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Civil Filing Information

If the amount of the dispute is $25,000.00 or less, the action is a limited civil case. If the amount of the dispute is over $25,000 or does not involve money, the matter is an unlimited civil case. A complex civil case is an action that requires exceptional judicial management as defined in Rule 3.400 of the California Rules of Court.

eFiling: The court has ordered that certain documents must be electronically filed. For more information, click here.
Filing or Contesting a Civil Action

Civil actions which typically involve disputes about contracts, damage to property, landlord/tenant issues, or someone getting hurt.

Civil actions are divided into types, depending on how much money is owed:

  • If the amount of the dispute is $25,000.00 or less, the action is a limited civil case. Typical examples include landlord/tenant disputes and collections cases. Requests for civil harassment or workplace violence prevention restraining orders are also heard in limited civil.
  • If the amount of the dispute is over $25,000 or does not involve money such as actions to resolve title to real property or petitions for a writ of mandate, the matter is an unlimited civil case.
  • A complex civil case is an action that requires exceptional judicial management as defined in Rule 3.400 of the California Rules of Court.
  • You can also file in Small Claims Court for $10,000.00 or less. You can read about this in the Small Claims section of this website. If you are owed more than $10,000.00, you can waive the difference and file in Small Claims Court.

Where to File

The action must be filed in the proper court. You can find this information in the Court Designation/Locator List. 

Court Locations, Phone Numbers, and Hours

For a listing of Superior Court of Orange County court locations, telephone numbers, and hours, click here.

Filing Fees

For a list of filing fees, click here.

If you cannot afford to pay the filing fees, you can request that fees be waived under certain circumstances. Click here for more information.

eFiling

The Court has ordered that certain documents must be electronically filed. For more information, click here.

Self-Represented Litigant Assistance

Any court case is complicated and you must follow the Code of Civil Procedure and the California Rules of Court, as well as your court’s local rules. The Self Help section of this website provides basic information on:

  • filing a lawsuit
  • contesting a lawsuit
  • pre-trial proceedings
  • trial
  • appeals
  • consequences of failing to pay the judgment
  • collecting the judgment
  • legal forms
  • legal resources and assistance
  • Locations of self-help centers

If the case is a landlord/tenant matter, click here. For all other lawsuits, click here.


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