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
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