Small Claims and Limited Civil Mediation
Small Claims is a special Court where disputes are resolved quickly and inexpensively. The rules are simple and informal. Lawyers are not allowed in Small Claims Court.
You cannot ask for more than $10,000 in a claim if you are filing as a "natural person" or $5,000 if you are filing as an entity (corporation, limited partnership, limited liability company, etc.) You can file as many claims as you want for up to $2,500 each in a year. But you can only file two claims a year that demand more than $2,500.
The ACCESS Center can show you how to fill out the forms through the entire small claims case: preparing your claim, serving a defendant, preparing for Court, and collecting a judgment after you have won.
The San Francisco Superior Court’s Self-Represented Litigant (SRL) Mediation Program provides free mediation services to unrepresented litigants in small claims court and selectlimited civil court cases.
Mediation is a voluntary confidential meeting with a mediator. The mediator will help you discuss ways to resolve your dispute by agreement.
Resolving your dispute by agreement removes the stress and uncertainty of a trial and puts you in charge of the outcome rather than leaving the decision to a Judge.
Meeting with a mediator is no-risk. If you cannot come to an agreement that works for you, you do not lose your trial date or give up your right to go to Court.
A mediation meeting can happen after a case has been filed, on the day of your court trial or after a judgment.
For more information about mediation and Court’s free Self-Represented Litigant Mediation Program, please visit the Court’s ACCESS Center.