How to Get Help with Your Case
Both parties may ask a lawyer about the case, but a lawyer may not represent either party in court at the small claims trial. Generally, after judgment and on appeal, both parties may be represented by a lawyer.
For information on how to request an interpreter, please click here.
Day of Court Mediation Program: Through this program, the court offers free mediation services for small claims, unlawful detainers, and civil harassment cases. The court offers these services in collaboration with volunteer mediators. Parties interested in these services may ask for them the day of their trial or settlement conference. Availability of these services is dependent on volunteer mediators’ availability and participation. Learn more about Alternate Dispute Resolution. (ADR).
The court charges fees for some of its procedures and servivces. The court may excuse you from paying these fees if you cannot afford them. Read the Information Sheet on Waiver of Court Fees and Costs to find out if you meet the requirements. Submit a completed Fee Waiver form (FW-001) when you file your claim asking the court to excuse you from paying fees, if you think you qualify.
The law requires each county to provide assistance in small claims cases free of charge.
Information is available to all parties in SMALL CLAIMS COURT - both plaintiffs and defendants - ABSOLUTELY FREE OF CHARGE.
Procedural information and materials are available through the Self-Help Center, both in person and over the phone. Click here for the Self-Help Center locations, hours and phone number. If you come to a Self-Help Center for assistance, please remember to bring copies of all papers relating to your case with you and have your questions written down beforehand.