Determining the Dollar Amount of Your Case

The small claims systems for every state in the union, plus the District of Columbia, has a set monetary limit as to how much you can sue to recover from a small claims case.  In any given year the limit can be raised.  Please see the chart below for the maximum claim amounts per state.  For some cases, there is no set limit (the sky’s the limit).  Under special circumstances, you may seek triple damages over and above the limit.

State

Maximum Claim Amount

Special Notes

Alabama

$3,000

 

Alaska

$10,000

 

Arizona

$2,500

 

Arkansas

$5,000

 

California

$10,000

  • You may file only two small claims cases for the max in the calendar year. There's no limit to the number of cases you may file that are under $2,500 in the same year.
  • The limit for a claim brought by a corporation or LLC is $5,000.

Colorado

$7,500

 

Connecticut

$5,000

  • There's no limit in landlord-tenant related claims
  • No claims may be made by a domestic corporation, U.S. corporation, foreign corporation or LLC.

Delaware

$15,000

 

District of Columbia

$5,000

 

Florida

$5,000

There's no limit in landlord-tenant cases.

Georgia

$15,000

 

Hawaii

$3,500

  • There's no limit in landlord-tenant eviction cases.
  • For leased or rented personal property, both the property value and rental amount must be under $3,500.
  • For a counterclaim, the amount of damages sought may be up to $20,000.

Idaho

$4,000

 

Illinois

$10,000

 

Indiana

$6,000

 

Iowa

$5,000

 

Kansas

$4,000

 

Kentucky

$1,500

 

Louisiana

  $3,000*

  • In some rural areas, small claims are heard by a Justice of the Peace.  The limit in this jurisdiction, for disputes involving moveable property and eviction, is $2,000.
  • The limit in landlord-tenant cases is $20,000.
  • Real estate cases are not allowed in this court.

Maine

$4,500

Prior to hearing, it is mandated by the court that the parties meet with a mediator to see if the case can be resolved by agreement. 

Maryland

$5,000

You may seek the return of personal property regardless of its dollar value. 

Massachusetts

$2,000

There is no limit for claims of property damage caused by a motor vehicle.

Michigan

$3,000

The limit on motor vehicle damages not covered by insurance in a no-fault traffic accident is $500.

Minnesota

$7,500

  • The limit for claims involving commercial consumer credit transactions is $4,000.
  • No claims involving title to real estate are allowed.

Mississippi

$2,500

 

Missouri

$3,000

 

Montana

$3,000

No personal injury or property damage cases are allowed.

Nebraska

$2,700

 

Nevada

$5,000

  • You must provide proof that you sent a demand letter before you file your suit.
  • Free mediation services are available in Clark County (Las Vegas).

New Hampshire

$5,000

 

New Jersey

$3,000

 

New Mexico

$10,000

 

New York

$5,000

The limit is $3,000 in town and village justice courts.

North Carolina

$5,000

 

North Dakota

$5,000

 

Ohio

$3,000

 

Oklahoma

$6,000

 

Oregon

$5,000

 

Pennsylvania

$8,000

The limit in the Philadelphia Municipal Court is $10,000.

Rhode Island

$2,500

  • No personal injury or property damage cases are allowed (negligence, tort, etc.)
  • The only landlord-tenant issue that may be brought is for the return of a security deposit.  Any other landlord-tenant issues are heard in a separate court.

South Carolina

$7,500

There is no limit in landlord-tenant cases.

South Dakota

$8,000

 

Tennessee

$25,000

There's no limit in eviction suits or suits to recover personal property.

Texas

$10,000

No suits are allowed to be brought by collection agencies or commercial lenders, but suits may be filed against these entities by an individual.

Utah

$7,500

 

Vermont

$5,000

No eviction claims, claims involving the return of personal property or any claims involving anything other than money damages are allowed.

Virginia

$5,000

Claims may seek to recover monies as well as the return of personal property.

Washington

$4,000

 

West Virginia

$5,000

 

Wisconsin

$5,000

 

Wyoming

$5,000

The limit for consumer credit transactions involving the return of personal property that was the subject of a lease or credit from a dealer is $25,000.