How to Use Small Claims Court

by Chris Bjorklund

Chris Bjorklund, The Savvy ConsumerIf you have a dispute that can’t be resolved through mediation, you might need to go to Small Claims Court. For example, you might file a case against a landlord who won’t return your security deposit or against someone who damages your car and won’t pay for the repairs. This special court is designed to help people resolve problems quickly and inexpensively without lawyers or a jury.

How much can you sue for in California? Any individual or business owned by an individual can file two cases per year for up to $10,000 each. You must file where the contract was signed, where the person being sued lives, or where the business being sued is located. The filing fees are based on the amount of your claim. When you go to court, be sure to bring evidence that supports your claim, including receipts, contracts, repair estimates, bills or photographs that show property damage.