District of Columbia Small Claims Court: An Overview

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

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What's the dollar limit for small claims court cases in the District of Columbia?

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

Which court hears small claims cases in the District of Columbia?

Small claims cases in the District of Columbia are heard in the Small Claims and Conciliation Branch (Superior Court).

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

For information on the District of Columbia's statute of limitation periods for claims related to written contracts, coral 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 the District of Columbia, the defendant is not required to file a written response, except when the defendant asserts a set-off or counterclaim.

Are attorneys allowed in small claims court in the District of Columbia?

You are allowed to have an attorney represent you in small claims court in the District of Columbia. Corporations are required to have an attorney.

Can a landlord bring an eviction lawsuit in small claims court in District of Columbia?

Eviction cases are not allowed in small claims court in the District of Columbia, but must be heard by a higher court.

Do I have a right to a jury trial in small claims court in the District of Columbia?

In the District of Columbia, either party may demand a jury trial, but then the case will transfer to a regular branch of superior court.

Where can I get more information about small claims court in the District of Columbia?

For more information about District of Columbia small claims court, see http://www.dccourts.gov/internet/public/aud_civil/smallclaims.jsf.

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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