Yolo County Small Claims Court Locations
In Yolo County, small claims court cases are heard in 1 courthouse across the County. The website address for Yolo County Superior Court (which will have more information for small claims court cases) is: www.yolo.courts.ca.gov. Here are the locations:
The Main Courthouse is located at:725 Court St. Woodland, CA 95695
The phone number is: 530-406-6901
When will my case be heard?
Each County has its own Superior Court. Time between when the case is filed to when the case is heard vary amongst each County (and even within the same County). Generally, you will go to court between twenty and seventy days after the claim is 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).
What types of cases are filed in Yolo County Small Claims Court?
All 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.
Yolo County Small Claims Court
Small Claims Court is a limited court designed to handle disputes and disagreements both quickly and inexpensively (at least compared to a general civil case). The procedures and rules of evidence for small claims court cases in Yolo 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 who files the lawsuit or action is called the plaintiff. The party who is being sued is known as the defendant. 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 Hearing in Yolo County
Cases in Yolo County are often scheduled with a number of other small claims court cases. Because the court’s schedule is very busy (and has become more busy based on state cuts to the court’s budget), the court may expect you to present your entire case in a few minutes. It is essential to spend time preparing your case in advance. 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. Making sure you are prepared for the hearing goes along way toward 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.
Small Claims Court Statute of Limitations
All cases must be filed before a certain deadline called the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is a legal term that means the time someone has to file a claim. The statute of limitations is different depending on the type of case. If the plaintiff suffered personal injury, the statute is two years from the injury (or when you learned of the injury). (A minor has two years from his or her eighteenth birthday). If an oral contract (or oral agreement) was broken, you have two years after the agreement was broken to file your case. If the contract was written, you have three years from the date the contract was breached or broken to file the case. If the defendant committed fraud, the plaintiff has three years from when the plaintiff first learned of the fraud. It is often difficult to find out when it is too late to file. It is better to file your case sooner, and let the judge decide, rather than later and lose having your case heard.
Can I have an attorney represent me?
No. A party cannot be represented by anyone else (including an attorney). But, you are able to consult and speak with an attorney before or after the hearing to answer questions or discuss strategy.
Limits on Yolo County Small Claims Court
A person cannot sue in small claims court for more than $10,000.00. A corporation (or other entity that is not a natural person), cannot sue in small claims court for more than $5,000.00. A person can only file two small claims court actions for more than $2,500 in one year. A party can file as many cases in small claims court with an amount of $2,500 or less.
How much does it cost to sue in Yolo County Small Claims Court?
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.
Can I sue in small claims court in Yolo County?
The general rule is the case or claim must be filed in the County where the defendant resides. There are some exceptions to this rule (for example, an auto accident can be filed in the County where the accident occurred). A plaintiff can file a case in small claims court if the plaintiff is at least eighteen years old, or an emancipated minor. 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. A guardian ad litem is an adult appointed by the court to represent that person only for that case.
Small Claims Court Mediation
Your Yolo County Small Claims Court cases may be sent to mediation before it is heard at the actual trial or hearing. 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 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.