What Is Small Claims Court?

Nebraska law requires that every county court in the state have a division known as Small Claims Court. Small Claims Court provides a forum for settling legal disputes involving $3,500 or less.

There are no lawyers allowed in Small Claims Court. The parties involved in the dispute represent themselves, including filing the petition, calling witnesses, and presenting the case. All Small Claims cases are tried before a judge rather than a jury.

If you are the person filing the petition against someone, you are the plaintiff. The defendant is the person being sued. Parties in Small Claims Court may be individuals, partnerships, corporations, unions, associations, or any kind of organization. The claim must be filed in the Small Claims Court of the county where the defendant lives or where the circumstances occurred which gave rise to the claim. If you are filing a claim in Lancaster County, go to the second floor of the County Courthouse at 575 South Tenth Street in Lincoln. The telephone number is (402) 441-7271. Small Claims Court forms may be downloaded from the Nebraska Judicial Branch website at http://court.nol.org/self-help/smallclaims.html.