You can ask for up to $7,500 in the small claims division in a Colorado county court—the court that handles small claims matters in Colorado.
The small claims division of the Colorado County court doesn't hear evictions. However, it's an excellent forum for other types of cases typically brought in small claims courts, such as property damage matters and breach of contract disputes.
Colorado has many County courts. You must choose the proper court location or "venue." Otherwise, the defendant—the person or company you sue—will be able to ask the court to transfer or dismiss your action. In Colorado, you can file in the following counties:
Go to Colorado's Secretary of State business search webpage for company information. You might have other options, depending on your case. Most courts post venue rules on the court website.
You don't have an unlimited amount of time to file a claim. You'll have to bring it within the statute of limitations period for your particular case. For example, the Colorado statute of limitations periods generally range from two to six years. But it will depend on the type of action, and if you don't file within this period, you lose your right to sue.
Also, the statute of limitations can stop and restart depending on various circumstances, and figuring out when it expires can be challenging. For instance, if a minor is injured, the personal injury statute won't begin running until the child reaches 18 years of age. Learn more about calculating the statute of limitations.
No. Individuals can't have a lawyer present the claim before the judge. However, lawyers who want to file claims for themselves can do so. And a business can send an attorney if that person is a full-time employee of the company.
A judge will hear your small claims hearing. Jury trials aren't allowed. Find out what to expect at the small claims trial.
Yes. Colorado law allows either party to either party to file an appeal within 14 days after the date of entry of judgment (the date the judgment gets entered into the official court records). You'll want to find out how you'll receive notice of the entry of judgment. In many small claims courts, the clerk sends a notification by mail, but the procedure used by your court could be different. You must comply with this and other rules, so be sure to do your research and count the dates accurately, or talk with a local attorney.
No. You'll be responsible for all collection efforts. It's a good idea to determine whether you can collect before deciding whether to sue.
Most courts include filing instructions on the court website or provide self-help services. For additional resources, try the Colorado Judicial Branch's small claims webpage. You can also view Colorado law online on the Colorado General Assembly webpage. (Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 13-6-401 to 13-6-417; Colorado Rules of County Court Civil Procedure, Rule 411 and Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure for Small Claims Courts, Rules 501 to 521.)
For detailed help with case filing, court strategy, and collecting a money judgment, see Everybody's Guide to Small Claims Court by Attorney Cara O'Neill (Nolo).
Look out for Legal Changes. This overview doesn't provide all of the information needed to file a small claims case. Also, keep in mind that statutes can change, and checking them is always a good idea. How the courts interpret and apply the law can also change. These are just some of the reasons to consult an attorney if you have any questions about litigating your case or if you aren't comfortable independently verifying the law.