What Is The Smallest Amount Sued For?

  • John A. Osborne
  • Mar 29, 2023
Small Business Insurance Montana

Legal disputes are common, and they can range from minor to major issues. Some legal cases, however, might seem trivial, and one might wonder why they are even taken to court. When it comes to lawsuits, there is no minimum amount, and any amount can be sued for. But what is the smallest amount sued for?

Small claims court is where most minor legal disputes are settled. It is a court that handles small cases, and it is different from other courts in that it does not require a lawyer to represent the parties involved. In small claims court, individuals can sue for small amounts, and the maximum amount varies depending on the state. In California, for example, the maximum amount is $10,000, while in New York, it is $5,000.

What Are Some Examples of Small Claims Court Cases?

Small claims court cases can range from landlord-tenant disputes to car accidents. Here are some examples of small claims court cases:

  • A neighbor who damaged your fence and refused to pay for repairs
  • A tenant who broke the lease agreement and refused to pay rent
  • A contractor who did a poor job on a home repair project
  • A store that sold a defective product
  • A driver who caused a minor car accident

Why Sue for a Small Amount?

One might wonder why someone would take the time and effort to sue for a small amount. There are several reasons why:

  • To recover damages: Individuals can sue to recover the cost of damages caused by another person or company.
  • To enforce a contract: If someone breaches a contract, the other party can sue to enforce it.
  • To seek justice: Sometimes, it is not about the amount but about seeking justice for a wrong that has been done.
  • To deter future wrongdoings: By suing, individuals can send a message to others that such actions will not be tolerated.

What Are the Costs of Small Claims Court?

Small claims court is designed to be affordable and accessible to everyone, and the costs are minimal. The filing fee is usually around $30 to $100, depending on the state, and the party that loses the case is responsible for paying the court fees. There are no attorney fees involved, but individuals can choose to hire a lawyer if they wish.


Small claims court is an important part of the legal system, and it allows individuals to seek justice for minor disputes without the need for expensive legal representation. The smallest amount sued for varies depending on the state, but it can be as little as a few dollars. Whether it is about recovering damages, enforcing a contract, or seeking justice, small claims court provides a fair and accessible way for individuals to resolve minor legal disputes.

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