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Small Claims Court Administration

Jan 17, 2020 | California

What is California Law on Small Claims Court in General?

According to the Law there shall be a small division of claims in every Superior Court. The division of small claims can be regarded as the court of Small Claims.

The Administration of Small Claims Court

Through legal practice, the Judicial Council shall provide for the process and procedure, the forms and their use in actions involving small claims.

Every small claims division shall provide a current copy of a document detailing the small claims court statute and the procedures applicable in the small claims courts, including the laws and procedures relevant to the compliance of judgments, in each court in which small claims cases are heard. The California Center for Judicial Education and Research’s Small Claims Court and Consumer Law Bench Book is an example of a publication that meets the requirements of this branch.

Every division of small claims will devise and distribute a manual on the rules and procedures of the small claims court to litigants and the public. The manual will clarify how to complete the necessary forms, how to determine the proper court where small claims cases can be filed, how to file and defend against lawsuits, how to appeal the decision, how to enforce a judgment, how to protect property that is excluded from execution, and other matters that the court finds necessary or desirable.

What Are the Services That Each Advisory Shall Provide?

Every county, or the superior court in a county where the court administers the small claims advisory service, shall decide the small claims advisory service in compliance with local needs and conditions.

The Following Services Shall Be Provided by Each Advisory:

  • Individual personal advisory services, either in person or by telephone, and by any other means reasonably determined to provide timely and effective assistance. Certain topics discussed by individual personal advisory services may include, but not restricted to, the preparation of court filings for small claims, procedures, including procedures relating to the conduct of the trial, and information on the processing of court judgments for small claims.
  • Recorded telephone messages might be used to complement the individual personal advisory services, but they are not the only means available in the county to provide advice.
  • Neighboring counties, superior courts in neighboring counties, or any combination of them, can jointly provide consulting services.
  • The Advisory Committee

    An advisory committee shall be established to review the nature and procedure of small claims as set out in the law, with particular attention given to improving procedures for implementing judgments.

    The Advisory Committee Shall Consist Of:

    • The Attorney General or a delegate.
    • 2 government representatives named by the Secretary of the State and Consumer Services Agency from consumer groups or organizations.
    • A representative assigned by the Speaker of the Assembly and a representative appointed by the Senate’s President pro Tempore.
    • 2 members named by the State Bars Board of Governors.
    • 2 business community members named by the Technology Trade and Commerce Secretary.
    • 6 judicial officers, appointed by the Judicial Council, who have extensive experience chairing the small claims court. Judicial officers appointed under this subdivision may include superior court judicial officers, appeal court judges, retired court officers, and temporary judges.
    • The Governor shall appoint one delegate.
    • 2 court clerks appointed by the Council of Justice.