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Legal Statutes: Utah

UPDATED November 15, 2016

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Chapter 8. Small Claims Courts

back to top78A-8-102. Small claims--Defined--Counsel not necessary--Removal from district court--Deferring multiple claims of one plaintiff--Supreme Court to govern procedures

(1) A small claims action is a civil action:

(a) for the recovery of money where:

(i) the amount claimed does not exceed $10,000 including attorney fees but exclusive of court costs and interest; and

(ii) the defendant resides or the action of indebtedness was incurred within the jurisdiction of the court in which the action is to be maintained; or

(b) involving interpleader under Rule 22 of the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure, in which the amount claimed does not exceed $10,000 including attorney fees but exclusive of court costs and interest.

(2)(a) A defendant in an action filed in the district court that meets the requirement of Subsection (1)(a)(i) may remove, if agreed to by the plaintiff, the action to a small claims court within the same district by:

(i) giving notice, including the small claims filing number, to the district court of removal during the time afforded for a responsive pleading; and

(ii) paying the applicable small claims filing fee.

(b) No filing fee may be charged to a plaintiff to appeal a judgment on an action removed under Subsection (2)(a) to the district court where the action was originally filed.

(3) The judgment in a small claims action may not exceed $10,000 including attorney fees but exclusive of court costs and interest.

(4) Counter claims may be maintained in small claims actions if the counter claim arises out of the transaction or occurrence which is the subject matter of the plaintiff's claim. A counter claim may not be raised for the first time in the trial de novo of the small claims action.

(5) Claims involving property damage to a motor vehicle may be maintained in small claims actions, and any removal or appeal thereof, without limiting the ability of a plaintiff to make a claim for bodily injury against the same defendant in a separate legal action. In the event that property damage claim is brought as a small claims action:

(a) any liability decision in an original small claims action or appeal thereof is not binding in any separate legal action for bodily injury; and

(b) no additional property damage claims can be brought in any separate legal action for bodily injury.

(6)(a) With or without counsel, persons or corporations may litigate actions on behalf of themselves:

(i) in person; or

(ii) through authorized employees.

(b) A person or corporation may be represented in an action by an individual who is not an employee of the person or corporation and is not licensed to practice law only in accordance with the Utah rules of small claims procedure as promulgated by the Supreme Court.

(7) If a person or corporation other than a municipality or a political subdivision of the state files multiple small claims in any one court, the clerk or judge of the court may remove all but the initial claim from the court's calendar in order to dispose of all other small claims matters. Claims so removed shall be rescheduled as permitted by the court's calendar.

(8) Small claims matters shall be managed in accordance with simplified rules of procedure and evidence promulgated by the Supreme Court.

Laws 2008, c. 3, § 521, eff. Feb. 7, 2008; Laws 2009, c. 147, § 2, eff. May 12, 2009; Laws 2011, c. 114, § 1, eff. May 10, 2011;Laws 2013, c. 368, § 1, eff. May 14, 2013.