2020 California Code
Code of Civil Procedure - CCP
PART 1 - OF COURTS OF JUSTICE
TITLE 1 - ORGANIZATION AND JURISDICTION
CHAPTER 5.5 - Small Claims Court
ARTICLE 2 - Small Claims Court
(a) The small claims court has jurisdiction in the following actions:
(1) Except as provided in subdivisions (c), (e), and (f), for recovery of money, if the amount of the demand does not exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000).
(2) Except as provided in subdivisions (c), (e), and (f), to enforce payment of delinquent unsecured personal property taxes in an amount not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000), if the legality of the tax is not contested by the defendant.
(3) To issue the writ of possession authorized by Sections 1861.5 and 1861.10 of the Civil Code if the amount of the demand does not exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000).
(4) To confirm, correct, or vacate a fee arbitration award not exceeding five thousand dollars ($5,000) between an attorney and client that is binding or has become binding, or to conduct a hearing de novo between an attorney and client after nonbinding arbitration of a fee dispute involving no more than five thousand dollars ($5,000) in controversy, pursuant to Article 13 (commencing with Section 6200) of Chapter 4 of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code.
(5) For an injunction or other equitable relief only when a statute expressly authorizes a small claims court to award that relief.
(b) In any action seeking relief authorized by paragraphs (1) to (4), inclusive, of subdivision (a), the court may grant equitable relief in the form of rescission, restitution, reformation, and specific performance, in lieu of, or in addition to, money damages. The court may issue a conditional judgment. The court shall retain jurisdiction until full payment and performance of any judgment or order.
(c) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), the small claims court has jurisdiction over a defendant guarantor as follows:
(1) For any action brought by a natural person against the Registrar of the Contractors’ State License Board as the defendant guarantor, the small claims jurisdictional limit stated in Section 116.221 shall apply.
(2) For any action against a defendant guarantor that does not charge a fee for its guarantor or surety services, if the amount of the demand does not exceed two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500).
(3) For any action brought by a natural person against a defendant guarantor that charges a fee for its guarantor or surety services, if the amount of the demand does not exceed six thousand five hundred dollars ($6,500).
(4) For any action brought by an entity other than a natural person against a defendant guarantor that charges a fee for its guarantor or surety services or against the Registrar of the Contractors’ State License Board as the defendant guarantor, if the amount of the demand does not exceed four thousand dollars ($4,000).
(d) In any case in which the lack of jurisdiction is due solely to an excess in the amount of the demand, the excess may be waived, but any waiver is not operative until judgment.
(e) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), in any action filed by a plaintiff incarcerated in a Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation facility, the small claims court has jurisdiction over a defendant only if the plaintiff has alleged in the complaint that he or she has exhausted his or her administrative remedies against that department, including compliance with Sections 905.2 and 905.4 of the Government Code. The final administrative adjudication or determination of the plaintiff’s administrative claim by the department may be attached to the complaint at the time of filing in lieu of that allegation.
(f) In any action governed by subdivision (e), if the plaintiff fails to provide proof of compliance with the requirements of subdivision (e) at the time of trial, the judicial officer shall, at his or her discretion, either dismiss the action or continue the action to give the plaintiff an opportunity to provide that proof.
(g) For purposes of this section, “department” includes an employee of a department against whom a claim has been filed under this chapter arising out of his or her duties as an employee of that department.
(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 468, Sec. 1. (AB 712) Effective January 1, 2010.)