Riverside County Small Claims Court, California

Riverside County 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. 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. Making sure you are prepared for the hearing goes along way toward 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.

Riverside County Small Claims Court Locations

In Riverside County, small claims court cases are heard in 6 courthouses across the County. The website address 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?

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.

Can I file my claim in Riverside County?

The general rule is the case or claim must be filed in the County where the defendant resides. Exceptions to this include automobile accidents (which can be filed where the accident happened). 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 a plaintiff is under eighteen or mentally incompetent, a judge will appoint someone (normally a relative) as a guardian ad litem. The guardian ad litem acts on behalf of the person and makes decisions specifically for that case only.

Riverside County Small Claims Court Limits

A person cannot sue in small claims court for more than $10,000.00. A business can only sue for $5,000 or less in small claims court. A party can only file two actions that are more than $2,500 in a year. A party can file as many cases in small claims court with an amount of $2,500 or less.

Small Claims Court Statute of Limitations

All claims must be filed before the statute of limitations has run. 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). If the defendant broke an oral contract, the plaintiff must file the case within two years of the breach. If a written contract was broken, you have three years from when the agreement was broken. If the defendant committed fraud, the plaintiff has three years from when the plaintiff first learned of the fraud. It can be very difficult to determine when the statute of limitations begins to run (even for veteran attorneys). 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?

A party is not able to be represented by anyone else in small claims court, including an attorney or lawyer. However, you are able to talk to an attorney before or after the small claims court trial to answer questions and discuss strategy.

How much does it cost to sue in Riverside 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 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

If a party has filed twelve or more small claims court actions over the last twelve months, the filing fee is $100.

What is small claims court mediation?

Riverside County Superior Court may offer mediation for your claim before the actual trial. 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. 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).

What is Small Claims Court?

Small claims court is a special court where disputes between parties are handled quickly and inexpensively. Each County in California follows the same rules and procedures for small claims court cases. 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 person who files the lawsuit or action is called the plaintiff. The person or persons who is being sued is called the defendant. In small claims court cases in California, neither party is allowed to have a lawyer represent you at the hearing. Each party is allowed to consult with an attorney before the hearing to answer questions and discuss the case.

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).

9 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.

  5. Riverside County Courts needs to pay people for their “user experience ” before they have the tech people launch a site. If they did that someone would’ve informed them that -no where on this page designated for “Riverside County Small Claims Court, California” does it inform users that you can NOT go to ANY of the small claim court houses listed on this site to file a small claims documents. I went to the Small Claims Court in Moreno Valley just in time to reach the deadline. After I handed my forms to the clerk she informed me that the form was filled out correctly but I had to file it at the court house that served the defendants location. This seems to be very basic information that is needed to even begin filing. Major screw up on the part of Riverside Courts. And you can sit on phone patiently waiting long before the 2pm cut off time to speak with an small claims court agent. Don’t matter if you called at 1pm and waited for an hour to speak with them. At 2pm a recorded message essentially tells you ” too bad were closed ” and then click. A lot of simple fixes need to be fixed now.


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