During a Small Claims Case

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Small claims court is a special division of a superior court where disputes about money can be resolved quickly and inexpensively. The rules are relatively simple and informal. The one suing is called the "plaintiff". The one being sued is called the "defendant".

Remember: Before you can file a small claims case at court you must have asked the other side to pay you the amount owed, or to do what you want them to do. This is called making a “demand,” and can be done in person, by telephone or in writing. For more information, go to How to Settle a Dispute.

This section has information that both the plaintiff and the defendant need to know about Small Claims cases: 

For specific information about what to do at the start of a court case: 

At any time, you can:

  • Read answers for Frequently Asked Questions about small claims cases.
  • Watch some short videos on the Basics of Small Claims Cases, click here. Opens new window
  • Read some general information about How Courts Work, click here. Opens new
  • Watch some videos with general information about how California's court system works, click here. Opens new
  • Watch some short videos with information on "Paperwork Basics" (forms), "Service of Process" and "Tips on Going to Court", click here. Opens new window




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