Everybody's Guide to Small Claims Court in California

Everybody's Guide to Small Claims Court in California

by Cara O'Neill Attorney

Paperback(Twenty first Edition)

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Make the most of your day in court

Winning a lawsuit doesn’t happen by accident. You must prove your case. That’s where Everybody’s Guide to Small Claims Court in California can help. If you’re suing someone—or being sued—you’ll learn how to explain the facts, present credible evidence, and convince the judge to rule for you, not your opponent.

But you get more than tips on preparing a powerful case. You’ll also learn how to:

  • determine the value of your case
  • write a demand letter
  • negotiate a settlement
  • file and serve court papers
  • gather evidence
  • subpoena witnesses
  • present your case in court
  • collect money when you win, and
  • file an appeal.

And you won’t need to worry about being buried in forms. The 21st edition includes instructions for completing the paperwork, as well as the latest California laws, court procedures, and sample court forms.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781413325355
Publisher: NOLO
Publication date: 07/30/2018
Edition description: Twenty first Edition
Pages: 456
Sales rank: 659,331
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Cara O'Neill is a bankruptcy attorney in Northern California and a legal editor with Nolo. She has been practicing law in California for over 20 years and is the coauthor of Nolo's How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, and Nolo's Money Troubles and Credit Repair.

Table of Contents

Your Small Claims Court Companion
1. Basics of Small Claims Court in California
2. Do You Have a Good Case?
3. Can You Collect Your Money If You Win?
4. How Much Should You Sue For?
5. When Should You Sue?
6. Settling Your Dispute
7. Who Can Sue?
8. Suing Different Kinds of Defendants
9. Where Can You Sue?
10. Filing Fees, Court Papers & Court Dates
11. Serving Your Papers
12. The Defendant’s Options
13. Getting Ready for Court
14. Witnesses
15. Your Day in Court
16. Motor Vehicle Repair Cases
17. Motor Vehicle Purchase Cases
18. Bad Debts: Initiating and Defending Cases
19. Vehicle Accident Cases
20. Landlord-Tenant Cases
21. Miscellaneous Cases
22. Disputes Between Small Businesses
23. Judgment and Appeal
24. Collecting Your Money
25. Legal Research
A. Major California Consumer Laws
B. Legal Jargon for California Small Claims Court


This guide covers the procedures that both plaintiffs and defendants should use to successfully bring or defend a small claims case in California. Unlike other guides, it also contains step-by-step instructions for preparing particularly common small claims cases, along with real-life examples of cases from small claims courts throughout California.

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