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FAQ - Civil Cases in Limited Jurisdiction Courts

How do I file a small claims case?

You start a small claims case by filing a complaint with justice court. A complaint is a document that tells the court and the other person involved why you are in court and how you would like the court to solve the problem. A complaint must contain the following five things:
1. The proper name of every plaintiff and of every defendant.
2. In lawsuits to recover on an assigned debt, the identity of the original owner of the debt.
3. A statement that the court has legal authority over the subject matter of the claim and over the defendant (“jurisdiction”); and a statement that the Justice Court precinct where the lawsuit is filed is the proper location (“venue”).
4. A short and clear statement of the factual basis of each claim. Each claim must show that the party has a right to relief from the court.
5. A demand that the court award money or another type of remedy allowed by law. If the requested remedy is an amount of money, and the amount can be calculated with certainty, the complaint must state the amount. If the amount of money cannot be calculated with certainty, a specific amount does not need to be stated, but the complaint must generally describe the damages and it must state that the amount requested does not exceed the jurisdictional limit of the justice court.

Your local justice court may have forms and instructions.
• Justice Court Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 110
• General information Justice Courts in Arizona
Mohave County Small Claims information and procedures
Pinal County Small Claims information and procedures
"How a Case Moves Through the Court System"