Small Claims Help
Legal clinics and other resources referred to here will allow you to discuss your case with someone at the legal clinics and you will be given information about how to handle your case by the person you speak with. Start here to find out if you have a claim or defense. Advisors and volunteers at the clinics may be able to provide you with information to determine if you have a legal claim. Once it is established that you have a valid legal claim or defense, you can use the other resources to start or reply to a small claims case.
For in person help, you can consult the following:
- Thomas Jefferson School of Law Small Claims Self-Help Workshop: The purpose of this 45-minute workshop is to provide general legal information about Small Claims procedures in a group setting. The workshop will include a discussion of the various forms used in the Superior Court, Small Claims Division, the procedures for filing a small claims action, and the fees involved. There will also be a discussion about the various resources available to small claims litigants including relevant code sections and public information websites. The informational workshops will last 45 minutes. For information about workshop dates and locations, and to register for this workshop call (619) 961-4371.
- Thomas Jefferson School of Law Small Claims Self-Help Clinic: The Small Claims Self-Help Clinic provides free limited legal assistance for low to moderate income individuals and businesses with small claims issues. Thomas Jefferson alumni attorneys and law students provide half-hour long consultations to litigants who need assistance when being sued, suing another party, or helping recover money for a small claims judgment. The small claims issues must involve monetary claims for $10,000 or less, and the type of claims the Self-Help Clinic provides assistance with includes, but is not limited to, landlord/tenant, consumer, personal injury, and breach of contract claims. For information about clinic dates and locations, and to register for this clinic call (619) 961-4371.
- California Western School of Law offers a Community Law Project which offers walk-in legal advice and referrals at locations in San Diego County. At this clinic California Western Law students work one-on-one with clients and volunteer attorneys in a variety of legal areas, including, but not limited to Small Claims.
- If you think you may be able to reach an agreement with the other party, the National Conflict Resolution Center may be able to offer free mediation to resolve the dispute without going to court. Call 619-238-2400 for more information.
- The San Diego Superior Court provides a Small Claims Advisor at no cost. The advisor is available to assist by telephone only with small claims issues and procedures. The Small Claims Advisor phone number is (858) 634-1777, and is available Monday through Thursday from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm, and 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm. The Small Claims Advisor 24 Hour Recording is (858) 634-1900. Note: The Small Claims Advisor cannot provide any assistance with traffic citations or other case types.