A civil case is a case where one entity (called the plaintiff) sues another entity (called the defendant) for something, usually money. The Toledo Municipal Court has jurisdiction over cases where the amount in issue is equal to or less than $15,000. Forcible entry and detainer (FED) actions, also known as evictions, are included in the court's civil docket.
Small Claims Court is for cases that concern civil claims up to $6,000. Some types of cases, such as slander and libel, cannot be processed through Small Claims Court regardless of whether the amount involved is less than $6,000. You may file no more than 24 separate claims in a year. A corporation may, through any bona fide corporate officer or salaried employee, file and present its claim or defense in any action in a small claims division arising from a claim based on a contract to which the corporation is an original party or any other claim to which the corporation is an original claimant, provided such corporation does not engage in cross-examination, argument, or other acts of advocacy (Ohio Revised Code Section 1925.17).
To file a small claims case, you must fill out paperwork in the Small Claims Division of the Clerk's Office, located in the basement of the Toledo Municipal Court building. The paperwork to fill out is provided for you. You should bring copies of any paperwork that supports your claim. Bring one copy for the court and one copy for the person you are suing. Make sure you keep a copy of the paperwork for your own files. You must also have the address of the person you are filing your claim against. You must also bring money with you to pay the court costs of filing your small claims case. The small claims filing fee is $61.50, plus $11.50 for each additional defendant. You can pay these costs by cash, money order, personal check, or credit card.
A Small Claims Assistant can provide information on procedures to follow to fill out forms and explain what proof may be necessary to win or defend a case. Small Claims Assistants do not provide such assistance to businesses, partnerships, or corporations. Small Claims Assistants do not provide legal services or give legal advice. They do not evaluate cases.
The telephone number for the Small Claims Division of the Clerk's Office is (419) 936-3650. The Small Claims Division is open 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.