Large Claim civil suits involve claims for money or property worth over $10,000, suits for declaratory judgments and appeals from government agency decisions. Unlike Small Claims Court, most Civil Lawsuits take longer and may be more expensive to pursue. The rules are more rigid and more formal.
Because Large Claim Civil Lawsuits are much more complicated than Small Claims civil lawsuits, we strongly recommend consulting an Attorney. Self-represented parties must follow all the rules that apply to lawyers. If they fail to follow the rules, they may be subject to the same penalties as if a lawyer represented them.
For example, if a party fails to file required paperwork with the court their case might be postponed to another date or dismissed entirely. They also could have an unfavorable ruling made against them that could affect issues such as visitation or the distribution of assets.
Representing yourself in a case may require a substantial amount of your time outside the courtroom. This includes gathering evidence in the proper form, completing forms that include instructions similar to tax forms, and completing research of statutes, rules of procedure and case law that apply to your case. Be aware that while court personnel are available to answer procedural questions concerning your case, they are prohibited from giving legal advice.
The Civil Division does not provide any forms or instructions for most large claim matters, with these exceptions: Restraining Orders, Name Changes, Garnishment.