SB221 was authored by the same senator who authored SB422 in 2005 which increased the limit from $5,000 to $7500.

This will allow more people to resolve their cases without the expense of hiring an attorney to recover money.  This website has more information on small claims court cases in California.

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