Stanislaus County Small Claims Court, California

Stanislaus County Small Claims Court Filing Fee

A filing fee is required and is set relative to the amount of money you are requesting for your claim. If you filed twelve or less claims over the past twelve months, the filing fee is:

  • $0 to $1,500 – $30
  • $1,500.01 to $5,000.00 – $50
  • $5,000.01 to $10,000.00 – $75

If a party has filed twelve or more small claims court actions over the last twelve months, the filing fee is $100.

Which cases are filed in Stanislaus County?

Normally, a case must be filed in the County where the Defendant resides (lives for a person or business has its principle place of business). 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 person can file an action in small claims court if that person is at least 18 years old or a child who has been emancipated. If you are under 18 or not mentally competent, the judge must appoint a guardian at litem to represent you in small claims court. A guardian ad litem is an adult appointed by the court to represent that person only for that case.

How long does it take my case to be heard?

Stanislaus 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). Generally, the small claims court trial should be between twenty and seventy days after the case is filed. Because of state cuts to the Stanislaus County Superior Court budget, most hearings are set well past the seventy days.

What is Mediation for Small Claims Court?

You may be asked to have your mediated before the trial. Mediation is a confidential, non-binding dispute resolution program where an impartial mediator attempts to bring both parties to an outcome that each side agrees to. Mediation may be offered before your trial or the very same day of the trial. Mediation is nothing to be scared of, but rather another chance for you to explain your side of the case (which will better prepare you for the actual hearing in front of the judge).

Small Claims Court Statute of Limitations

All cases must be filed before a certain deadline called the statute of limitations. This is a legal term which simply means the deadline for which you must file your claim. The time limit is different depending on the type of the case. If the plaintiff suffered personal injury, the statute is two years from the injury (or when you learned of the injury). (A child has two years from the date of his or her eighteenth birthday to file a case). If the defendant broke an oral contract, the plaintiff must file the case within two years of the breach. If there is a written contract, the plaintiff has three years to file the case from the date the defendant breached the contract. If the defendant committed fraud, the plaintiff has three years from when the plaintiff first learned of the fraud. It can be very difficult to determine when the statute of limitations begins to run (even for veteran attorneys). It is far better to file the case and let the judge decide, rather than filing too late and having it dismissed.

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.

What is the most a person can sue for in Stanislaus County Small Claims Court?

The most a person can sue for in small claims court is $10,000. 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.

Stanislaus County Small Claims Court Hearing

Stanislaus County Small Claims Court
Stanislaus County Small Claims Court
Small Claims Court cases are often scheduled where a number of cases will be heard in the same department at the same time (one at a time). 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 very important to spend time preparing for your case ahead of time. You should bring all the paperwork that supports your claim (or defense) including receipts, contracts, photographs, invoices, and any other paperwork. Bring other witnesses who were present during relevant times and can provide testimony about the incident. Being prepared for the hearing is half the battle. After hearing both sides, the judge may make a decision at the hearing or notify the parties of the ruling by mail, several days later.

Types of Stanislaus County Small Claims Court Cases

Many different types 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.

What is Small Claims Court?

Small claims court is a special court where disputes between parties are handled quickly and inexpensively. The rules for small claims court cases in Stanislaus County are the same for any county in California. These rules are meant to be simpler than a regular civil case so that a non-lawyer can understand and represent himself or herself in court. The party who files the action or claim is known as 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. However, you are able to consult and speak with an attorney before or after the small claims court hearing.

Stanislaus County Small Claims Court Locations

Small Claims Court cases are heard in 1 courthouse across the County. The website address for Stanislaus County Superior Court is: Here are the locations:


The Civil is located at:

801 10th Street, 4th and 6th Floors
Modesto, CA 95353

The phone number is: 209-530-3102

3 thoughts on “Stanislaus County Small Claims Court, California”

  1. Was renting a room from a girlfriend. We had an argument over a surprise birthday party I was going to have for her. After two days of arguing, she locked me out of the house. Police were called out 2x attempting to get my things, but she ignored their direction to allow me access $200 rent had been paid for June 1-15 (as was our agreement) locked out on 8th ($93); missed 3 days of work (was working 10-12 hour days OSH lighting fixture resets out of town) $450; was unable to get my mail, including my =paycheck; had to stay in motel 3 nights ($240) – stayed in van 4 nights and at sisters 3 nights; missing pressure washer ($150 used value); misc unreturned items including kitchen dishes and tupperware; at least $75 in groceries

  2. ive got a solution for modeso.move the courthouse small claims welfare or humane society orsocial office to the other modesto so far away only mules and people on foot can reach call it stanisloss county with special transportation and eievator for government use only of coaurse and change the amall claims to only 1 filing allowed every cenrury under 2500 bucks and papers to be in milltriljicate

  3. Trying to sue landlord for not fixing things in house as in the roof it leaks,mold,heater,bathroom and more. Told her many many times and still nothing. Have kids a and I know the mold is bad for them. Please I really need help. Number is 209-872-7629


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