Small claims court is where you can recover a small amount of money (up to $5,000) that is owed to you. Click a topic in the menu of links for information about completing small claims court forms.
If you are suing someone, you will file your small claims case in the Civil Division of the Superior Court in the county where you or the other person lives. To “file” means to hand in or send your documents to the court. See the list of court locations here.
If you are sued by someone, you will get a small claims Complaint delivered to you. You will need to respond by filling out an Answer to the Complaint.
Has the court granted a judgment in your favor? Have 30 days passed and the person or business has not paid you? You can fill out a form to ask the court to enforce the order to pay. File a copy of the form with the court and send a copy to the person you sued (the “defendant”). The court will send you and the defendant a notice of hearing.
Has the court entered a judgment against you? If you are unable to pay that judgment, fill out a form about your financial situation. Give the form to the court and send a copy to the other party. The court may notify you of a hearing.
Things You Need to Know About Small Claims
- You can only be sued or sue someone else for money in small claims court. The amount has to be $5,000 or less. If you want something other than money damages if you win your case, then you will have to file a case in the Civil Division of Superior Court instead.
- Lawyers are allowed in small claims court, but many people represent themselves. Learn more on our Defend Yourself in Court page.
- Note: If you are suing on behalf of a corporation, in most cases you must hire an attorney. If you have questions on this, contact the Vermont Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service.
- The person filing the small claims case is called the “plaintiff.” So if you are suing someone in small claims court, you are the plaintiff. The person who is being sued is called the “defendant.”
- You must be at least 18 years old to sue in small claims court. If you are under 18 or you have a guardian, your parent or guardian can sue for you.