Any individual, business, partnership, or corporation (with a couple of exceptions) may bring a small claims suit for recovery of money only where the amount claimed does not exceed $5,000. Attorneys and paralegals are excluded from appearing or participating with the plaintiff or defendant in a small claims suit unless the judge grants advance permission.
Dispute Resolution Services
When you file a small claims in the Cascade, Everett, Evergreen, or South divisions you will participate in a mediation hearing at the Courthouse prior to scheduling a trial date. Volunteers of America Dispute Resolution Center provide trained mediators who assist in the settlement of a wide variety of disputes. To learn more about preparing for your mediation hearing, please visit the Dispute Resolution Center.
Court personnel are not permitted to give legal advice as to any aspect of the case. It is against the law for them to do so. They will provide the Notice of Small Claim and certain other basic forms, they will file these, and set a date for a trial. They cannot complete the forms for the plaintiff and they cannot answer legal questions or give advice as to the conduct of the case.
While an attorney is not permitted to represent either party at the trial, an attorney may provide either party with assistance in preparing a case and/or in collecting any judgment which may be obtained.
Most of the information for this section was taken directly from a publication produced by the state Office of the Administrator of the Courts and modified to reflect the circumstances of Snohomish County. View the state brochure in its entirety.