How to file a Small Claim
A small claim court is designed to handle cases inexpensively and quickly. The hearings are informal and attorneys are not allowed, although you may ask your lawyer for advice before your hearing. The small claims cases for Santa Clara County are held in Palo Alto and Morgan Hill court houses. A plaintiff is the person who is filing the lawsuit, the person being sued is the defendant. Basically the plaintiff tells the court his or her side of the story showing whatever evidence or witnesses they have, the defendant then follows with the same. The defendant is allowed to cross examine the plaintiff’s witnesses, then presents there case. and the plaintiff then is allowed to cross examine the defendant’s witness. At the end of the trial the judge usually decides on a verdict.
As an individual in small claims court you are allowed to have a claim of $10,000 or less. If you are a small business that is trying to file a claim you are still allowed to use small claims, but corporations have a limit to a $5,000. You can’t file more than two small claims court actions for more than $2,500 anywhere in this state during any calendar year. But you can file as many as you want if it’s less than $2,500. If you have any questions about small claims there are advisors for each county. Any claim below $1,500 cost $30 per claim. If the claim is $1,500-5,000 then it would be $50 per claim. Once the claim price is greater than $5,000 then then it would be 75$ per claim.
The form that you have to fill out to file a small claim is called an SC100, SC standing for small claims. After you fill out this form you turn it into the clerk in the court that you are choosing to file the claim. Once you have filed the papers with the clerk the next step is serving the defendant of your case. Neither you nor any witness involved in your case is allowed to serve the papers. Once the papers have...
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