This guide is intended to provide basic information about the small claims court process in Hamilton County, Ohio.
Disclaimer: Hamilton County Law Library staff, as a service to its patrons, provides reference services and information, including these research guides. To protect the public interest, Ohio law requires that legal advice and services be rendered only by qualified attorneys who are subject to the guidelines of the courts. Library staff members do not interpret the law, provide legal advice, or explain court procedures. The information provided is not a substitute for legal advice from a licensed attorney. None of our services shall be construed as giving legal advice.
The Small Claims Court is a division of the Hamilton County Municipal Court and was designed to provide easy access to the court system to non-lawyers. The Small Claims Court handles cases involving monetary damages not exceeding $3,000 (but increasing to $6,000 effective September 26, 2016.) The Small Claims Court does not hear cases for slander, libel, replevin (an action for the return of specific personal property), malicious prosecution, abuse of process actions, punitive damages, or other cases where more than money is pursued.
For more information on the Hamilton County Small Claims Court, the Hamilton County Small Claims Guide is recommended. Among other things, it will provide you with the rules for, and costs of, filing a small claims suit; information on how to determine damages; recommendations for preparing for your case and appearing before the court; and the process for collecting a judgment.
Other relevant code sections include:
2325 Relief after judgment - for information on the time to collect a court judgement.
Ohio Rules of Appellate Procedure - See Rule 4 (Appeal as of right - when taken).
Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure - See Rules 3 (Commencement of action and venue) and 4.1 (Process: methods of service).
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