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Small Claims FAQ

Small Claims FAQ

Who Uses the Court and When?

Any individual or business may use a small claims court if the problem can be settled for $10,000 or less and if the court has jurisdiction over the matter. Examples of cases which are appropriate for filing in the small claims court include
• A tenant sues a landlord for not returning his/her rent deposit when the premises were left in the condition agreed upon in the original contract. 
• A retail merchant sues a customer for failing to pay for a purchased and used item. 
• A customer sues a dry cleaner for refusing to replace an expensive garment ruined as a result of poor procedures. 
• One driver of an automobile sues another driver for damage done to his or her car not covered by automobile insurance. 
All these cases represent problems that need to be resolved, but may not be significant enough to retain an attorney or to bear the expense of a full-fledged court case. The Small Claims Court offers a place for persons with such grievances to solve their own problems. 

Do I Need an Attorney?

No. You do not need to retain a lawyer to sue in Small Claims Court. In fact, in most instances, attorneys are discouraged from attending.

How Much Does it Cost to Sue?

The cost of filing a suit in Small Claims Court consists of a filing fee, ($60.00 for cases under $2,000, and $100.00 for cases between $2,000 and $7,500, and $185 for cases between $7500 and $10,000.) and cost of service if served by a constable or sheriff. In 1995, nearly 40,000 small claims were filed across the state of Utah.
Please note that the filing fees have increased as of May 12, 2009.

How Much Can I Recover in Damages?

You can sue for up to $10,000.
Please note that the maximum claim amount has increased as of May 12, 2009.

What is the Interest Rate for Judgments?

The interest rate is the same as the rate for civil suits. For current interest rates, please see the website www.utcourts.gov 

How do I get a copy of a Judgment?

All parties will receive a copy of the judgment following the close of the case. If you have lost your copy or would like to look up a judgment for someone other than yourself, check with the district or justice court in which the case was filed.

How do I collect on a Judgment?

If you have won a small claims case and would like to collect on the judgment contact the court in which the case was filed in order to carry out a garnishment or an execution. The filing fee will be $50. A supplemental order can be used to require a defendant to answer questions about assets and income.

What are the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Small Claims Case?

The time limits, or statute of limitations for filing a small claims case vary depending on the type of case. Refer to Utah Code 78B-2-307 for general rules concerning statutes of limitations.