Small Claims

Small Claims limits the jurisdictional amount to cases less than $5,000. A plaintiff who allegedly suffered damages in excess of $5,000 may still file a small claim, but by doing so waives the right to recover anything in excess of the jurisdictional amount.

A person or business can easily navigate the legal process without hiring an attorney. There are no juries, and lawyers are not allowed to represent either party unless permission is granted by a judge.

Failure to Appear


Forms for this type of action are provided by the Court. The plaintiff must appear in court for the trial. If the Defendant does not appear, the judge will issue a default judgment. If the Defendant does appear, then the judge will have a trial, listen to both sides of the case and make his ruling. The clerks are not permitted to give legal advice or to predict how the judge might rule in a given situation.

Filing Fee


At the time of filing, the plaintiff must pay a filing fee which is non-refundable. This can be paid by check, payable to District Court, or in cash. If you win your case, you are entitled to a judgment. The court, however, does not enforce this judgment.