Small Claims

General information

Small Claims is part of District Court. It offers a cheaper, faster, and simpler process for smaller cases where you are suing only for money. Lawyers are allowed only with court permission. Claims are limited to $10,000 if a person files the case, and $5,000 for all other situations. If your claim is for more than that, you need to either drop the part of your claim in excess of that amount or file in District or Superior Court instead.

General information about the process of suing in Small Claims Court is available from District Court, the State Court, and Justia. RCW Chapter 12.40 are the laws about small claims, and there are Local Court Rules that apply to small claims cases.

When you file a claim in Clark County, the parties are required to attend a mediation in an attempt to find a resolution before proceeding to trial.

If you win, the court will award you a judgment for a dollar amount. The court does not collect money for you. If the defendant does not pay, you can try to enforce the judgment and collect the money yourself. See the library's collecting a court judgment page for information about the two most common options for collection.

Forms and instructions

Forms are available from the District Court website or from the District Court office on the ground floor of the courthouse.

The State Court website has Small Claims forms (without instructions).

Washington LawHelp has information about Small Claims Court including:

King County Law Library has a series of five instructional videos covering several aspects of Small Claims Court including filing, serving documents, mediation, trial, and judgments.

Free eBook about Small Claims Court

Small Claims Court book cover

How to find eBooks about Small Claims Court

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