Types of Sutter County Small Claims Court Cases
A wide variety of cases can be filed in small claims court. Common cases are: car accidents, damage to property, some landlord tenant disputes, and contractor disputes.
Sutter County Small Claims Court Limits
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. An individual can only file two small claims court cases for more than $2,500.00 in one year. A party can file as many cases in small claims court with an amount of $2,500 or less.
What is small claims court mediation?
Sutter 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. Mediation may work for your case, but at the very least, it will give you the chance to explain your case to someone (before you explain it to the judge).
Sutter County Small Claims Court Locations
In Sutter County, small claims court cases are heard in 1 courthouse across the County. The website address for Sutter County Superior Court is: www.suttercourts.com. Here are the following locations where small claims cases are heard:
The Main Courthouse is located at:446 Second St. Yuba City, CA 95991-5525
The phone number is: 530-822-3304
Which cases are filed in Sutter 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 you are under 18 or not mentally competent, the judge must appoint a guardian at litem to represent you in small claims court. This person only acts on their behalf with respect to that particular small claims court case.
Can I hire a lawyer?
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.
Statute of Limitations in Small Claims Court Cases
All claims must be filed before the statute of limitations has run. Statute of limitations is a legal term for the deadline to file a case. The time limit varies depending on the type of the 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 child has two years from the date of his or her eighteenth birthday to file a case). If an oral contract (or oral agreement) was broken, you have two years after the agreement was broken to file your case. 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 better to file your case sooner, and let the judge decide, rather than later and lose having your case heard.
How long do I have to wait for my case to be heard?
Sutter 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. Because of state cuts to the Sutter County Superior Court budget, most hearings are set well past the seventy days.
Sutter County Small Claims Court Hearing
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 important to prepare for your case beforehand. Bring any and all documents that support your case including: receipts, photos, contracts, and any other relevant documents. Make sure you bring any witnesses you need to the hearing if they are necessary to prove your case. Being prepared for the hearing is half the battle. 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.
Sutter 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
If you filed twelve or more small claims court actions in the last twelve months, the filing fee is a constant $100.00.
What is Small Claims Court?
Small Claims Court is a special court whose purpose is to handle cases an efficient, inexpensive fashion. The procedures and rules of evidence for small claims court cases in Sutter 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 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.