What is the Maximum Amount that Can Be Recovered in Small Claims Court?

Last Updated: August 21, 2023 by Ashley Porter

The maximum amount that can be recovered in Small Claims Court varies by state and is between $3,500 and $25,000.

State Maximum Claim Amount
Alabama $6,000
Alaska $10,000
Arizona $3,500
Arkansas $5,000
California $10,000 for individuals
$5,000 for businesses
Colorado $7,500
Connecticut $5,000 (may be exceeded if the judge awards damages)
Delaware $25,000
Florida $8,000
Georgia $15,000
Hawaii $5,000 (no limit for security deposit claims)
Idaho $5,000
Illinois $10,000
Indiana $10,000
Iowa $6,500
Kansas $4,000
Kentucky $2,500
Louisiana $5,000 (may be exceeded if the judge awards damages)
Maine $6,000
Maryland $5,000
Massachusetts $7,000 (may be exceeded if the judge awards damages)
Michigan $6,500
Minnesota $15,000
Mississippi $3,500
Missouri $5,000
Montana $7,000
Nebraska $3,900
Nevada $10,000
New Hampshire $10,000
New Jersey $5,000
New Mexico $10,000
New York $10,000 – New York City Court
$5,000 – City or District Court
$3,000 – Town or Village Court
North Carolina $5,000 or $10,000 depending on the court
North Dakota $15,000
Ohio $6,000
Oklahoma $10,000
Oregon $10,000
Pennsylvania $12,000
Rhode Island $5,000
South Carolina $7,500
South Dakota $12,000
Tennessee $25,000
Texas $20,000
Utah $15,000
Vermont $5,000
Virginia $5,000
Washington $10,000 for individuals
$5,000 for businesses
Washington D.C. $10,000
West Virginia $10,000
Wisconsin $10,000
Wyoming $6,000

What is Included in the Small Claim Limit?

In addition to the money owed, landlords and tenants may recover other money if they win the court case. For example, in many states, landlords must pay two to three times the amount of the security deposit they failed to return properly if a tenant files a small claims case. This additional penalty is referred to as “damages” in court.

The losing side may also be required to pay the court costs for both sides and the cost to hire an attorney (if an attorney was used). These costs will be added to the total amount of the judgment. In addition to these costs, the judgment typically gains annual interest.

Typically, the maximum small claim amount includes damages, but not interest, court costs, and attorneys’ fees.

What if the Claim Exceeds the Limit?

If the claim exceeds the limit, the plaintiff must reduce the amount or file the case in a higher court. Because Small Claims Court is typically much quicker and simpler than higher courts, it is often easier to reduce the claim amount.