Small Claims Court California
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About Small Claims Court

  • In New York, Small Claims Courts are less formal courts where individuals age 18 and over can bring lawsuits against other people or companies without a lawyer. All lawsuits in Small Claims Court are for money only. This means that you cannot sue to force someone to do something. The maximum amount of money you can sue for is $5,000.

Statute of Limitations

  • The statute of limitations law in New York limits the time in which a lawsuit can be filed. The time limit is based on the type of claim in the lawsuit. Types of claims include contracts, personal injury and property damage. In addition to the type of claim, certain time restrictions apply to lawsuits brought against the state, state agencies or towns.

Time Limits

  • The statute of limitations in New York for contract disputes is six years. The statute of limitations for personal injury and property damage is three years. Generally, the time period begins to run at the time the event occurred that caused the lawsuit. For example, for personal injuries from a car accident, the time would start to run from the date of the accident and would expire three years from the accident date.

Suing the State

  • Different time limits apply for lawsuits against the state, a state agency or town. First, the state, agency or town must be notified within 90 days of the event; for example, the accident. If notification is not made within 90 days, by law a lawsuit cannot occur. Second, you must wait 30 days after notification to begin the lawsuit. This gives the state, agency, or town the opportunity to settle the claim. If a settlement is not reached, the statute of limitations to sue the state, agency or town is one year and 90 days.

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Disclaimer: The information provided in this site is not legal advice, but general information on legal issues commonly encountered in the California Small Claims process.'s Legal Document Service is not a law firm and is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. cannot provide legal advice and can only provide self-help services at your specific direction.
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