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Attorney Van O'Steen

Justice Court Claims Are $10,000, Small Claims Division Goes to $2,500

Van O'Steen

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Arizona's Justice of the Peace Courts and their Small Claims Divisions exist, in large part, to assist in the resolution of relatively modest legal disputes. These courts, with their informal procedures, are user-friendly. They resemble a kindler and gentler version of the popular television court programs.

Disputes involving $2,500 or less may be filed in the Small Claims Division of Justice Court. The Small Claims Division is very informal. Lawyers are forbidden to represent parties in this division unless both sides agree to attorney involvement. Procedures are relaxed and the rules are easy to understand.

All disputes should be kept in perspective. Some disagreements and legal problems should be ignored entirely. Others deserve no more than informal attempts at resolution.

With all claims, big or small, our court system generally should be a remedy of last resort.

If, however, all else fails, the Justice Court system is available to assist in resolving most claims of less than $10,000.

Court personnel are available to answer your questions about procedures in the Justice Court or Small Claims Division. Easy-to-use forms are provided by the court.

If you have questions about these courts, including their authority to resolve disputes, contact the Justice of the Peace Court in the precinct where you live. They are listed in telephone directories.