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Small Claims Appeals

What you need to know

When you appeal a small claims judgment, you ask the superior court to change the small claims court judge's decision. You'll have another hearing and must present your case again.

Only a defendant can file an appeal. If you lose on your own claim, you can't appeal. If you lose on the other person's claim, you can appeal. The defendant's insurance company can also file an appeal if it's asked to pay more than $2,500.

You have 30 days to file an appeal after the judge makes a decision. If the decision was mailed to you, you have 30 days from the day it was mailed. This date will be on your copy of the decision.

File your appeal with the small claims court. Your hearing will be in the civil division of the superior court. You'll need to file a Notice of Appeal (Small Claims).

If you lose, you'll have to pay. You may have to pay more if the judge decides you owe a larger amount. You may be ordered to pay the plaintiff's court costs such as service and filing fees. Interest will also accrue at 10% for each year the judgment is not paid.
You may be ordered to pay up to $150 for attorney fees and an additional $150 for travel costs, loss of earnings, and lodging reasonably incurred in connection with the appeal. Alternatively, if the judge finds you filed your appeal in bad faith the court may award up to $1,000 in attorney fees and also $1,000 for travel costs, loss of earnings and lodging.

Filing an appeal in bad faith means that:
(1) you filed your appeal without strong support for your position,
(2) you intended to harass or delay the other party, and/or
(3) you filed your appeal to encourage the other party to abandon the case.

 

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