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Where to File a Small Claims Case

Camila Lopez - How To - August 26, 2022

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    Are you wondering where can you process a Small Claims Lawsuit in California? Maybe you are not sure which Courts conduct Small claims hearings in California. Here you will find out how to Identify in which small claims court you can sue in your California County.

    You can sue the defendant in any California county where: 

    • Where the defendant lives or does business.

    • Where your property was damaged.

    • Where you were injured.

    • Where the accident happened.

    • Where the contract (written or spoken) was made, signed, performed, or broken by the defendant.

    • Where the defendant did business when the defendant made the contract.

    What types of small claims cases can be filed?

    As long as there isn't another court better suited to file the lawsuit, then the lawsuit can be filed in small claims. The most common types of small claims lawsuits in California County Small Claims Court are:

    • Landlord/Tenant disputes over the security deposit.

    • Landlord/Tenant disputes over unpaid rent.

    • Roommate disputes.

    • Disputes over loans.

    • Contracts (written and verbal).

    • Auto accidents.

    • Disputes over auto repairs.

    • Disputes over remodeling or home repairs (disputes with contractors).

    • Damage caused to property.

    • Unpaid bills.

    Why does this matter?

    Plaintiff’s Claim and Order to Go to Small Claims Court (SC-100) question #5 asks "Why are you filing your claim at this courthouse?". It asks this to make sure that you have filed the case in a court that has the ability to decide the case. This is known as "jurisdiction." If a court does not have jurisdiction, then the case will be dismissed (closed) and you will have to start over and file in a court that has jurisdiction.


    Camila Lopez

    Legal Educator @ People Clerk. Camila holds a law degree and is a certified mediator. Her passion is breaking down complicated legal processes so that people without an attorney can get justice.

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