Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Small claims
Photos by Adam Stewart
Lake Mendocino - Photo courtesy of Adam Stewart

SMALL CLAIMS COURT CLERK'S OFFICE INFORMATION

Office Hours:

8:30am-3:00pm Monday through Friday, excluding judicial holidays


Telephone hours:

8:30am-1:00pm, Monday through Friday, excluding judicial holidays

Ukiah Fort Bragg
Phone:  (707) 468-2002 Phone:  (707) 964-3192

 

Small Claims Court is available at both locations.

 

YOUR SMALL CLAIMS CASE

A case may be filed in Small Claims Court if the amount being sought is; $10,000 or less (CCP §116.221). Only two cases above $2,500 may be filed each year (CCP §116.231).

An attorney is not allowed to represent you in court.  Resources for learning to present your own case are noted below in the Resources and Assistance section.

 

Jurisdiction

Code of Civil Procedure states what actions can be filed in small claims court.  One or more of the following must be true in order to file your small claims action in Mendocino County:

  • A defendant lives in this judicial district, or if the defendant is a business that has its principal place of business in this judicial district.
  • A person was injured or personal property was damaged in this judicial district
  • A defendant signed or entered into a contract in this judicial district, a defendant lived in this judicial district when the contract was entered into a contract or obligation was performed in this judicial district, or if the defendant is a corporation, the contract was breached in this judicial district.
  • When a signed contract is involved see CCP §395(B), CCP §1812.10, and CCP §2984.4

Forms and Filing

A Forms Packet, Information for the Small Claims Plaintiff, complete with Claim Form, is available from the self-help center.

Forms may be found on our Forms and Filing section on our website, printed at the Mendocino County Law Library, or downloaded from the Judicial Council website.  

Public access computers available for filling out legal forms in the SHLA center, Room 304 of the Ukiah Courthouse.

By law, the clerks cannot provide legal advice. 

 

Fees

The Filing Fee is based on the amount of the claim:

  • Up to $1,500, the fee is $30.00
  • $1,500.01 to $5,000.00, the fee is $50.00
  • $5,000.01 to $10,000.00, the fee is $75.00

If you have filed more than 12 claims in the past year, the filing fee is $100.00 per claim.

 

COPIES and Certified Copies

Requests for copies or certified copies of a document may be made in person at the Clerk's Office or submitted in writing by mail. We cannot take requests over the phone. Various copy, search, and certification fees may apply.

Please see the Copies and Certified Copies page for more information.


VIEWING Court Case REcords

Please see the Viewing Court Case Records page for information on how to view court records.


Service of Documents

The date and time of the small claims hearing is set when the plaintiff files the small claims case.  It is the plaintiff's responsibility to serve the defendant with the Plaintiff's Claim and Order to Go to Small Claims Court that includes this court date.

 

Postponing your hearing

If the defendant has been served, either party can file with the Court a Request to Postpone Small Claims Hearing (Judicial Council Form SC-110) and an Order on Request to Postpone Small Claims Hearings (SC-111) to continue the matter, along with a $10.00 filing fee at least 10 days before the hearing. 

 

Night Court

Night Court for Small Claims cases is available upon request and is held at 5:30pm on the first Wednesday of each month in Ukiah. 

Parties must use the Perkins Street entrance of the Ukiah Courthouse after 4:30pm.  The Perkins Street entrance will be locked at 5:30pm.  Please arrive 5 to 10 minutes early.

 

Resources and Assistance

The Self Help Center provides help with small claims cases. Visit the Self-Help Center webpage to get the schedule for in-person help in Ukiah and Fort Bragg.

You may also email questions to selfhelp@mendocino.courts.ca.gov.

See the Law Library for reference books about Small Claims.  Open to the public in the Ukiah courthouse, resources are available for all levels of legal research.

See the California Small Claims Courts Information Center for on-line resources, including Detailed Information and How to collect on a judgment

The California State Department of Consumer Affairs offers small claims information on their website

Corporation records: http://businessfilings.sos.ca.gov

Fictitious Business Names:  Mendocino County Assessor-Clerk-Recorder's Office

 

© 2020 Superior Court of Mendocino County