Small Claims Legal Advisor

The Superior Court provides a Small Claims Legal Advisor at no cost to assist with small claims issues and procedures.

An advisory information sheet is available in the How to File a Small Claims Case booklet. 


Small Claims Legal Advisor Phone Hotline

You may call the Small Claims Legal Advisor (SCLA) for information on small claims issues and procedures.  

24-hour Recorded Information: (858) 634-1900

SCLA Phone Number: (858) 634-1777 
Phone Hours:  Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Small Claims Legal Advisor In-Person Assistance at the Hall of Justice

The Small Claims Legal Advisory in-person clinic services is available at the Hall of Justice, located at 330 West Broadway San Diego 92101. Walk-in assistance is available on a first-come, first-served basis Monday-Thursday between the hours of 8:30 - 10:30 a.m. Appointments are available Monday-Thursday between 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. and appointments must be requested online. The SCLA will contact litigants making appointment requests with an appointment date. 

Important requirements for in-person consultations:

  1. Please arrive on time if you have a scheduled appointment.
  2. Consultations are limited to 30 minutes. If you arrive late to your scheduled appointment, the SCLA will assist you from the time you arrive for your appointment until the end of your scheduled 30-minute appointment. For example, if your appointment is from 11-11:30 a.m. and you arrive at 11:15 a.m., your appointment will still end at 11:30 a.m.
  3. Litigants are limited to a maximum of six in-person clinic consultations within a 30-day period. The three-hour per month maximum clinic time includes the scheduled 30-minutes clinic consultations and any clinic assistance provided on a walk-in basis. Additionally, appointment priority will be given to litigants who have not had an opportunity to receive clinic assistance. The number of phone consultations litigants may seek remains unlimited.
  4. The SCLA clinic consultations may not be appropriate for children. A supervised children’s waiting room are available at the Central Courthouse, accessible to the Hall of Justice by a foot bridge. Space is limited in the waiting rooms and is available on a first come, first served basis. Please make every effort to set up other childcare arrangements prior to your appointment. If you attend your appointment with a child, please be advised that you may be asked to arrange for a later appointment date if the child’s presence at your appointment impedes the ability to provide an effective consultation.  
  5. If you have documents, contracts, receipts, text messages, demand letters, etc., relating to your case, please organize your documents and bring them to your appointment. 
  6. In-person appointments cannot be scheduled with a specific legal advisor. An attorney or a paralegal working under the supervision of an attorney will assist you with your case. The attorneys and paralegals with whom you consult at the clinic and on the SCLA phone line are not your legal representatives.  
  7. Due to space limitations at the SCLA clinic, litigants may only be accompanied by one person to their appointment.   

Small Claims Legal Advisor Remote Assistance (email or chat)

The Small Claims Legal Advisory phone bank can assist litigants with completing paperwork by email. Help is available in English and Spanish. Assistance can be provided in other languages through the court’s translation services program at no charge to litigants.

The Small Claims Legal Advisor offers remote assistance via live chat. When an advisor is available, a "Chat" icon will appear in the bottom right corner of your browser.

Judgment Calculator

Use the Judgment Calculator to calculate

  • Daily and to-date accrued interest
  • Interest in between costs after judgment
  • Interest between payments

Small Claims Legal Advisory In-Person Clinic Appointments

The Small Claims Legal Advisor offers 30-minute in-person appointments at the Hall of Justice. To request an appointment, please complete the questionnaire at the link below.

Note: The Small Claims Legal Advisor does not assist with legal issues outside the jurisdiction of small claims court. This includes (but is not limited) to the following types of legal issues:
Traffic citations
Unlimited civil cases
Limited civil cases
Unlawful detainers (eviction)
Restraining orders
Family Law matters
Mechanic liens
Name changes
Cases against the federal government