Frequently Asked Questions

How much can I sue for?


An individual can sue for up to $10,000. A corporation or LLC can sue for up to $5,000.




Are you a lawyer or law firm?


We are not a lawyer or a law firm. We are an affordable way to resolve your small claims dispute and get justice. Fun fact: Lawyers are not allowed to represent clients in California small claims court at the initial small claims hearing. If you need a lawyer, we can help connect you with one!




How does People Clerk work?


People Clerk is your small claims assistant. We have an simple 4-step process: 1. You answer simple questions about your dispute. 2. We prepare, review, and send your lawsuit documents to the court. 3. We help you serve (notify) the other party that they have been sued. 4. We prepare and send you an evidence packet for the hearing.




What types of lawsuits can be filed in small claims?


So long as there isn't another court that is more specific to your lawsuit (for example, eviction court), then the lawsuit can be filed in small claims. The most common types of small claims lawsuits in California are: Landlord/Tenant disputes over the security deposit. Landlord/Tenant disputes over early termination of the lease. Unpaid rent. Roommate disputes. Disputes over loans. Contracts (written and oral). Auto accidents. Disputes over auto repairs. Disputes over remodeling or home repairs. Damage caused to property. Unpaid bills.




In which county will my lawsuit be filed?


Your lawsuit can always be filed in the county where the person you are suing lives or where the business is located. Here are some other examples: - Security deposit lawsuits can be filed in the county where the unit was rented. - Car accident lawsuits can be filed in the county where the accident occured. - Property damage lawsuits can be filed in the county where the damage occurred.




How long do I have to sue someone (statute of limitations)?


Each lawsuit is different. Don't wait to file your lawsuit, most statute of limitations are for 2 years. Read more here.




Will the other party bring a lawyer?


No, lawyers are not allowed at the initial small claims hearing.




Can the other party sue me too?


Yes, these are called countersuits. Both lawsuits will be reviewed by the same judge on the same day.




Can you represent me at the hearing?


No, only you can represent yourself at the initial small claims hearing. There are a few exceptions for businesses (employees of the business can represent the business) and spouses.




How long does the small claims process take?


Most hearings are scheduled within 30-70 days. With COVID-19, they are taking a bit longer.




Will my hearing be virtual?


Every California county has a different procedure. Some allow for virtual hearings, some require that you request permission to attend virtually.




What is the small claims hearing like?


Most hearings are informal and last 15 minutes. Learn more here.




Can I win my case?


Only the judge can decide this 👩‍⚖️ To have a better chance at winning, it is very important your evidence is organized and you are prepared to tell your side of the story to the judge. We help you prepare for the hearing by creating an organized evidence packet for you!




Can People Clerk help me if I qualify for a fee waiver with the court?


Of course! We are a mission driven company with a goal of getting everyone their day in court. Ps you don't have to pay court fees and serving with the sheriff is free!




Do you help me serve the person I sued?


Yes, we help you with 3 options: (1) we hire a process server for you, (2) we work with the sheriff (not available in all counties), (3) we work with one of your friends to serve the lawsuit. *Note, in some counties the court clerk can serve using certified mail but it is not recommended. Many counties have discontinued this service as it doesn't work 95% of the time.




Are small claims courts open during COVID-19?


Yes, courts are open! Some counties have virtual hearings and some have in person hearings.




What if I don't know the other person's address?


Without the correct address, we may not be able to serve the lawsuit later on. How to find the other person's address:

  • Phone Number. Try a reverse phone number lookup. Type the phone number into a Google Search and see what you find. You can also check with "reverse phone number lookup" companies aswell.
  • General Google Search. You would be surprised by what you can find on Google. Try searching their email address, old address, or previous employer. You can also check to see what you find on Linkedin (the person can be served at work) or other social media.
  • Hire a skip tracer. You can also hire a 3rd party to search for where the other party may have moved to but this isn’t always successful.





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