Courts - Small Claims
The Small Claims section of the Salt Lake City Justice Court is designated to settle monetary legal issues and problems arising from contractual, service disputes and other claims. The current maximum amount you may sue for in a small claims action is $10,000. Small Claims court is less formal and you do not need an attorney to represent you. A small claims court allows an individual or business to be compensated by a party who has not performed according to an agreement or who had committed some wrongdoing. Small Claims cases are governed by Utah Code title 78A, Chapter 8. The rules for Small Claims can be found in the Utah Court Rules annotated, Utah Rules of Small Claims Procedure.
Court Location and Hours
Salt Lake City Justice Court
PO Box 145499
333 South 200 East
Salt Lake City UT 84114-5499
Open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Small Claims Evening Court held on Wednesdays and Thursdays starting at 5:30pm, except during the week of a holiday, there will be no court sessions.
How to File and Prepare for Court
- Determine where to file. Before you can bring a suit in Small Claims Court, it must be determined that the court has jurisdiction over your type of legal problem, and that it has jurisdiction over the party you are suing. A case must be filed where the defendant resides or the claim arose (where the events happened). Salt Lake City Justice Court has jurisdiction only within the Salt Lake City boundaries. To view the Salt Lake City boundary map, click here. You may also view the Salt Lake County jurisdictional map, click here. Once you have determined that Salt Lake City Justice Court has jurisdiction over your case, it is suggested that you use our court specific forms for all filings. However, the Utah State Court also has a program called, Online Court Assistance Program (OCAP) for assistance in preparing court documents that may be used and filed in our court.
- It is suggested that you observe a session in the Small Claims Court before your trial date. By doing so, you will be more at ease at your trial and will present a more relaxed and calm evaluation of your case. You will also become more familiar with the procedures of the Court. Small Claims Court is held every Wednesday and Thursday evenings at the Salt Lake City Justice Court, located at 333 South 200 East, starting at 5:30pm, except for weeks in which there is a holiday.
- Compile pertinent information that applies to your case. This information may include canceled checks, purchase orders, written contracts and other evidence. Organize your information or items in chronological order and be sure to check the dates carefully. Accuracy will be a crucial factor in determining the outcome of the case. You should also be prepared to prove to the court how much money you will need to fix the problem. Your own estimate of the cost is usually not sufficient. It is strongly suggested that you file copies of written contracts, evidence, checks, or items that are pertinent to the case with the court at least 5 business days before the court date. However, before filing your copies with the court, you must first serve a copy to the opposing party, pursuant to Rule 5(f) of the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure. Once you have mailed a copy to the opposing party, you must fill out a certificate of service form indicating service and file it along with your copies of documents with the court. The Small Claims Judge will review scheduled court cases, before going into court.
- Bring a disinterested party. If your claim deals with the adequacy of a service, or workmanship, or some other issue where the opinion of a disinterested party who is knowledgeable and or is an expert about the subject may be available, he/she should appear in person at the trial on your behalf.
- Tell your story. When you get to court and it is your turn to speak, simply state what your claim is. The plaintiff (the person who filed the claim) will tell his/her side of the story to the judge and present any witnesses or documents to support the claim. The defendant (the person the claim is filed against) will do the same.
Small Claims Class
Utah Association for Justice is offering a monthly Small Claims class, at the Salt Lake City Justice Court. The class is free.
Class Schedule for 2016: 01/06/16; 02/03/16; 03/02/16; 04/06/16; 05/04/16; 06/08/16;
07/13/16; 08/03/16; 09/14/16; 10/05/16; 11/02/16; 12/07/16
Class Schedule for 2017: 01/11/17; 02/01/17; 03/01/17; 04/05/17; 05/03/17; 06/07/17
The purpose of this small claims class is to prepare individuals for their small claims case at trial. This class will prepare individuals by going over the process of initiating a small claims case, how they should be prepared for trial, and what will happen at the trial. There will be time for questions and observation of small claims cases inside the courtroom. This class will be taught by two current small claims judge protempores who have knowledge and experience in small claims. Please bring your questions and come ready to take notes! For questions, please call the Utah Association for Justice at 801-531-7514.
The Small Claims Process
- Filing a Small Claims Affidavit.
- Responding to a Small Claims Affidavit.
- Trial Information for Plaintiffs and Defendants.
- Collecting a Judgment.
ADA Notice: If you are a party to a case or a witness, and you need special accommodations (including communication aids and services) during an upcoming proceeding, please call the Salt Lake City Justice Court at 801-535-6301, or fax the court at 801-535-6302 at least three business days before the proceeding.
Fees, Forms and FAQs