This article will help you decide if you can bring your case to the small claims courthouse of your choice. Please note that Dispute is not an attorney, nor are we offering legal representation. This is a general guide, but you should get an attorney to help you decide on your particular case.
What Types of Cases are Heard at Small Claims Court?
The small claims courts have a “limited jurisdiction,” which means that it can only preside over certain types of disputes. Many small claims courts only handle cases that involve smaller amounts of money. This is typically about $10,000 or less (varies courthouse by courthouse). You will want to call or email your local county or state clerk and/or courthouse to determine the limits.
Small claims courts typically hear most civil court cases. These can include (but are not limited to):
- Breach of contract disputes
- Personal injury claims (such as dog bites)
- Collection on debts or loan repayments
- Professional negligence claims (like bad car repairs)
- Claims regarding the return of a renter's security deposit or personal property
- Issues with contractors or home remodels
- Property damage claims
- Claims involving eviction notices or unlawful eviction
- False arrest claims
- Libel or slander cases
- Counterclaims to a lawsuit
However, many small claims courts will not handle:
- Family law cases (divorce, child support issues, guardianships)
- Name changes
- Probate cases
- Personal injury cases with serious injuries or damages
Almost anyone can bring a small claims case or be sued in small claims court. This also includes large corporations and smaller businesses. If the dollar amount at stake is over $10,000, you may need to get an attorney to bring the matter to a superior court.
If you have any additional questions, please contact us.