Limited civil case - A general civil case which involves an amount of money of $25,000 or less.

Representing Yourself in a Civil Case

If you are filing a limited civil case or an unlimited civil case, it is a very good idea to have a lawyer. But you are not legally required to have a lawyer (unless you are incorporated and your corporation is the one that is suing or being sued).

If you do not have a lawyer, you will have to act as your lawyer. And, to do so, you will have to know the laws and court procedures. The court cannot help you or give you a break just because you are not a lawyer and do not know the law. If you do not follow the many court rules and laws governing litigation, you could get fined by the court and you could even lose important rights or your entire case.

Read the California Court's section on representing yourself for more information you should know if you are going to represent yourself.

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If You are Sued for $7,500 or Less

If you have been sued for $7,500 or less in a limited civil case, the plaintiff (the person or company that sued) either could not take you to small claims court (because of the type of case) or chose NOT to file in small claims court.

This is common in credit card debt or other collection lawsuits where you may owe less than $7,500, but the credit card company prefers to take you to court in a limited civil case and not small claims. There are many reasons companies may prefer to sue you in a general civil court, and if that happens, you have to defend yourself in civil court and cannot ask to have the case transferred to small claims court.

Talk to a lawyer for advice and help on how to defend yourself if you have been sued in a limited civil case. For help finding a lawyer, click here.