How do I start a case in small claims court?

You can bring a lawsuit for less than $12,000 in Small Claims Court, which is part of the Philadelphia Municipal Court.

The court cannot hear a case against a commonwealth party such as SEPTA. The court also cannot order a party to do something, such as return property or make repairs.

The court generally hears two types of cases. They are negligence actions and contract actions. The court has a web site (www.fjdclaims.phila.gov) where you can find case histories and documents filed in any case.

If an attorney does not represent you, you must go to the Court’s First Filing Office on the 10th floor of 1339 Chestnut Street. Only the parties who entered into a contract or the person who suffered a personal injury or property damage normally have the right to bring an action. A person who has the right to bring an action may, however, authorize someone with knowledge of the case to bring the action. The court has an Authorized Representative form for that purpose. Before coming to the First Filing Office, the form must be completed and signed by the authorized representative and the person who could have brought the action.

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