Small Claims

Small Claims Court is a special court where individuals, representing themselves, resolve disputes quickly and inexpensively in an informal setting. 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 represent you in court.

Watch this video describing the small claims process and some services that may assist you.

To view these videos about the small claims process in Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Russian and Korean languages, please visit the California Courts’ Self-Help YouTube page.

Effective January 1, 2024, the jurisdictional limit for small claims cases filed by individuals (including sole proprietors) increased from $10,000 to $12,500.