Civil actions involve disputes between individuals and/or corporate entities. Typically the subject of the dispute is over property or money. The amount of the plaintiff’s claim determines which venue is appropriate. There are several subdivisions of the civil department.
- Small Claims or Magistrate’s Court - Claims for Money Owed for $10,000 or less, Summary Ejectment (Landlord-Tenant Disputes) and Recovery of Personal Property.
- Civil District Court - actions involving amounts of $25,000.00 or less, appeals from small claims court, domestic violence, and domestic relations lawsuits (child support, divorce, custody, equitable distribution of property, alimony and spousal support).
- Civil Superior Court - actions involving amounts over $25,000.00, injunctive and declaratory relief without regard to amount, condemnation actions and appeals from decisions rendered by the Clerk of Court (except adoptions).
While Small Claims court provides an informal forum for pro se litigants, District and Superior Court is much more formal. As a result, there are very few forms available for District and Superior Court where the application of law and legal procedure can be much more complex. You should seriously consider consulting with an attorney before filing an action as a pro se litigate in District or Superior Court. Your failure to do so may cause you to jeopardize important legal rights.