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Small Business: COVID-19 & Small Claims Court – A comprehensive FAQ on small claims court during COVID-19

COVID-19 Updates for Small Claims Court – FAQ

Download BT-FAQ-COVID-19-Updates-for-Small-Claims-Court-as-of-1.12.21.docx

General Reminder: The current COVID-19 pandemic is an evolving situation. Stay tuned to reliable sources (see suggestions in the below FAQ) for updates.

  1. Are hearings being held?
    • Yes, hearings in Small Claims matters have resumed as of August 10, 2020. Litigants can sign up to make remote appearances by audio or video through LACourtConnect <https://www.lacourt.org/lacc/>. Remote appearances can only be scheduled within 30 days of the hearing date.
  1. Are statutes of limitations extended?
    • Yes, for claims having a statute of limitations of more than 180 days (which applies to most Small Claims), the statute is tolled from April 6, 2020 until October 1, 2020. For claims having a statute of limitations of 180 days or less, the statute is tolled from April 6, 2020 until August 3, 2020.

 

  1. How do I file documents with the Court?
    1. Small Claims filings may be submitted via:
      1. Fax Filing: View Fax Filing Phone Numbers
      2. US Mail: View Small Claims Court Locations
      3. Drop Box: View Small Claims Court Locations
      4. In-Person Filing with a Clerk: Available by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, please call the phone number associated with the courthouse you are trying to visit. View Call Center Phone Numbers
    2. The Small Claims Efiling site has been decommissioned. The Court is scheduled to implement Small Claims Efiling in 2021, and notifications will be posted as more information becomes available.

 

  1. How do I serve documents?
    1. The court has not announced any changes to the rules for service of process for Small Claims matters.

 

  1. How do I submit evidence to the Court and exchange evidence with the other side in advance of the hearing?
    1. As of September 4, 2020, the Court has ordered litigants in Small Claims cases to follow a certain protocol to submit evidence in support of their position and to exchange that evidence with the other side in advance of the hearing.
    2. Under the Order, litigants must send their evidence to the other party at least ten (10) days in advance of the hearing.
    3. The order can be found here: <http://www.lacourt.org/division/smallclaims/pdf/1stAmendSOreEvidenceExchange.pdf>

 

  1. Will mediation services be affected?
    1. Due to court closures and other restrictions, there may continue to be a delay in processing of any settlement agreements.

 Links to Additional Resources:

  1. LA Superior Court: LACourtConnect <https://www.lacourt.org/lacc/>
  2. LA Superior Court: Standing Order Re: Evidence Exchange in Small Claims Matters <http://www.lacourt.org/division/smallclaims/pdf/1stAmendSOreEvidenceExchange.pdf>
  3. LA Superior Court: COVID-19 News and Resource Center <http://www.lacourt.org/newsmedia/ui/covid19NewsCenter.aspx>
  4. LA Superior Court: Small Claims <http://www.lacourt.org/division/smallclaims/smallclaims.aspx>
  5. LA Superior Court: Small Claims eFiling Notice <http://ww2.lacourt.org/efiling/EfilingNotice.aspx>
  6. LA Superior Court: Fax Filing Telephone Numbers <https://www.lacourt.org/division/civil/pdf/FaxFilingNumbers.pdf>
  7. LA County Consumer & Business Affairs: Small Claims and Mediation <https://dcba.lacounty.gov/small-claims-and-mediation/>

 Note: This document provides general information only and does not constitute legal advice.

 

Attachment BT-FAQ-COVID-19-Updates-for-Small-Claims-Court-as-of-1.12.21.docx

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