This law increases the amount of the monetary demand which is under the jurisdiction of a small claims court.

Code of Civil Procedures § 116.221 & 116.224
Added by S.B. 221
Effective: January 1, 2012 until January 1, 2015

The amount a small claims court now has jurisdiction over has changed from $7,500 or less to $10,000 or less for an action brought on by a natural person.

Editor’s note – In the event a tenant fails to make payment of monetary amounts due under provisions in a rental or lease agreement, a landlord has the option to enforce the payment by filing action against the tenant in a small claims court. [See Chapter 22 “Other amounts due under three-day notices” in the first tuesday book, Landlords, Tenants and Property Management.]

However, the revised $10,000 ceiling amount for a small claims court applies only to natural persons. It does not apply to fictitious persons, e.g. landlords and brokers who are operating in the name of an entity such as a limited liability company (LLC), a limited partnership (LP) or a corporation. Persons operating rentals in the name of an entity are limited to a $5,000 award in their small claims court action. [A special thank you to  first tuesday reader Thomas Kerr for pointing out this necessary clarification.]