How To File Small Claims Court San Diego: Limits, Filling In Person, Mail & Online.

How to file small claims court in San Diego: Learn the process, limits, and tips for pursuing claims up to $10,000 in this California county. Get step-by-step guidance now.

Small claims court hearings occur at the Central Division of the San Diego Superior Court.

How To File Small Claims Court San Diego

If needed, you have the option to attend the hearing virtually by informing both the court and the other party in advance.

Contact Information:

Court Name San Diego Superior Court
Address 330 W. Broadway, Room 225
City, State, ZIP Code San Diego, CA 92101

How to File Small Claims Court in San Diego

  1. Determine Eligibility:
    • Verify if your case qualifies for small claims court, typically for disputes involving $10,000 or less.
    • Ensure your case falls within the jurisdiction of San Diego County.
  2. Location for Filing:
    • All San Diego County small claims cases must be filed at the Central Division of the Superior Court, situated at 330 W. Broadway, Room 225, San Diego, CA 92101.
  3. Gather Necessary Paperwork:
    • Download essential forms from the San Diego Superior Court website, including:
      • Plaintiff’s Claim and Order to Go to Small Claims Court (SC-100)
      • Proof of Service (SC-104)
      • Civil Case Cover Sheet (CM-010)
      • Notice of Trial (SC-120)
  4. File Your Claim and Pay Filing Fee:
    • Submit your claim either in person at the courthouse or by mail.
    • As of my last knowledge update in January 2022, the filing fee is $75, but this may change, so verify the current fee.
  5. Serve the Defendant:
    • Serve the defendant with a copy of the claim and order at least 15 days before the trial date.
    • You can serve them through mail, in person, or by utilizing a process server.
  6. Attend the Trial:
    • The trial will be conducted in a small courtroom before a judge.
    • Present your case, including evidence and arguments.
    • The judge will render a decision and issue a judgment following the trial.

Filing a Small Claims Case in San Diego Online

You cannot file a small claims case online in San Diego County because the court system does not have an electronic filing system for small claims cases.

However, you can file your claim in person at the courthouse or by mail.

To File in Person:

  1. Visit the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego, Central Division, located at 330 W. Broadway, Room 225, San Diego, CA 92101.
  2. Go to the Small Claims Clerk’s Office and request a Small Claims Packet.
  3. Thoroughly and accurately complete the packet.
  4. Pay the filing fee (which was $75 as of my last update) at the Small Claims Clerk’s Office.
  5. Submit your claim to the Small Claims Clerk.

To File by Mail:

  1. Download and print the Small Claims Packet from the court’s website.
  2. Carefully and accurately fill out the packet.
  3. Mail the completed packet, along with the filing fee, to the following address:

    Superior Court of California, County of San Diego Small Claims Division 330 W. Broadway, Room 225 San Diego, CA 92101

After Filing:

Once you have filed your claim, the court will mail you a summons and complaint.

You must then serve these documents on the defendant.

The defendant will have 30 days to respond to your claim. If they do not respond, you may win your case by default.

If the defendant responds, the court will schedule a hearing date.

At the hearing, both you and the defendant will have the opportunity to present your cases to a judge.

The judge will then decide the case’s outcome and determine any owed amounts.

Please be aware that the small claims process is intricate, with important deadlines to meet.

Carefully review the Small Claims Packet and follow all instructions.

You may also consider contacting the court’s self-help center for assistance.

Note that procedures and fees may change over time, so verify the current information with the San Diego Superior Court.

Small Claims Court San Diego Limit

Tips for Filing a Small Claims Case in San Diego:

  1. Ensure your claim is under $10,000.
  2. Thoroughly and accurately complete the Small Claims Packet.
  3. Pay the required filing fee.
  4. Serve the defendant with the summons and complaint.
  5. Attend the hearing on the scheduled date, well-prepared to present your case effectively.

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