A small claims case is filed in County Civil Court to settle legal disputes where the dollar amount involved is $5,000 or less, excluding costs, interest and attorneys' fees.
Filing a Small Claims Suit
You may file a small claims suit:
Visit our locations page for addresses, maps and hours of operation.
See Filing Fee Chart for fees
Forms of Payment
Cash (in person only)
Personal check, cashier's check or money order (payable to Orange County Clerk of Courts)
MasterCard, Visa, Discover or American Express
There is a $3.99 surcharge added to all credit card transactions.
Please note: We do not accept credit cards or personal checks for registry payments, including Civil Bonds, Satisfaction of Judgments, Rent Payments, Eminent Domain or Foreclosure.
Information Required To File Small Claims Case
Individual (18 years and older): your full name, address and phone number
Partnership: each partner’s full name, address and phone number
Corporation: full legal name under which you do business, address and phone number
You must provide the same information for the party you are filing a claim against
If the claim is based on a written document, a copy of the document must be attached to the Statement of Claim.
Always bring the original documents/exhibits to be used in your case to all designated court appearances. Remember that documents/exhibits are retained by the court as evidence, so be sure you have copies to submit if you wish to retain your originals.
If a plaintiff or his/her attorney fail to appear on the designated date, the judge may dismiss the claim.
If at any time in the proceeding a settlement is reached between the parties, the plaintiff must notify the Clerk's Office in writing.
You must advise the Clerk in writing of any change in your mailing address.
Any judgment debtor has 10 days to file a motion for a new trial and thirty days to file an appeal. The Clerk's Office cannot assist with the filing of an appeal.
Learn more about the small claims process by reviewing FAQs