What is small claims court mediation?
Shasta County Superior Court may offer mediation for your claim before the actual trial. Mediation is a procedure where each side discusses the case with a third party (called the mediator), and the mediator tries to reach an agreement that both sides agree to. Mediation may be offered before your trial or the very same day of the trial. It is nothing to be scared of, just your chance to explain your side of the case to the mediator about what happened.
What is Small Claims Court?
Small claims court is a special court where disputes between parties are handled quickly and inexpensively. The procedures and rules of evidence for small claims court cases in Shasta are the same for any County in California. The rules for small claims court are simple and informal compared to the rules of regular civil cases. The person or business that files the action is the plaintiff. The Defendant is the person or business that is being sued. In California small claims court cases, neither party can hire an attorney to represent them at the hearing. Each party is allowed to consult with an attorney before the hearing to answer questions and discuss the case.
Small Claims Court Statute of Limitations
All claims must be filed before the statute of limitations has run. This is a legal term which simply means the deadline for which you must file your claim. The statute of limitations is different depending on the type of case. If you were hurt, you have two years from the date of the injury or the date the injury is discovered to file your claim. (A minor has two years from his or her eighteenth birthday). If the defendant broke an oral contract, the plaintiff must file the case within two years of the breach. If a written contract was broken, you have three years from when the agreement was broken. If you lost money because you were tricked or lied to, you have three years from when you learn of the deceit to file your case. It can be very difficult to determine when the statute of limitations begins to run (even for veteran attorneys). It is better to file your case sooner, and let the judge decide, rather than later and lose having your case heard.
How can I prepare for my Small Claims Court Hearing?
Cases in Shasta County are often scheduled with a number of other small claims court cases. The court’s schedule is busy and because of this scheduling, you will only have a few minutes to present your case. (You can pay attention to the cases that are heard before you). It is essential to spend time preparing your case in advance. This means organizing and bringing all paperwork and other documents that support your side (receipts, contracts, pictures, etc.). You should also bring other witnesses who can testify about your case. Ensuring that you are prepared for your case goes along way to securing a successful outcome. After the judge has heard both sides, the judge may either make a decision at the hearing or later and send notice of the ruling to the parties by mail.
What is the most a person can sue for in Shasta County Small Claims Court?
A person cannot sue for more than $10,000 in a case. A corporation (or other corporate entity) cannot sue for more than $5,000. A party can only file two actions that are more than $2,500 in a year. A person can file as many claims asking for $2,500 or less.
Where are Small Claims Court Cases Heard in Shasta County?
In Shasta County, small claims court cases are heard in 1 courthouse across the County. The website address for Shasta County Superior Court is: www.shastacourts.com. Here are the following locations where small claims cases are heard:
The Redding Courthouse is located at:
The phone number is: 530-245-6789
What types of cases are filed in Shasta County Small Claims Court?
A wide variety of cases can be filed in small claims court. The most common types are automobile accidents, property damage, rent deposit disputes, homeowners association disputes, and contractor disputes.
Shasta County Small Claims Court Filing Fee
The filing fee is required to be paid by the plaintiff when the claim is filed with the court. The amount of the filing fee is relative to the amount the plaintiff is seeking. If a plaintiff has filed twelve or less claims over the past twelve months, the filing fees are:
- $0 to $1,500 – $30
- $1,500 to $5,000 – $50
- $5,000 to $10,000 – $75
Once a party has filed twelve cases within twelve months, each consecutive case has a $100 filing fee.
Can I hire an attorney?
For California small claims court cases, you are not able to be represented by an attorney at the actual hearing. But, you are able to consult and speak with an attorney before or after the hearing to answer questions or discuss strategy.
Can I sue in small claims court in Shasta County?
The general rule is the case or claim must be filed in the County where the defendant resides. There are a number of exceptions to this, like in an automobile accident which can also be filed in the County where the traffic collision happened. A party may file the claim in small claims court if that party is at least eighteen years old. A party can file as someone less than eighteen if he or she has been emancipated. If someone is under eighteen or not mentally competent, the judge can appoint a person (usually a relative) as a guardian ad litem to act on that person’s behalf throughout the case. This person only acts on their behalf with respect to that particular small claims court case.
How long do I have to wait for my case to be heard?
Shasta County has its own Superior Court. The amount of time between when the claim is filed and heard varies between each County (and even within each County). Usually, the hearing for your small claims court case should be between twenty and seventy days after the case was filed. But, because of state budget cuts to the court’s budget, these hearings are usually being set well past the seventy day mark (which should give you plenty of time to prepare for the trial).