Missouri Small Claims Court: An Overview

From maximum dollar limits to statutes of limitations, learn the basics about small claims court in Missouri.

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What's the dollar limit for small claims court cases in Missouri?

The most you can ask for in a small claims case is $5,000.

Which court hears small claims cases in Missouri?

Small claims cases in Missouri are heard in the Small Claims Division (Circuit Court).

What is the statute of limitations period for filing a claim in small claims court in Missouri?

For information on Missouri's statute of limitation periods for claims related to written contracts, oral contracts, injuries, and property damage, see Nolo's 50-state Statutes of Limitations chart.

How long does the defendant have to answer the small claims court complaint?

In Missouri, the defendant may file a written answer in person within ten days after service of process and any time before the hearing, but only if a counterclaim is being filed. Otherwise, an answer is not required.

Are attorneys allowed in small claims court in Missouri?

You are allowed to have an attorney represent you in small claims court in Missouri.

Can a landlord bring an eviction lawsuit in small claims court in Missouri?

Eviction cases are not allowed in small claims court in Missouri, but must be heard by a higher court.

Do I have a right to a jury trial in small claims court in Missouri?

In Missouri, jury trials are not allowed in small claims court.

Where can I get more information about small claims court in Missouri?

For more information about Missouri small claims court, see http://www.mobar.org/uploadedFiles/Home/Publications/Legal_Resources/Brochures_and_Booklets//small%20claims.pdf or http://www.courts.mo.gov/page.jsp?id=704.

Nolo's Small Claims Court area has many helpful related articles. For more detailed help with filing a case, using the best strategy in court, and collecting your money if you win, see Everybody's Guide to Small Claims Court, by Attorney Ralph Warner (Nolo).

Updated: October 1, 2015

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