Civil Law

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Civil lawsuits (other than family, juvenile, probate, unlawful detainer, and civil harassment cases) can generally be divided into three categories depending on how much money is involved:


When the dollar amount is... This case is usually called a...
1.  Under $10,000  Small Claims case
2.  Between $0 and $25,000  Limited Jurisdiction Civil case
     Between $1 and $25,000  Limited Jurisdiction Civil case - Collections
3.  Over $25,000 Unlimited Jurisdiction Civil case

For information about these other civil case types:

Basic information you need to know:

Things you can do to get ready for your court hearing:

  • Read your court papers. Understand what each form asks and what the other party has written.
  • Make an outline listing what you want and why. Be ready to explain why the judge should approve each thing you are asking for, or not approve what the other party has asked for.
  • Make notes that summarize your point of view. Know your answer to each point the other party has made in their court papers.
  • Many people get nervous in court - it is fine to use your notes to make sure you cover everything.
  • If you are asking for court orders, make sure that the judge makes an order on EACH item you have asked for.
  • Do not depend on the judge to remember everything you have asked for. If something has been overlooked, tell the judge.


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