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Small Claims Court

This brief guide provides information about small claims courts. Updated 9/28/2020. See individual court websites for COVID updates.

Small Claim basics (Cleveland Municipal Court, Clerk's Office)

"To help combat COVID-19, the Clerk of Courts office is suspending in-person visits for filing Small Claims cases. Small Claims cases can still be filed by mail."

"The Small Claims Division was established by the Ohio General Assembly in 1967 with the enactment of Chapter 1925 of the Ohio Revised Code. The division of the court was created to provide a more informal, expeditious and inexpensive means for individuals to pursue claims for smaller sums of money. The monetary limit is currently $6,000, exclusive of interest and costs."

Information from the Clerk of Court's website:

  • $6,000 limit
  • You are responsible for filing your claim, even if you have an attorney (which is not required).
  • The filing fee is $37 (plus $7 per additional defendant, if applicable).
  • The defendant must live or do business in Cleveland, OH or Bratenahl, or the cause of action must have occurred therein.
  • You must provide all the names and addresses of all defendants.
  • Additional documentation includes:
    • proof of your claim
    • receipts
    • written estimates of damage or loss (at the hearing)
  • The Ohio Secretary of State can verify proper names of businesses and their respective owners.
  • Clerks are available to provide assistance before 3:30 p.m., Monday-Friday.
  • If filing by mail, you must include copies of your small claim for each defendant involved, as well payment of the filing fee, and a stamped, self-addressed envelope to receive a time-stamped copy with hearing date and payment receipt.