California Rules & Forms

Small Claims Court

Court:  Californians file small claims cases in the Small Claims Division of the Superior Court.

Jurisdictional Limit:  $10,000, but an individual plaintiff can not file any claim that exceeds $2,500 more than twice in the same year.  Businesses are limited to $5,000 per year.

Answer Period:  Defendant may file a written response at any time before the trial date, or otherwise just appear at the trial.

Attorney Representation:  California does not permit attorneys in small claims court.

Eviction Cases:  Eviction cases cannot be filed in small claims court.

Jury Trial:  Jury trials not permitted in small claims court.

Statutes of Limitations  (Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 312 et seq.)
– Written Contract:  4 years
– Oral Contract: 2 years
– Personal Injury: 2 years
– Real Property: 3 years
– Personal Property: 3 years

Forms & Information: Click Here