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What is a small-claims court for?

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Small-claims courts are for individuals who file civil claims against other individuals or companies under a designated monetary value, notes Legal Aid North Carolina. Small claims generally involve property or money.

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In Maryland, small claims are $5,000 or less that are requests for money only and do not involve discovery procedures, as Maryland Courts explains. North Carolina small-claims courts are for claims valued under $10,000 that are a request for money or a return of property, according to Legal Aid North Carolina.

Small-claims cases are less formal than other cases, states Legal Aid North Carolina. Small-claims judges are sometimes called magistrates, and small claims courts are sometimes called magistrate's courts. Plaintiffs and defendants do not have to be represented by a lawyer.

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