San Jose, California Legal Overview
The City of San Jose is the county seat of Santa Clara County, California. The Santa Clara Superior Court functions as the main trial court with both general and limited jurisdiction. This court, located in San Jose, has divisions handling criminal, family law, probate, juvenile and civil cases. Only civil cases above $25,000 are considered unlimited or general jurisdiction cases. The small claims and traffic courts are limited jurisdiction court divisions within the superior court.
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1. Any civil lawsuit, which amounts to no more than $25,000, is a limited jurisdiction case. Businesses, partnerships, corporations and other commercial organizations can file small claims that do not exceed $5,000. Individual may file small claims of up to twice that amount. However, only two small claims that exceed $2,500 are allowed per year. There is no restriction on small claims below this amount. Misdemeanors and traffic infractions will be considered limited jurisdiction cases if the maximum allowable punishment is limited to $1,000 and/or a 1-year jail term.
Trending San Jose, California Legal Topics: Appeals against the limited jurisdiction case mentioned above must be filed with the superior court’s appellate division. There is no appeals process for small claims. Appeals against verdicts in general jurisdiction cases originating from San Jose must be filed with the 6th District Court of Appeal, which is also located in San Jose. The California Supreme Court is the state’s highest court. Federal cases for San Jose must be filed with the San Jose Division of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.