Small Claims Court
A state court that handles civil claims for small amounts of money. People often represent themselves rather than hire an attorney.
Source: U.S. Courts
The division of the trial court that handles civil cases asking for $5,000 or less. The plaintiff can file either a small claims case or a regular civil (of limited jurisdiction) case in superior court. Small claims court is designed to be simple, quick, and less costly than a regular civil lawsuit. In small claims court there are no lawyers, no rules of evidence, and no juries. The plaintiff has no right to appeal the judge's decision, but the defendant may appeal. An appeal would mean a new trial before a different judge. Lawyers can participate in the appeal.
Source: California Courts.