File a Small Claims Case

How to File

A small claim is a case filed only for the recovery of money owed to you and is now available to file onlineAfter filing online, you will receive a confirmation number for your case and you must contact the court within 72 hours to review your claim either by phone (253)798-7487 or Live Chat.  You will be provided information on how/where to pay the filing fee and a hearing will be set.  Once the filing fee has been paid, the court will mail you a service packet.  Your Claim will not be processed until you have contacted the court for review and the filing fee has been paid.  A list of fees can be found here.

This is an electronic filing and can be completed on any computer with internet access. Kiosks may be available for use at the Pierce County Law Library.

The Filing Process

Small claim cases must be filed in the county where the defendant resides or does business.  When filing a small claim the information needed includes the:
  • Name and address of the person, company and/or corporation being sued
  • Amount owed
  • Date the money became due
  • Reason for the suit
The District Court does not collect the money awarded in a judgment.  Contact an attorney or a collection agency for any questions concerning collection of money.


All small claims cases are set for a mediation hearing with an impartial, third-party mediator.  Witnesses are not allowed at the mediation hearing and attorneys are not allowed to represent either side in small claims.  The litigants prove their cases via statements, contracts, estimates, photographs, etc. Seventy-five percent of the small claims cases are settled at mediation.  Those cases that are not settled through mediation are scheduled for trial.

The amount of money you seek to recover may not exceed $10,000 in cases brought by a natural person (a natural person is defined as a human being). The limit for all other cases brought by a business, corporation, or other business entity, remains at $5,000. The filing fee must be made in cash, VISA or Mastercard.  No personal checks are accepted.  New small claims cases are accepted until 4:00 PM Monday through Friday.