Small Claims Advisors

If you are currently involved in, or may potentially become involved in, a small claims court action in Orange County, our small claim advisors might be able to help. 

Call the Small Claims Advisory for Information, forms, and procedures

Monday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Tuesday- Friday:  9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

(714) 571-5277 • Toll-Free: (800) 963-7717

Walk-in hours Monday -Friday 9 a.m. -12:30 p.m.

Assistance collecting your judgment- by appointment only

Weekly clinics to help you start your Small Claims case or collect your judgment are available. Please call the Small Claims Advisory to reserve seating.

The Small Claims Advisory cannot give legal advice and may provide services to all sides of a case.

If you are in a Small Claims case in Orange County, California, our Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) website may be able to help you negotiate with the other party and settle your case online.

More resources:

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is Small Claims court?

Small Claims Court lets parties resolve disputes involving money quickly and inexpensively. Small Claims trials are more informal than other civil trials, and the rules and procedures have been simplified. You can sue a person, business or public entity in Small Claims Court. Generally Small Claims Court is not able to force the other party to do, or not do something, unless a claim for money is part of the lawsuit or the request is expressly allowed by statute.

How much can I sue for in Small Claims court?

An individual or sole proprietorship can sue for up to $10,000. A corporation, partnership or other entities can sue for up to $5,000.  With limited exceptions you may only file two Small Claims cases over $2,500 during a calendar year.

How much does it cost to file a Small Claims case?

The filing fee will depend on how much you are suing for

Cases up to $1500 = $30 filing fee

Cases over $1500 up to $5000 = $50 filing fee

Cases over $5,000 up to $10,000 =$75 filing fee

If you have filed more than 12 Small Claims Cases in the last 12 months =$100 filing fee

Fee Waivers are available

What are some examples of Small Claims cases?

Your landlord wrongly kept your security deposit.

You lent money to a friend, and he refuses to pay you back.

Someone damaged your car and refuses to pay for repairs.

Which cases are not suitable for Small Claims Court?

Trying to enforce a child support order.

Your neighbor is harassing you and you need to file a restraining order.

You are being evicted from your apartment and want to stay.

You want to change your name.

Can a lawyer represent me in Small Claims court?

In general, a lawyer may not represent you in Small Claims Court. However, you may consult with a lawyer before your trial. A lawyer may represent you at a Small Claims Appeal, or help you collect your judgment.

Are there time limits to file my claim?

Yes. There are time limits for how long you have to file a Small Claims case known as the Statutes of Limitations. The time you have to file your claim depends on the type of case.  The Statutes of Limitations can be complicated, for more information speak to a Small Claims Advisor or attorney.

How can I get started with a Small Claims case?

Before you can file a Small Claims case, you must ask the other party to pay you. You can do so in person, writing, or over the phone. Once you have asked the other party for payment, complete and file the court forms.  For more information or assistance starting your claim contact the Small Claims Advisory.

What are your hours?

Call the Small Claims Advisory for Information, forms, and procedures

Monday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Tuesday- Friday:  9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

(714) 571-5277 • Toll Free: (800) 963-7717

Do you have walk-in hours?

Walk-in hours Monday -Friday 9 a.m. -12:30 p.m.

Assistance collecting your judgment- by appointment only

Need additional help finding a small claims advisor? Call our Small Claims Advisory (800) 963-7717
Need additional help finding a small claims advisor? Call our Small Claims Advisory (800) 963-7717