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 Small Claims Self-Help Workshop provides free limited legal assistance for low to moderate income individuals and businesses with small claim issues. Thomas Jefferson alumni attorneys and law students provide half-hour consultations to litigants who need assistance when being sued, suing another party, or help recovering money for a small claims judgment. The small claims issues must involve monetary claims for $10,000 or less. The type of claims the Small Claims Self-Help Workshop provides assistance with includes, but is not limited to, landlord tenant, consumer, personal injury, and breach of contract claims. The workshop does not provide assistance for non-claims issues, including evictions, restraining orders, divorce, child support, injunctions, and traffic tickets. For questions 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. 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.