Which claims can be brought as small claims?
From the Mass. District Court:
"Unless your suit is based upon property damage sustained in an automobile accident, it cannot exceed $7,000.00. The claim may, however, be subject to statutory damages or attorney's fees in excess of $7,000.00 (e.g., consumer protection cases or certain landlord/tenant cases). In those cases, the base amount may not exceed $7,000.00 even though the potential award may exceed that amount."
Self-help: Small claims, Mass. Trial Court
Includes information from BMC, District Court, and Housing Court.
Multilingual Videos Explaining the Small Claims Process, Mass. Trial Court.
Steps you through the entire process in a series of 7 short videos. Available in English and 7 other languages.
MGL c.218, s.21-25, Small Claims Procedure
Rules and fees
Uniform Magistrate Rules: Rule 4: Mediation of Small Claims Actions, Mass. Trial Court
Guidelines for electing and utilizing mediation by a magistrate in small claims
Trial Court Rule III: Uniform Small Claims Court Rules, Mass. Trial Court, 2009
Boston Municipal Court and District Court filing fees, Mass. District Court
Fees (with surcharges) range from $40 to $150 depending on damages sought
Small Claims Standards, Mass. Trial Court, 2002
Note: These standards were written before the Uniform Small Claims Rules and do not reflect current rules.
Small claims forms. Note: While many forms are available, the Statement of Small Claim form is not available on the web and must be picked up at the court. Forms are available in 7 languages in addition to English.
Schubach v. Household Finance Corporation, 375 Mass. 133 (1978).
"Intentionally filing collection actions against consumers in inconvenient distant courts, with the purpose and effect of securing default judgments and gaining unfair advantage," may be an unfair and deceptive act under c.93A, "even though the company filed its actions in compliance with c. 223, Section 2."
Everybody's Guide to Small Claims Court, Nolo, 2018
An overview on bringing a small claims case or defending yourself against one. Includes information on how to collect your money if you win, serving your papers, witnesses, getting ready for court, and more. Requires library card for access.
How to Win Your Case in Small Claims Court Without a Lawyer, Atlantic Publishing, 2009. Requires library card for access.
Small Claims Advisory Service
"Here you will find any information you need to learn more about small claims court, the relevant laws, and contact information to get further assistance from the SCAS organization." SCAS is a group of college undergraduates, not attorneys.
Small Claims Courts, Mass. Office of Consumer Affairs
Includes information on whether small claims court is right for you, what to consider before filing, and more
Suing Home Contractor for Construction Defects in Small Claims Court in Massachusetts, Nolo.com
Explains the process of bringing a contractor to small claims court, as well as other options to consider.
Report of the Small Claims Working Group, Mass. Trial Court, District Court Department, August 1, 2007
After a 1-year study, group recommended changes in Uniform Small Claims Rules and Small Claims Standards, as well as a statutory change, in order to better protect debtors and "to promote understanding by, and ensure equal treatment of, all parties." Recommendations include changes to notice requirements and procedures, entry of default judgments, property seizures, and more.
Small Claims Can Require Big Decisions, by Marc G. Perlin and John M. Connors, 2012
Article originally published in Mass. Lawyers Weekly addresses the question, "Despite its advantages in terms of simplified procedure, speed, and informality, are there reasons for a plaintiff to avoid the small claims forum?"
- Handbook of civil procedure in the Massachusetts District Court by Marc G. Perlin, John M. Connors. With supplement. Chapter 15: Small Claims.
- Pursuing a Case in Small Claims Court, MCLE, 2010
|Last updated:||October 1, 2018|