Where to file your small claims case

Each county has its own small claims court. You need to figure out which county you can file in. This is called venue.

Figure out which court to file in

Usually, you must file your case in the county where the other side lives or does business. But, there are some cases where you have options.

Examples of when you may have other options:

You can file your case in the county where:

  • The other side lives
  • The accident or injury happened

If you are suing because someone broke a verbal or written agreement you had, you can file in the county where:

  • You made the agreement
  • The agreement was broken
  • The agreement was to happen
  • The other side lived or worked when you made the agreement

You can file in the county where:

  • The buyer lives now
  • The buyer lived when they bought the item
  • The buyer bought the item
  • The purchased item is located

If you are suing about something you bought or work someone did (or was supposed to do) for you, you can file in the county where:

  • You live now
  • You lived when you bought the item or work agreement was purchased
  • You bought or paid for the item or work

Find the address of the courthouse

Once you know which county court, you need the courthouse's address to put on the forms you file to start your case. You can find courthouse addresses and contact information on Find My Court.

Sometimes larger counties have multiple courthouses where you can file a small claims case. If there are multiple courthouses where you live, you may need to ask a clerk or check the court's website to make sure you're filing in the right one. 


If you file in the wrong county, the court may cancel (dismiss) your case. Then you have to start a new case in the right county. If the deadline to file (the statute of limitations) has run out, you may lose your case. If you can't figure out where you can sue, you can get help from your Small Claims Advisor.


Small claims

What's next?

Once you know where you can file, start filling out your court form that starts your case.

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