Small Claims Court handles Civil cases asking for $10,000.00 or less. Small Claims Court is designed to be simpler, faster, and less costly than a regular Civil lawsuit.
The rules are simple and informal. The person who sues is the plaintiff. The person who is sued is the defendant. In small claims court, you may ask a lawyer for advice before you go to court, but you cannot have a lawyer in court during the hearing. You must present your case yourself.
An alternative for resolving disputes is mediation, where you and the other side meet with a neutral person—a mediator—who is specially trained to help people resolve their disputes without having to go to court. In mediation, everyone works together to find a solution, instead of having the judge make a decision.
This series of short videos explains the small claims process.