What is small claims court?

On Behalf of | Jun 26, 2023 | Civil Litigation

Disagreements come often in life. Usually, you can easily resolve them through discussions and making agreements with the other party.

However, sometimes, you will have to escalate a situation. Calling law enforcement is not always an option because they do not handle civil matters. If you have a situation, such as a disagreement over money owed to you, this is civil. Instead of calling the law, you may need to go to small claims court.

Small claims court explained

Small claims court is a part of the legal system that hears civil matters. The court only handles cases where damages, or the money requested, is less than $15,000.

Small claims court or magistrate court, as known in Georgia, is less formal than other courts. It usually hears cases quickly and requires less pomp and circumstance than a higher court.

Common issues in small claims court

The court can hear a range of non-criminal matters. The key is the damages awarded by the court have a cap of $15,000. The judge in the court has no authority to grant higher requests. So, if your matter will be more than the cap amount, then you will need to seek help in a different court.

Common examples of cases include landlord-tenant matters, neighbor disputes, personal loan issues and small business claims against unpaying customers.

Small claims court is usually a cheaper option than other courts due to the quick and simple process involved. It also does not require a jury, which increases the speed. If you have a problem that you feel needs outside resolution and you meet the requirements, small claims court can be an ideal way to put an end to the matter.