The rules are simple and informal. The person who sues is the plaintiff. The person who is sued is the defendant. In small claims court, you may ask a lawyer for advice before you go to court, but you cannot have a lawyer in court during the hearing. You must present your case yourself.
An individual cannot ask for more than $10,000 in a claim. Corporations and other entities (like, government entities) cannot ask for more than $5,000. You can file as many claims as you want for up to $2,500 each, but you can only file 2 claims in a calendar year that ask for more than $2,500.
You can only sue a guarantor for up to $4,000 ($2,500 if they don't charge for the guarantee). (A "guarantor" is a person who promises to be responsible for what another person owes.)
Any mentally competent person who is (a) 18 years old or older, or (b) an emancipated child.
If you are either not mentally competent, or under 18 years old and not emancipated, a judge must appoint an adult called a “guardian ad litem” to represent you in small claims court.
Please see our Forms and Filings page for information on how to obtain court forms.
The cost to file a small claims case depends on how much money you are seeking and how many cases you filed within the calendar year. Please see our Fee Schedule for the current filing fees.
The typical cases involve, but are not limited to, auto accidents, property damage, landlord/tenant disputes and the collection of personal debts.