Small claim suits cannot exceed $3,500.
• All cases are heard by either a judge or hearing officer, who then makes a decision.
•The decision is final and binding on both parties. There is no right to a jury trial or an appeal in small claims cases.
•Formal Rules of procedure do not apply. Procedures in small claims cases are intended to be simple enough for a person to file all the necessary forms and represent him/herself at an informal hearing.
There are two specific motions allowed by law in a small claims action. These are Motion for Change of Venue (Location) and Motion to Vacate a Judgment.
Who Can File a Small Claim?
The small claims court can be used by any individual, partnership, association or corporation for civil claims that do not exceed $3,500. Small claims cases are simplified, therefore, lawyers are not allowed.
When Can a Small Claim be Filed?
People should try to settle their disputes and disagreements out of court whenever possible. If an agreement cannot be reached, a small claims complaint may be filed. The types of claims that can be filed in the small claims division include:
• money debts
• personal injury
• property damage
If the complaint has been filed in the wrong precinct, the defendant can file a Motion for Change of Venue. The form may be obtained from the court. The plaintiff may file an objection to the requested change. If the court orders a change of venue, the case shall be transferred to the proper precinct and the plaintiff shall pay all fees. The motion alleging improper venue must be made before filing the ANSWER. If the defendant fails to file a timely request for a change of venue, that right is waived.