Montana Small Claims Court: An Overview

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

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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).

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

For information on Montana'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 Montana, the defendant is not required to file a formal written answer. The defendant must serve a counterclaim on the plaintiff at least 72 hours before the hearing. Counterclaims cannot exceed $6,500 or if the court finds against the plaintiff, the defendant can pursue the excess in justice or district courts.

Are attorneys allowed in small claims court in Montana?

You generally not allowed to have an attorney represent you in small claims court in Montana, unless all parties have attorneys.

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. 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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