Small claims court is a special court where disputes are resolved quickly and inexpensively. The rules are simple and informal. The person who sues is called the plaintiff. The person who is sued is called the defendant. You are not allowed to have a lawyer represent you at the hearing in small claims court. But you can talk to a lawyer before or after court.
Examples of other disputes that might be resolved in small claims
Your former landlord refuses to return the security deposit you paid.
Someone dents your car's fender and refuses to pay for its repair.
Your new TV will not work, and the store refuses to fix it or replace it.
Your tenant caused damage to the apartment in an amount that exceeded the security deposit. (Note: You can't file an eviction action in small claims court.)
You were defrauded in the purchase of a car, and desire to cancel the purchase and get back the amount of your down payment from the seller.
You lent money to a friend, and he or she refuses to re-pay it.
In most small claims courts, cases are heard within 30–40 days after filing the plaintiff ’s claim, but they are never set for earlier than 20 days or more than 70 days after the claim is filed. Most cases are heard on weekdays, but some courts also schedule evening and Saturday sessions.
In general, a natural person (an individual) cannot ask for more than $10,000 in a claim. Businesses and other entities (like government entities) cannot ask for more than $5,000. This limit on businesses does not apply to sole proprietors, who are treated as natural persons.
You can file as many claims as you want for up to $2,500 each. But you can only file 2 claims in a calendar year that ask for more than $2,500.