Montana Small Claims Court: An Overview

What you need to know about Montana's small claims procedure.

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

The most you can ask for in a small claims case is $7,000.

Which court hears small claims cases in Montana?

Small claims cases in Montana are heard in the Small Claims Court (District Court) or Small Claims Division (Justice Court).

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

In Montana, the defendant may file a written answer, served on the plaintiff, within 72 hours before the hearing, but only if a counterclaim ($2,500 max) is being filed. Otherwise, an answer is not required.

Are attorneys allowed in small claims court in Montana?

You generally are not allowed to have an attorney represent you in small claims court in Montana. If all parties have attorneys, then they are permitted.

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

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

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

In Montana, jury trials are not allowed in small claims court. The defendant may however request the case be transferred to the regular justice court for jury trial.

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

For more information about Montana small claims court, see the Montana Office of Consumer Protection, Attorney General website.

Nolo's Small Claims Court area has many helpful related articles and a Small Claims Court FAQ. 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).


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