Cases for $25,000 or Less

The information in this section is for limited civil cases, where the amount in dispute is $25,000 or less. Make sure you read the Problems With Money Basics section so that you know what kind of case you want to file or has been filed against you.

READ FIRST: Any court case is complicated and you must follow the Code of Civil Procedure and the California Rules of Court, as well as your court’s local rules. The information provided in these pages does not take the place of the Code of Civil Procedure or Rules of Court. If you are representing yourself, you will be held to the same standard as a lawyer — to know and follow the code and the rules of civil court cases.

While someone representing himself or herself may be able to successfully handle certain parts of a case without a lawyer, other parts, like discovery, motions, and jury trial preparation, generally require the expertise of a trained lawyer. Click to find a lawyer. Your court's self-help center may also be able to give you some limited information.

You can also get the help of a limited-scope lawyer, which means that the lawyer helps you as a coach or advisor, and you still represent yourself, or you can hire the lawyer to handle only certain parts of your case that are too complicated for you to do yourself. To find out more about limited-scope representation, and get help finding a limited-scope lawyer, read about Limited-Scope Representation.

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