Looking to sue a company that’s ripped you off? Here are the steps for small claims court.
Ready to sue a company, like your phone company, cable provider or bank, in small claims court? Small claims courts are only for certain types of claims, so your first step is to make sure your claim can be filed. There are two things you need to pay attention to:
The amount of money: Every small claims court sets a maximum dollar size for the claim you can bring. In most states it’s either $5000 or $10,000, but it can be as low as $2,500 (in Kentucky and Rhode Island). You can find a list of all 50 states’ monetary limits here.
The type of relief: There are two types of awards that you can seek in a lawsuit – monetary (a dollar value payment) and equitable (any non-monetary request). Most small claims courts can only grant monetary awards.
If your claim doesn’t fall within the limits of your state’s small claims court, you’ll have to arbitrate your claim instead.
When you’re done filling out the court forms, it’s time to give those forms to the court. This process, called “filing” can be a bit tricky.
Not ready to sue in small claims court?
If it sounds too hard and expensive, you may be able to pursue consumer arbitration instead…