This toolkit tells you what you need to know about starting a small claims case, or defending one. Small claims cases are for civil disputes involving $5,500 or less, and are only for people representing themselves. For general information about small claims cases, read the Articles on this page. Review the Common Questions if you have a specific question. If you want to file a small claims case, use the Court Forms links for help preparing the forms you will need. Use one of the Checklists below to make sure you followed all the steps in the process. The links under Court Information will tell you about the court that will handle your small claims case.