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SMALL CLAIMS: General Information

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


Resolving Small Claims Cases [5-Parts Video]


The Small Claims Advisors can help you with procedural matters for Small Claims.


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.


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

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 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.

Justice Center

Phone Number

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
700 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701

Small Claims - 1st Floor
Self-Help Center - 1st Floor, Room G-100

(657) 622-6878

Orange, Santa Ana, Tustin, and Villa Park

Harbor Justice Center - Newport Beach Facility
4601 Jamboree Road
Newport Beach, CA 92660-2595

Small Claims - 1st Floor
Self-Help Center - 1st Floor, Room 150

(657) 622-5400

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
1275 N. Berkeley Ave.
Fullerton, CA 92832-1258

Small Claims - Upper Level, North Wing
Self-Help Center - Upper Level, Room 360

(657) 622-5600

Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Fullerton, La Habra, La Palma, Placentia, and Yorba Linda

West Justice Center
8141 13th St.
Westminster, CA 92683-4593

Small Claims - 1st Floor
Self-Help Center

(657) 622-5900

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.


Copy and Record Search Requests

Find information on how to view records and request copies of documents.

Additional Resources

There are a variety of resources which provide you with information about Small Claims court.

These are just a few:

Legal Help

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:

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