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Is Small Claims court right for your situation? This easy online interview will walk you through information, options, and resources available for your legal problem. Includes Small Claims forms.
Did you know that 22% of parties who initiate or respond to a Small Claims Case choose to e-file their documents? If you want to save time and money, you, too can e-file. Small Claims eFiling
Small Claims at a Glance
You can use the Small Claims court if you have a dispute with a person, company or government agency involving money. An individual (including a sole proprietorship) cannot ask for more than $10,000.00. Corporations, partnerships, and other entitles cannot ask for more than $5,000.00. You can file as many claims as you want for up to $2,500.00 each during a calendar year. But you can only file 2 claims in a calendar year that ask for more than $2,500.00.
The Self-Help Small Claims section explains:
- How to find alternatives to filing a claim
- How to file and serve a claim
- What happens if you are sued
- How to pay the claim
- Consequences of failing to pay the claim
- How to get ready for trial
- What happens after the trial
- How to collect a judgment
- How to file an appeal
Assistance in Person or Online
EDUCATIONAL VIDEOS ON SMALL CLAIMS:
Resolving Small Claims Cases [5-Parts Video]
SMALL CLAIMS ADVISORS:
The Small Claims Advisors can help you with procedural matters for Small Claims.
SUPERIOR COURT OF ORANGE COUNTY SMALL CLAIMS COURT STAFF:
The Small Claims court staff can assist you in person with forms, filing documents, and procedural matters from Monday-Friday, 8:00am - 4:00pm at three court locations.
SUPERIOR COURT OF ORANGE COUNTY SELF-HELP CENTERS:
Self-Help Center staff is available from Monday-Thursday 8:00am to 4:00pm and Friday 8:00am - 3:00pm to provide procedural guidance and information regarding forms for Small Claims matters at the following locations:
- Central Justice Center: First Floor, Room G-100
- 700 Civic Center Dr. West, Santa Ana, CA 92701
- Harbor Justice Center - Newport Beach Facility: Room 150
- 4601 Jamboree Road, Newport Beach, CA 92660
- Lamoreaux Justice Center: First Floor, Room 101
- 341 The City Dr. South, Orange, CA 92868
- North Justice Center: Upper Level, Room 360
- 1275 North Berkeley Ave., Fullerton, CA 92838
- West Justice Center: First Floor *
- 8141 13th St., Westminster, CA 92683
SUPERIOR COURT OF ORANGE COUNTY WEBSITE:
The court provides a variety of online services. View your case, access and fill out forms, check the court’s calendar and eFile your claim or countersuit.
DROP BOX INFORMATION:
Drop boxes or door slots are located at each of the courthouses below, with 24/7 access, for filing papers. Properly completed documents along with the fees for filing (if any) placed in drop boxes before 4:00pm on an open court day will be considered received on the same date.
Small Claims Courthouse Locations, Hours, and Venue
You can go to any of the courts below for procedural assistance between the hours of 8:00am and 4:00pm, Monday through Friday; however, you must file your small claims case and associated documents at the proper courthouse. This is called "venue". Please see the chart below to determine which courthouse you need to file your documents. Recorded general information is available at the phone numbers listed below. However, due to fiscal constraints, no call agents are available by phone.
|Examples of "venue" include where the defendant lives or does business; where the plaintiff’s property was damaged; where the plaintiff was injured; where the contract was made, signed, performed, or broken.|
Central Justice Center
Orange, Santa Ana, Tustin, and Villa Park
Harbor Justice Center - Newport Beach Facility
Aliso Viejo, Dana Point, Irvine, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, and San Juan Capistrano
North Justice Center
Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Fullerton, La Habra, La Palma, Placentia, and Yorba Linda
West Justice Center
Costa Mesa, Cypress, Fountain Valley, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, Stanton, and Westminster
Small Claims Forms and Law
Small Claims forms are available online, in person, or can be requested by mail from any of the above locations.
- Code of Civil Procedure (Small Claims Sections 116.210-116.950)
- California Rules of Court for Small Claims (Rule 3.2100-3.2120)
- Superior Court of Orange County Local Rules of Court (Rule 341-348)
Copy and Record Search Requests
There are a variety of resources which provide you with information about Small Claims court.
These are just a few:
- Resolving Small Claims Cases [5-Parts Video]
- California Department of Consumer Affairs
- California Courts Self-Help Center
- Law Help California
- State Bar of California
- Legal Aid Small Claims Advisory
- OC District Attorney Real Estate Fraud Report Form
- OCDA Economic Crimes
- OCDA Bad Check Program
You may consult an attorney for legal advice on your Small Claims case, but an attorney cannot represent you in Small Claims court, except after a judgment has been entered.
For legal advice, you may contact the following lawyer referral services: