Small Claims cases are heard in Warren County Court by a Civil Magistrate on Mondays at 1:00 p.m. You can file a small claim in our Court for damages with a monetary value of up to $6,000. If you are seeking damages greater than $6,000, you must file a Civil lawsuit instead. Our Court handles Civil claims up to $15,000. If your claim is for more than $15,000, you will need to file it with the Warren County Common Pleas Court.
The cost for a Small Claims filing in our court is $85.00 for the first Defendant plus $33.00 for each additional Defendant. There may be additional costs as your case proceeds.
Who is my Claim Against?
If you are the Plaintiff, pay particular attention to the person or business you name as a Defendant. Your claim may be against more than one party (person or business), and if so, name any other parties you feel might be involved in owing you the money. If there is any doubt in your mind in determining who among two or three parties may owe you the money or be liable, then file your claim against all of the parties in question. Just be sure that all parties you are suing are involved in the case and have a potential responsibility or liability. If you need professional advice concerning who to sue, contact an attorney for legal advice.
Claims Against the Plaintiff
If you are the Defendant, you may have a claim against the Plaintiff arising out of the same transaction-this is called a Counterclaim. There may also be another party involved who should be named as an additional Defendant or as a Third Party Defendant along with you so that the Court may determine which of the Defendants, if any, is liable for the claim of the Plaintiff. If you have a claim against the Plaintiff, then you should file that claim so that the Court can hear both your claim and the Plaintiff's claim at the same time and determine which party is liable to the other. If either situation applies to you as a Defendant, then bring this to the attention of the Clerk's Office and express your desire to file either or both of the above procedures. A Counterclaim or Third Party Claim must be filed within seven days after date of service.
If you still have questions not answered on our website, you can contact the Warren County Bar Association 500 Justice Drive, Lebanon, OH 45036 at 513-695-1309, or go to their attorney directory: http://www.warrenbar.org/memberlist.aspx. The Warren County Court Clerk's staff will assist you in any way they can as you file your claim, but please remember that these individuals are not attorneys and they cannot provide you with legal advice.
For more detailed information on the steps involved in the Small Claims process, you can view Small Claims Court Citizens Guide provided by the Ohio Judicial Conference.