What types of cases do small claims courts typically hear?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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Small claims courts frequently hear disputes such as these:

(1) a laundry service loses a customer’s shirts but refuses to pay for them, or is willing to pay an amount that the customer thinks is inadequate;

(2) a landlord improperly refuses to return a tenant’s security deposit;

(3) a driver who hit a parked car won’t pay to repair the fender;

(4) the new luggage you bought breaks, and the store says “tough luck”;

(5) a doctor charged $1,800, the health insurer says $650 is “reasonable and customary” and won’t pay one cent more, and the doctor is “dunning” you;

(6) the kid next door hits a baseball through your window, his parents say its his responsibility and that he has to pay out of his weekly $2 allowance – it would take 10 years to collect.

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