West Virginia Small Claims Procedure (Magistrate Court): An Overview

What you need to know about West Virginia's small claims court (Magistrate Court).

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

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

Which court hears small claims cases in West Virginia?

Small claims cases in West Virginia are heard in the magistrate Court.

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

In West Virginia, the defendant may file a written answer or make a personal appearance within 20 days of service to avoid default (30 days if service is made on defendant's attorney or agent).

Are attorneys allowed in small claims court in West Virginia?

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

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

Eviction cases are allowed in small claims court in West Virginia.

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

In West Virginia, either party may demand a jury trial if the claim is over $20 or involves possession of real estate. The request must be made in writing within 20 days of service of defendant's answer, or in eviction cases, five days after service of complaint.

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

For more information about West Virginia small claims court, see www.state.wv.us/wvsca/magistrate.htm.

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).

Last updated on 10/01/09.

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