Cases for Over $25,000

The information in this section is for unlimited civil cases, where the amount in dispute is more than $25,000. There are many types of unlimited civil cases. These include the same types of cases that are brought in the limited jurisdiction court, like cases for breach of contract, personal injury, or property damage, but unlimited cases involve more than $25,000.

Unlimited civil cases also include other types of disputes that do not involve money, like cases to resolve (or “quiet”) title to real property, cases asking for civil restraining orders, and requests to change your name or your child’s name. Basically, an unlimited civil case is any case that is not a limited civil case under the definition of Code of Civil Procedure sections 85–86.1.

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 below 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 him- 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. You can 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 Limited-Scope Representation.

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