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Small claims court is a special court within the Superior Court where disputes are resolved quickly and inexpensively. 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.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- How much money can I ask for?
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.)
- Who can sue in small claims court?
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.
- Where can I get forms?
Please see our Forms and Filings page for information on how to obtain court forms.
- How much money does it cost to file a small claims case?
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.
- What kinds of cases are heard in small claims court?
The typical cases involve, but are not limited to, auto accidents, property damage, landlord/tenant disputes and the collection of personal debts.
- Where can I get help with my small claims case?
Please see our Self-Help/Low-Cost Resources page for information on how to get assistance with your small claims case. For an extensive list of Questions and Answers, please see the Small Claims section of the California Courts Self-Help Center
215 Fifth Street, Suite 200
Marysville, CA 95901
Ph: (530) 740-1800 Ext. 3, Ext. 1
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Division Manager: Beth Barnes