Guide to Small Claims Court Limits in All 50 States

Camila Lopez - Small Claims Procedure - January 9, 2023

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The first thing you should know if you want to take someone to small claims court is how much you can sue them for in the state you want to file in. Below is a 50-state chart of the small claims limits. If you click on the state name, you will find a guide on how small claims works in that state. 

Are you looking for the deadline for when you can sue in small claims court instead? This is known as the statute of limitations. Learn more about statutes of limitations for small claims court.

State 

Dollar Limit 

Alabama

$6,000

Alaska

$10,000

Arizona

$3,500

Arkansas

$5,000

California

$10,000 for Individuals. $5,000 for Corporations and LLCs.

Colorado 

$7,500

Connecticut

$5,000 

Delaware

$15,000

Florida

$8,000

Georgia

$15,000 

Hawaii

$5,000. There is no limit for security deposit claims. 

Idaho

$5,000

Illinois

$10,000

Indiana

$10,000. Except in Marion county which is $8,000

Iowa

$6,500

Kansas

$4,000

Kentucky

$2,500

Louisiana

$5,000

Maine

$6,000

Maryland

$5,000

Massachusetts

$7,000. Claims based on car accidents can be for more.

Michigan

$6,500

Minnesota

$15,000. The maximum for consumer credit transactions is $4,000. 

Mississippi

$3,500

Missouri

$5,000

Montana

$7,000

Nebraska

$3,9000

Nevada

$10,000

New Hampshire

$10,000. Any claim in excess of $5,000 is subject to mandatory mediation.

New Jersey

$5,000

New Mexico

$10,000

New York

$10,000 in NYC; $5,000 or $3,000 outside of NYC depending on the type of small claims court.

North Carolina

The amount varies by county, from $5,000 to $10,000.

North Dakota

$15,000

Ohio

$6,000

Oklahoma

$10,000

Oregon

$10,000

Pennsylvania

$12,000

Rhode Island

$5,000

South Carolina

$7,500

South Dakota

$12,000

Tennessee

$25,000

Texas

$20,000

Utah

On or after May 4, 2022, through December 31, 2024, $15,000 including attorney fees.

On or after January 1, 2025, through December 31, 2029, $20,000 including attorney fees.

On or after January 1, 2030, $25,000 including attorney fees. 

Vermont

$5,000

Virginia

$5,000

Washington

$10,000

Washington D.C.

$10,000

West Virginia

$10,000

Wisconsin

$10,000. Third-party complaints, personal injury claims, and actions based on torts are limited to claims of $5,000 or less. While actions based on evictions have no limit. 

Wyoming

$6,000

*Check your local court's website for any additional rules or exclusions.

What do I do if I want to sue someone for more than the small claims limit?

You will want to weigh the pros and cons of suing in a different type of court in your state. For example, in California, the next court up after small claims court is called “Limited Civil” where you can sue for up to $25,000. The procedure for Limited Civil is more complicated and you may want to consider quoting how much a lawyer would charge you to assist you with the process. 

Some factors you should consider when weighing your options: 

  • If you proceed in small claims, you may be waiving suing for the difference between the amount you are owed and the small claims limit. 

  • Small claims is cheaper, faster, and more convenient than other types of courts. 

  • The cost of hiring a lawyer in a regular court case versus handling small claims on your own. 

What do I do if I am not owed money? 

It is important to note that in most small claims courts, you will only be able to sue someone for money. You may not be able to sue to force someone to do something. For example, if you want to sue an auto repair shop because they damaged your car engine you may be able to sue them in small claims court for the cost of the damaged engine but you may not be able to force the auto repair shop to fix your damaged engine. If your intent is to force someone to do something, you should consider reviewing the rules in your state on what types of lawsuits can be filed in small claims court. 

Up next: Review our guide on how to take someone to small claims court. 

Author

Camila Lopez

Chief Legal Architect & Co-Founder @ People Clerk. Camila is an attorney, consumer advocate, and certified mediator. Her passion is breaking down complicated legal processes so that people without an attorney can get justice.

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