What types of cases are filed in Plumas County Small Claims Court?
A wide variety 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.
How much time do I have to file my case?
All claims must be filed before the statute of limitations has run. 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). 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 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.
Filing Fee for Small Claims Court cases in Plumas County
The plaintiff must pay a filing fee when the claim is filed. 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.
Small Claims Court in Plumas County
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 Plumas 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 person or persons who is being sued is called the defendant. In California small claims court cases, neither party can hire an attorney to represent them at the hearing. But, each party can talk to and ask questions to an attorney before or after the hearing if they wish.
Plumas County Small Claims Court Locations
Small Claims Court cases are heard in 1 courthouse across the County. The website for Plumas County Superior court is: www.plumascourt.ca.gov. Here are the locations:
The Main Courthouse is located at:520 Main St. Room 104 Quincy, CA 95971
The phone number is: 530-283-6305
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. However, you are able to talk to an attorney before or after the small claims court trial to answer questions and discuss strategy.
Plumas 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). Often, the court’s schedule is very busy, and the court will expect you to present your argument in just a few minutes. (It is usually smart to pay attention to the cases heard before yours to see which issues and questions the judge asks the parties). 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. 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.
What is 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 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).
Plumas County Small Claims Court Limits
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. An individual can only file two small claims court cases for more than $2,500.00 in one year. A person or corporation can file as many cases seeking $2,500.00 or less.
How long does it take my case to be heard?
Each 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). Generally, the small claims court trial should be between twenty and seventy days after the case 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).
Which cases are filed in Plumas 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 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.