What cases can the court handle?
A small claims court can handle most claims for money damages of $3,000 or less, and counterclaims, and cross-claims of $3,000 or less. Small claims cases are like other lawsuits, except the amounts involved are too small to make the expense of suing in regular court worthwhile. The kinds of claims filed in small claims courts include, for example, claims by tenants to recover security deposits; claims by landlords for unpaid rent or damage to their property; claims by buyers for damages for defective merchandise; claims by business people and tradespeople for unpaid bills; claims by automobile owners for damage sustained in minor accidents; claims by employees, baby-sitters, maids, and handy persons for unpaid wages. Also, governmental entities can file certain claims in small claims court. In summary, small claims court is a forum which can handle, and resolve, most common disputes which involve modest monetary claims. There are limitations on the claims that small claims can handle. First, the claim must be for money only. For example, a small claims court cannot issue restraining orders or injunctions, or grant divorces. Second, not counting court costs and interest, a claim cannot exceed $3,000 and, if filed, a counterclaim or a cross claim cannot exceed $3,000. Third, regardless of the amount involved, a small claims court cannot handle certain lawsuits. For example, a small claims court cannot handle lawsuits based on libel, slander, and malicious prosecution. Lawsuits seeking punitive or exemplary damages; or lawsuits brought by an assignee or agent. (Governmental entities can bring certain lawsuits through an agent.) fourth, claims against certain entities, for example, the agencies of the state of Ohio, or the united state government and its agencies, cannot be handled by a small claims court. Fifth, where a counterclaim or cross-claim in excess of $3,000 is filed, the court will transfer the case to the regular court docket. Sixth, the court may transfer a case to regular court upon motion (written request to the court) of a party against whom a claim, counterclaim, or cross-claim is made, or upon the motion of a third party defendant (a person or entity not in the original case who was added to the case after the case started.)

Show All Answers

1. What is small claims court?
2. What cases can the court handle?
3. Who can sue or be sued?
4. Where do I file my claim?
5. How do I file my claim?
6. What does it cost?
7. I’ve been sued! What do I do now?
8. What if the claim is settled before hearing?
9. How do I prepare my case?
10. What is mediation?
11. How does mediation work?
12. Why mediate?
13. What if I do not appear at the hearing / trial?
14. What if I win or lose?
15. How do I get my money?