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 has a Small Claims Self-Help Workshop. Make an appointment by calling 619.961.4371. Limited assistance only—this workshop does not comprise full legal representation. Walk-ins will not be accepted.

The San Diego Law Library will host these clinics on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at its downtown location at 1105 Front Street, San Diego CA 92101. Sessions run 4:00 pm to 5:45 pm.

•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

•The San Diego Superior Court has a Small Claims Advisor. They offer workshops, and other services. Call 858-634-1777 for more info.

•California Western School of Law offers a Community Law Project which offers walk in legal advice and referrals at five locations in San Diego.

Lawyers usually cannot represent you in a small claims action. They may advise you, but with some exceptions you must represent yourself in court.