Which cases are filed in Lassen 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 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. This person only acts on their behalf with respect to that particular small claims court case.
Lassen 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 you filed twelve or less claims over the past twelve months, the filing fee is:
- $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.
Where are Small Claims Court Cases Heard in Lassen County?
In Lassen County, small claims court cases are heard in 1 courthouse across the County. The website address for Lassen County Superior Court is: www.lassencourt.ca.gov. Here are the following locations where Small Claims Court cases are heard in Lassen County:
Hall of Justice
The Hall of Justice is located at:2610 Riverside Dr. Susanville, CA 96130-4391
The phone number is: 530-251-8205
Small Claims Court Hearing in Lassen County
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 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. 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 each side has had the opportunity to present its side, the court will make a decision. The court will either make its ruling immediately, or notify both sides of its decision through the mail (make sure your address with the court is correct).
Small Claims Court Mediation
You may be asked to have your mediated before the 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 on the day of your actual court hearing, but before you see the judge. 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).
Statute of Limitations in Small Claims Court Cases
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 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 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 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 find out when the statute of limitations begins to run. It is better to file sooner, rather than later, and let the judge decide.
Lassen 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 Lassen 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 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. But, each party can talk to and ask questions to an attorney before or after the hearing if they wish.
How long do I have to wait for my case to be heard?
Lassen 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, you will go to court between twenty and seventy days after the claim is filed. Because of state cuts to the Lassen County Superior Court budget, most hearings are set well past the seventy days.
Can I hire a lawyer?
A party is not able to be represented by anyone else in small claims court, including an attorney or lawyer. But, you are able to consult and speak with an attorney before or after the hearing to answer questions or discuss strategy.
What types of cases are filed in Lassen 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.
What is the most a person can sue for in Lassen County Small Claims Court?
The most a person can sue for in small claims court is $10,000. 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 person or corporation can file as many cases seeking $2,500.00 or less.