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GENERAL INFORMATION FOR SMALL CLAIMS COURT

The Small Claims Court is a department of the District Court authorized under chapter 12.40 RCW and is available for the recovery of money only where the claim is less than $5,000.00. It has jurisdiction only when the defendant is a resident of the county, except the claims arising out of automobile accidents may be brought in the county where the accident occurred no matter where the defendant lives in the state. (See abbreviated rules for non-state residents and corporations). Small Claims Court may NOT be used to recover personal property or require a defendant to perform contracts, except where the contract requires the payment of money only.

The person who brings the claim is called the plaintiff. The person who is sued is called the defendant. A small claims action is between plaintiff and defendant, who may consist of multiple parties. No attorney is allowed to participate in any manner without court consent.

An Intoduction to Small Claims Court