A small claims action may be filed in the Boston Municipal Court, District Court, or Housing Court.
For Boston Municipal Court and District Court, you may bring a small claim only in the court that covers the location where either the plaintiff or the defendant lives or has a place of business or employment. A small claim against a landlord arising from the rental of an apartment may also be brought where the apartment is located. You may find it easier to enforce a decision in your favor if you bring your small claim where the defendant lives or works, but you are not required to do so.
Keep in mind, however, that to be filed in the Housing Court, the action must relate to residential housing (for example, a landlord's failure to return a security deposit or damage to an apartment caused by a tenant). If it does not, it cannot be filed in the Housing Court. You should also keep in mind that a small claims action filed in the Housing Court must be filed in the court that covers the city or town where the subject residential property is located. Unlike the Boston Municipal Court and District Court, a small claims action in the Housing Court cannot be filed in a court solely because either party works or lives in an area covered by that court.
Small Claims Resources
- Where Do I File a Small Claim?
- Small Claims in the Boston Municipal Court or District Court
- Small Claims in Housing Court
- Small Claims Forms
- Multilingual Videos Explaining the Small Claims Process
- I Won My Small Claim Before the Magistrate, What Can I Do Now?
- I Lost My Small Claim Before the Magistrate, What Can I Do Now?