Auto Diminished Value Cases in Small Claims Court

State laws require that every county court in the state have a division known as Small Claims Court. Small claims are civil suits that are designed for people to be able to represent themselves in court. The procedures are simple enough that an individual can file and handle his or her own claim in court. It is a simple, speedy and informal process. You file a small claim with the court clerk. Before filing a lawsuit in justice court, it is always recommended you attempt to resolve your problems with the other party. Small Claims Court cases, sometimes known as Conciliation Court or The Court of Common Pleas, are held in justice court locations, typically the Small Claims Division of District Court in each county. There are no juries, no appeals and no attorneys allowed in small claim cases. It has simplified rules and can go much faster than other types of cases. The person bringing the claim is the plaintiff. The person being sued is the defendant. In general, the claim must be filed in the district court of the county in which the defendant(s) reside. Once the small claims case is filed and served upon the defendant, the defendant has 30 days to file and answer with the courts. If you seek more than the jurisdictional limit, the claim is no longer “simple” and you should consult an attorney. This amount does not include filing costs, interest, and attorneys’ fees. The filing fees, which vary by state and amounts sought, are due at the time you file the affidavit.

States and their Small Claims Court Thresholds

Alabama $6,000

Alaska $10,000

Arizona $3,500

Arkansas $5,000

California $10,000

Colorado $7,500

Connecticut $5,000

Delaware $15,000

DC $10,000

Florida $8,000

Georgia $15,000

Hawaii $5,000

Idaho $5,000

Illinois $10,000

Indiana $8,000

Iowa $6,500

Kansas $4,000

Kentucky $2,500

Louisiana $5,000

Maine $6,000

Maryland $5,000

Massachusetts $7,000

Michigan $6,500

Minnesota $15,000

Mississippi $3,500

Missouri $5,000

Montana $7,000

Nebraska $2,700

Nevada $10,000

New Hampshire $7,500

New Jersey $3,000

New Mexico $10,000

New York State $3,000
New York City $5,000

North Carolina $10,000

North Dakota $15,000

Ohio $3,000

Oklahoma $10,000

Oregon $10,000

Pennsylvania $12,000

Rhode Island $5,000

South Carolina $7,500

South Dakota $12,000

Tennessee $25,000

Texas $20,000

Utah $11,000

Vermont $5,000

Virginia $5,000

Washington $10,000

West Virginia $10,000

Wisconsin $5,000 – $10,000

Wyoming $6,000


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