Tehama County 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 Tehama are the same for any County in California. The rules are designed to be less complex and more less formal when compared to general 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 small claims court cases in California, neither party is allowed to have a lawyer represent you at the hearing. However, you are able to consult and speak with an attorney before or after the small claims court hearing.
Small Claims Court Locations for Tehama County
Tehama County Small Claims Court cases are heard in 1 courthouse across Tehama County. The website for Tehama County Superior court is: www.tehamacourt.ca.gov. Here are the following locations where small claims cases are heard:
The Civil Division is located at:633 Washington St. #17 Red Bluff, CA 96080
The phone number is: 530-527-6441
What types of cases are filed in Tehama County Small Claims Court?
Many different types of cases can be filed in small claims court. Common cases are: car accidents, damage to property, some landlord tenant disputes, and contractor disputes.
Filing Fee for Small Claims Court cases in Tehama County
A filing fee is required and is set relative to the amount of money you are requesting for your claim. 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 mediation?
Your Tehama County Small Claims Court cases may be sent to mediation before it is heard at the actual trial or hearing. Mediation is a legal term which means that each side will have a discussion with an impartial third party to try and reach an agreement for the outcome of the case. Mediation can occur before the trial or even on the same day as your trial. It is nothing to be scared of, just your chance to explain your side of the case to the mediator about what happened.
Can I file my claim in Tehama County?
Usually, a claim must be filed in the County where the person or business being sued resides. Exceptions to this include automobile accidents (which can be filed where the accident 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 much time do I have to file my case?
All cases must be filed by a certain deadline called the statute of limitations. Statute of limitations is a legal term for the deadline to file a case. The statute of limitations is different depending on the type of case. If the case involves personal injury to you, the case must be filed within two years of the injury or two years of when you first learned of the injury. (A child has two years from the date of his or her eighteenth birthday to file a case). If the case involves an oral contract which was broken or breached, you have two years from the date of the breach to file your action. If the contract was written, you have three years from the date the contract was breached or broken to file the case. If you were the victim of fraud, you have three years from when you first learn of the fraud 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 far better to file the case and let the judge decide, rather than filing too late and having it dismissed.
Tehama County Small Claims Court Limits
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 person can only file two small claims court actions for more than $2,500 in one year. A person or corporation can file as many cases seeking $2,500.00 or less.
Can I have an attorney represent me?
For California small claims court cases, you are not able to be represented by an attorney at the actual hearing. A party can discuss the case with an attorney before or after the the case to answer questions and help a party prepare for the hearing.
Small Claims Court Hearing in Tehama County
Cases in Tehama 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 important to prepare for your case beforehand. This means organizing and bringing all paperwork and other documents that support your side (receipts, contracts, pictures, etc.). Bring other witnesses who were present during relevant times and can provide testimony about the incident. Ensuring that you are prepared for your case goes along way to securing a successful outcome. 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.
How long does it take my case to be heard?
Tehama County has its own Superior Court. The length of time between when the case is filed and when the hearing is varies for each county in California (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 Tehama County Superior Court budget, most hearings are set well past the seventy days.