SMALL CLAIMS TRIALS IN SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY
All claims are set for trial on the court calendar for the same time. Typically, the judge will address the litigants and explain the rules of the Small Claims Court and his/her clerk will swear in the parties who will give testimony. The judge will call the calendar of claims to be heard and request that the parties exit the courtroom together and show each other the evidence they will be presenting to the court. The parties are instructed by the judge to make an effort to discuss the claim in an attempt to resolve the dispute. While the contested cases [cases in which both plaintiff and defendant are present in court] are exchanging evidence and discussing their cases outside the courtroom, the judge will be hearing the default cases [cases in which only the plaintiff or defendant is present]. Default cases are usually brief and dispatched early by the judge.
Mediators are frequently available to meet with the parties at the time of trial. Upon the completion of the evidence exchange and/or mediation, the parties should return to the courtroom and wait until their claim is called. If the parties enter into a mediation agreement, the mediators will direct you.
Rarely does the judge enter judgment in the courtroom unless the judgment is taken by default. If you have a contested claim, you will most likely receive a copy of the judgment in the mail indicating the outcome of the claim.
You should receive your judgment within 2 weeks of the trial date. If you do not, contact the clerk of the court.
Getting the judgment is just the first step. If you have questions on how to enforce your judgment, visit www.courtinfo.ca.gov/selfhelp for enforcement option and/or contact the Small Claims Advisory for assistance at (805) 781-5856.