Louisiana Small Claims Court Information

In Louisiana's urban parishes, small claims cases are heard in City Court. In rural parishes, cases are heard by the Justice of the Peace.

  • Statues: Louisiana Revised Statutes Annotated, Sections 13.5200-5212; Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure, Articles 4831, 4832, 4845, 4911-4925.
  • Dollar Limit:: $3,000 ($2,000 for moveable property and eviction cases in Justice of the Peace Courts).
  • Where To Sue: Where defendant resides. Corporation resides where it has an office or business establishment.
  • Service: City Court: certified mail with return receipt, sheriff, marshal, or constable; Justice of the Peace: sheriff or constable, if certified mail is marked.
  • Hearing Date: Set by court.
  • Attorneys: Allowed.
  • Transfer: City Court: if defendant counterclaims for more than $3,000, (or if defendant files written request within time allowed), case tried under regular civil procedure of City Court Justice of the Peace: if demand exceeds jurisdictional limit, case will be transferred to court of appropriate jurisdiction.
  • Appeals: City Court: Not allowed. Justice of the Peace: By either side for new trial; to District Court within 15 days.
  • Special Provisions: Equitable relief available in either court. No jury trial. Case may be referred to arbitration if both sides consent. Court may order installment payments. Defendant must answer within ten days (15 if served through the secretary of state) or may loser by default. No real estate or family law cases. No class actions, summary proceedings, or incomplete proceedings allowed. Either party may request arbitration.

Note: This section outlines the special rules that apply to the small claims courts of all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Filing fees are not listed because they vary greatly and change frequently. Because court rules may change at any time, always check with the clerk of the small claims court to verify the accuracy of the information given for your state.

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