This section includes a checklist to help guide the parties in getting started with the Small Claims process and a link to the mandatory use Judicial Council forms.
For Plaintiff and Defendant Prior to filing a plaintiff's claim or a defendant's claim in response to a plaintiff's claim:
- Make a record of
- What happened?
- When did it happen?
- Where did it happen?
- Who was present?
- What are the damages?
- Determine the exact amount of damages. Parties should be prepared to substantiate and verify the dollar amount of the claim damages. See the OVERVIEW for more information on Monetary Claim Limits for Small Claims Court.
- Know the correct and complete name of the party(ies) involved.
- Contact the other party to discuss and try to resolve the problem.
- Confirm that Monterey County is the proper court or venue. See OVERVIEW for more information on Venue.
- Review the Information for the Small Claims Plaintiff form (SC-100-INFO). See Forms below on how to access the SC-100-INFO.
- Review the other information provided on this web site including the How To's Tab.
- Make an appointment to speak with the Small Claims Advisor. See RESOURCES for more information.
Forms are available to (1) pick up in person at the Monterey County Superior Court Self-Help Center; (2) request by mail through the Monterey County Superior Court; or (3) download from the California Judicial Branch web site.
- To pick up the forms in person: You can pickup the Small Claims packet at any of the court locations. See LOCATIONS.
- You can request the packet through the mail by sending your request and a self-addressed stamped envelope to the Monterey County Superior Court. See LOCATIONS. Please provide adequate postage. An appropriate issuance fee for forms will apply
- Link to the California Judicial Branch web site forms: https://www.courts.ca.gov/forms.htm?query=small%20claims