Skip NavigationSmall Claims Court: Consumer and Substantive Laws

Introduction to Course


Introduction to

Small Claims Court: Consumer and Substantive Laws

A CJER Online Course


As a small claims bench officer, you will hear a wide array of actions based on various consumer and substantive laws. Your role is unique because you may question witnesses and educate the parties when necessary on the applicable law. You may raise technical issues like statutes of limitation or consumer defenses when they are not apparent to the parties. This online course will give you an overview of consumer and substantive laws that you're likely to hear in small claims actions.

Learning Goals

Online Coursework Credit

Minimum education requirements, expectations, or recommendations, including fairness and access 3
Special education requirement—family n/a
Special education recommendation—juvenile n/a
Qualifying judicial ethics n/a
DV component
Temporary judge training 3
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 recognize and decide basic issues regarding the following consumer and substantive laws:

  • Residential security deposit law;
  • Vehicle sales, leases, and repairs;
  • Home improvement laws;
  • Professional and occupational licensing;
  • Tort law and contract law;
  • Checks and electronic fund transfer laws;
  • Consumer sales protection laws;
  • Warranty law; and
  • Credit transactions laws.

This course will help satisfy the substantive law training requirement for new temporary judges 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. To satisfy your training requirement on small claims procedures, see the online course Small Claims Court: Procedures and Practices. [CCP §116.240(b); CRC 2.812(c), (d), 2.813(c).]

We estimate that this course will take approximately three 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 quizzes for your own practice only; no record is made of any of your responses.

Your feedback is valuable and will help us develop future courses. After taking the course, please take a few minutes to complete the evaluation form. You may then print out a certificate of completion for your files.

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

> > Click here to get help with the course, including system requirements and navigation tips.

To begin the course, click the Next arrow 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 use 210 CA4th and 55 C4th.

© 2008 by Judicial Council of California
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