Riverside County Small Claims Court, California

Small Claims Court Locations for Riverside County

Riverside County Small Claims Court cases are heard in 6 courthouses across Riverside County. The website for Riverside County Superior court is: www.riverside.courts.ca.gov. Here are the locations:

Moreno Valley Courthouse

The Moreno Valley Courthouse is located at:

13800 Heacock Ave., Bldg D201
Moreno Valley, CA 92553

The phone number is: 951-777-3147

Palm Springs Court

The Palm Springs Court is located at:

3255 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way
Palm Springs, CA 92262

The phone number is: 951-777-3147

Blythe Court

The Blythe Court is located at:

265 N. Broadway
Palm Springs, CA 92262

The phone number is: 760-904-5722

Southwest Justice Center

The Southwest Justice Center is located at:

265 N. Broadway
Blythe, CA 92225

The phone number is: 760-775-8500

Southwest Justice Center

The Southwest Justice Center is located at:

30755-D Auld Rd., Ste. 1226
Murrieta, CA 92563

The phone number is: 951-704-7634

Hemet Branch

The Hemet Branch is located at:

880 N. State St.
Hemet, CA 92543-1498

The phone number is: 951-704-7634

What types of cases are filed in Riverside County Small Claims Court?

Many different types of cases can be filed in small claims court. Some common types of cases are automobile accidents, property damage incidents, homeowners association disputes, landlord tenant disputes (possible over security deposits), and contractor disputes.

Small Claims Court Mediation

Your Riverside County Small Claims Court cases may be sent to mediation before it is heard at the actual trial or hearing. 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 can occur before the trial or even on the same day as your trial. Mediation is nothing to be scared of, but rather another chance for you to explain your side of the case (which will better prepare you for the actual hearing in front of the judge).

How can I prepare for my Small Claims Court Hearing?

Riverside County Small Claims Court
Riverside County Small Claims Court
Your case will probably be on the same calendar and heard at the same time as 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 important to prepare for your case beforehand. You should bring all the paperwork that supports your claim (or defense) including receipts, contracts, photographs, invoices, and any other paperwork. Make sure you bring any witnesses you need to the hearing if they are necessary to prove your case. Ensuring that you are prepared for your case goes along way to securing a successful outcome. 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.

Which cases are filed in Riverside 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 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 a plaintiff is under eighteen or mentally incompetent, a judge will appoint someone (normally a relative) as a guardian ad litem. A guardian ad litem is an adult appointed by the court to represent that person only for that case.

Limits on Riverside 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.

Small Claims Court in Riverside County

Small Claims Court is a special court whose purpose is to handle cases an efficient, inexpensive fashion. The rules for small claims court cases in Riverside County 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 party who files the action or claim is known as the plaintiff. The party who is being sued is known as the defendant. For small claims court cases in California, neither the plaintiff or the defendant is allowed to 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.

How long do I have to wait for my case to be heard?

Riverside 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. 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).

How much does it cost to sue in Riverside County Small Claims Court?

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 party has filed twelve or less claims over the past twelve months, the fee is:

  • $0 to $1,500 – $30
  • $1,500 to $5,000 – $50
  • $5,000 to $10,000 – $75

Once a party has filed twelve cases within twelve months, each consecutive case has a $100 filing fee.

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 time limit varies depending on the type of the 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 minor has two years from his or her eighteenth birthday). If the defendant broke an oral contract, the plaintiff must file the case within two years of the breach. 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 far better to file the case and let the judge decide, rather than filing too late and having it dismissed.

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.

8 thoughts on “Riverside County Small Claims Court, California”

  1. If an injury originated in Riverside county but the defendant was substituted by an entity (bank) out of state, and the plaintiff has moved to another county, can he sue in small claims in the county he now lives??

  2. I was in small claims court almost a month ago (July 19, 2018) and a verdict was not reached at that time and I have still not received any decision in the mail. The case number is SWS 1800786 – Mohr vs City of Lake Elsinore. Can you please tell me if they have made a decision? Thank you very much. Terry

  3. My employer of many years terminated my employment for “reduction in force” and did not pay me severance, which was due per our employee handbook. This is a non profit home health agency. Do I serve the Human Resource Director that laid me off?

  4. I evicted a tenant in 6/19/15 I was served small claims subpoena for personal appearance and production of documents on 8/8/19 went to court trial date 9/16/19 tenant was awards for her cleaning deposit do to money was not listed as a deposit it was listed as cleaning fee she still owes 3 mos for back rent more than what the cleaning fee that was held. I am the landlord lost in court tenant still rent. my question is can I appeal this case under out of time limitations and prove rent owes to me.


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