small-claims court


Definition of small-claims court

: a special court intended to simplify and expedite the handling of small claims on debts

Examples of small-claims court in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But unlike most eviction cases that play out in small-claims court, this one went much higher — and with much wider implications for the rent-to-buy housing market. Crystal Hill, Indianapolis Star, "'A dream destroyed': How a homeownership deal left an Indianapolis couple homeless," 3 Dec. 2019 Your editorial suggests that arbitration is akin to small-claims court: You, a corporate representative and an arbitrator all work it out. WSJ, "Arbitration or Not, Small Suits Are Doomed," 6 May 2019 Patrick DeJean, the Marrero justice of the peace charged with pocketing public money, over-garnishing debtors' wages and keeping the excess, now stands accused of obstructing the federal grand jury investigation into his small-claims court. Drew Broach,, "Marrero justice of the peace hid records from grand jury, new indictment alleges," 27 Apr. 2018 The next steps for a consumer can be small-claims court or, if bankruptcy is filed, bankruptcy court, Albracht said. Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "When a restaurant closes, what happens to those gift certificates?," 1 Mar. 2018 Since there are no federal small-claims courts, the CASE Act would create an organization akin to one, which could adjudicate disputes if both sides approved. Robert Levine, Billboard, "Rep. Hakeem Jeffries Fights for Creators Rights, Brooklyn Hip-Hop and Recognition for Female Rappers," 20 Mar. 2018 Constables serve papers such as eviction notices and enforce orders of justices of the peace in small-claims court. Drew Broach,, "This obscure political job pays $120,000, and one third of voters don't know whom to back," 14 Mar. 2018 The bill’s requirement for a judgment against a tenant in order to access the mitigation fund could create an incentive for landlords to sue tenants in small-claims courts. Agatha Pacheco, The Seattle Times, "Washington Legislature considers banning housing discrimination based on income source," 12 Feb. 2018 Most arbitration clauses allow consumers to use small-claims courts instead, but there, too, the advantages appear tilted in the companies’ favor. Laurent Belsie, The Christian Science Monitor, "Battle over fine print: Why GOP is risking consumer ire to support banks," 26 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'small-claims court.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of small-claims court

1915, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for small-claims court

Time Traveler

The first known use of small-claims court was in 1915

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Cite this Entry

“Small-claims court.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for small-claims court

small-claims court


English Language Learners Definition of small-claims court

law : a court where legal disputes over small amounts of money are settled

small claims court


Legal Definition of small claims court

: a special court intended to simplify and expedite the resolution of minor disputes involving small claims

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