DO I HAVE A SMALL CLAIMS CASE?

Small Claims Court handles cases in which the demand is not more than $3,500, exclusive of court costs.

Procedure in Small Claims Court is simpler than in other courts. Parties are not represented by attorneys and cases can be heard relatively quickly and inexpensively. The hearing officer's decision is final and not appealable.

Please note: If you believe you are entitled to damages greater than these monetary limits, but still wish to sue in Small Claims, you give up your right to recover damages over the money limits. The additional money cannot be claimed later in a separate lawsuit.

Who Can File a Case in Small Claims Court?

Before considering Small Claims Court, make sure that your cause may be heard there. The Court only has jurisdiction to hear cases concerning specific issues. Typical cases eligible for small claims include the following:

  • Breach of a written or oral contract.
  • Return of money used as a down payment.
  • Property damage caused by a motor vehicle accident.
  • Damage to or loss of property.
  • Negligence resulting in property damage and/or bodily injury.
  • Consumer complaints for defective merchandise or faulty workmanship.
  • Collection of payment for work performed.
  • Claims based on bad checks.
  • Claims for back rent.
  • Return of a tenant's security deposit.

Likewise there are specific types of cases that cannot be filed in Small Claims Court. These include: