How Much Does California’s Small Claims Court Cost?

Jay Rothman
3 min readJan 26


You must understand how much it will cost to file a case if you reside in California and wish to submit a claim in small claims court. The cost might range from $250 to $600, depending on the county you are filing in. This is a ballpark figure; it doesn’t account for other costs. For instance, you might need to employ a lawyer to assist you. You can also challenge a judgment in court.

The cost to file a small claims case in California varies according to the claim’s monetary value. The number of lawsuits that can be filed in small claims court is likewise subject to some restrictions. Additionally, there are specific steps you must take while bringing a small claims lawsuit.

You must offer a statement outlining your claim. This needs to include the defendant’s name, address, and the basis of your lawsuit. A photocopy of your certificate of doing business is required if you own a business.

In California, a small claims action can be filed for anywhere from $30 and $75. The price rises to $100 if the plaintiff filed more than 12 small claims cases the year before.

If you live in California and are involved in a financial disagreement, you may submit a claim to the small claims court. You can do this by getting in touch with your county’s county clerk’s office. They will assist you in compiling all the data required to begin the procedure.

It would help if you verified the statute of limitations before bringing your claim. The California legislature established a regulation that specifies that you only have a finite amount of time to file your complaint. You must complete the deadline to avoid losing your lawsuit.

You typically have 45 days to submit your minor claim. You will now be given a hearing. The judge will hear your testimony at this hearing and conclude.

If you have ever brought a lawsuit in California’s small claims court, you are probably aware that the defendant must be served with notice of your claim. It’s not always simple to determine the appropriate method for performing a defendant.

The Small Claims Affidavit of Complaint must be filled out in order to serve a defendant in small claims court. Both online and in the court clerk’s office, these forms are accessible. The forms can also be completed over the phone.

You have around five days after the affidavit is submitted to submit a proof of service to the court. When you attempt to serve the defendant, the court will be informed by the evidence of benefit. You might occasionally have to compensate a process server.

You might need clarification about your right to appeal if you have a small claims case. Many states permit an appeal by either party, while others demand that the case be heard in formal processes.

The majority of the time, a small claims action includes a disagreement over money, property, or other kinds of property. The court manages these cases in a reasonably affordable manner. But the small claims appeals process might take time to understand.

There is often a deadline for filing an appeal in each state. Depending on the state, this usually lasts 10 or 30 days. Most courts will give an appeal a fair hearing if it is well-written and persuasive.

You must provide the court with a monetary bail in order to submit an appeal. Additionally, you must read the court’s paperwork and appeal regulations.

You must choose a Los Angeles courthouse if you file a lawsuit there. There are several alternatives in the courthouse sleuthing community, which is diverse. Depending on your residence, you might have to choose between the Central or Westside courts. It’s also important to note that several local courthouses accept the same case. This implies you’ll need to visit several before settling on the best one.

You’ll want to research and study the court system before you travel, in addition to selecting a courthouse. Additionally, you must be aware of the type of issue you are handling. In terms of filing paperwork, many courts are more than happy to allow you to do so as long as the other parties reasonably can reach an amicable solution.



Jay Rothman

Attorney Jay Rothman has over 50 years of expertise defending other people's rights.