Minnesota Small Claims Procedure (Conciliation Court, District Court): An Overview

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

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

$15,000 ($4,000 for claims involving consumer credit transactions, $15,000 for claims involving money or personal property subject to criminal forfeiture)

Which court hears small claims cases in Minnesota?

Small claims cases in Minnesota are heard in the Conciliation Court, District Court.

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

For information on Minnesota'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 Minnesota, the defendant is not required to file a written answer, but a counterclaim must be filed within five days of the trial date. If the defendant counterclaims over the jurisdictional limit and files in another court, the clerk will strike the small claims case from the calendar; a plaintiff who is not served with a counterclaim may reinstate small claims action after 30 days.

Are attorneys allowed in small claims court in Minnesota?

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

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

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

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

In Minnesota, jury trials are not allowed, except on appeal to district court.

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

For more information about Minnesota small claims court, see www.mncourts.gov/selfhelp/?page=313.

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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