Skip NavigationSmall Claims Court: Procedures and Practices
Introduction to Course


Introduction to

Small Claims Court: Procedures and Practices

A CJER Online Course


Individual minor civil disputes are important to the parties and collectively are of significant social and economic consequence. Small claims court was created to provide an accessible forum for resolving such disputes expeditiously, inexpensively, and fairly. Your role as a judge is unique because generally there are no attorneys in small claims actions. This online course will help you learn the basic procedures governing small claims court.

Learning Goals

Online Coursework Credit

Minimum education requirements, expectations, or recommendations, including fairness and access 2
Special education requirement—family n/a
Special education recommendation—juvenile n/a
Qualifying judicial ethics n/a
DV component
Temporary judge training 2
MCLE Credit
Legal Ethics n/a
Elimination of Bias n/a
Substance Abuse /
Mental Illness

As a result of this course, you will be able to:

  • Explain the purpose of small claims court and your role as judge
  • Recognize instances of defective or incomplete service
  • Identify claims that are within the monetary limit for small claims action
  • Recognize instances of appropriate representation
  • Describe rules governing the admission of evidence
  • Recite general opening instructions
  • Identify who may appeal a small claims judgment
  • Explain when a party may move to vacate a small claims judgment
  • List methods of enforcing a small claims judgment
  • Apply procedural rules to hypothetical situations

This course, combined with the course Small Claims Court: Consumer and Substantive Laws, will help satisfy the substantive training requirement for new temporary judges hearing small claims cases or those who have not satisfied this requirement in the past three years, or for retired judges serving as temporary judges in small claims cases. [CCP §116.240(b); CRC 2.812(c), (d), 2.813(c).]

We estimate that this small claims procedure course will take approximately two hours to complete, depending on your experience. You may take the course in more than one session but make a note where to restart.

This course contains various activities and quizzes. These are training exercises for your own practice only; no record is made of any of your responses to the course activities or quizzes.

Your feedback is valuable and will help us develop future courses. After finishing this course, please take a few minutes to complete the evaluation form. After completing the evaluation, you may print a certificate of completion. This course will help satisfy your continuing education needs.

> > Click here for a message from the AOC Education Division (CJER) and a list of contributing bench officers.

> > Click here to get help with the course, including system requirements, navigation tips, and an explanation of special features.

To begin the course, click the forward arrow next page below, or roll your cursor over any lesson title above and click on any drop-down section title.

This course covers legislation and rules through January 1, 2013,
and cases through 210 CA4th and 55 C4th.

© 2006 by Judicial Council of California

  next page