Small Claims Information
What's the small claims court dollar limit in Arkansas Small Claims Court?
You can ask for up to $5,000 in a small claims action filed in the small claims division of Arkansas District Court-the courts that handle small claims matters in Arkansas.
Where should I file my small claims case in Arkansas?
You must choose the proper court location or "venue," otherwise, the defendant-the person or company you sue-will be able to ask the court to transfer or dismiss your action. In Arkansas, you can file in the court:
- in the county where any defendant resides
- where the obligation was to be performed, or
- where the injury occurred.
Go to the Arkansas Secretary of State business entity search webpage for company information. Also, be aware that you might have other options, depending on your case. Most courts post venue rules on the court website.
What's the deadline to file a case in small claims court in Arkansas?
You don't have an unlimited amount of time to file a claim. You'll have to bring it within the statute of limitations period for your particular case. For example, the Arkansas statute of limitations is three years for oral contracts, five years for written contracts, and three years for personal injury and personal property damage matters. If you don't file within the proper period, you lose your right to sue.
Also, the statute of limitations can stop and restart depending on various circumstances, and figuring out when it expires can be challenging. For instance, if a minor is injured, the personal injury statute won't begin running until the child reaches 18 years of age. Learn more about calculating the statute of limitations.
Can an attorney represent a small claims claimant in Arkansas District Court?
No. In Arkansas, attorneys aren't allowed to represent small claimants.
If you think you need an attorney to represent your case, you can do so but it will become a civil matter rather than a small claims.
Does the defendant have to answer the small claims complaint?
Yes. The defendant must file an answer within 30 days of service of the court documents to avoid an automatic loss and default judgment. The answer must include all defenses and explain why the defendant isn't liable to the plaintiff. Also, a copy must be mailed to the plaintiff.
Learn what happens if you get sued in small claims court.
Will I have a judge or jury trial in small claims court in Arkansas?
A judge will hear your case. Arkansas doesn't allow jury trials in small claims cases. Find out what to expect at the small claims trial.
Can I appeal an Arkansas small claims case?
Yes, you can appeal the decision if you lose a case filed against you. Under Arkansas law, you must file the appeal within 30 days of entry of the small claims judgment-the date the judgment is entered into the court records. You must comply with this and other rules or you'll lose your appeal rights. So if you're confused about the process or how to find the date you'll use to calculate the filing deadline, talk with the court clerk or a local attorney.
Will the court collect my judgment for me?
Typically, depending on the judgement of who the case was ruled in favor of, will be paid directly, but can be collected through our office.
Where can I learn more about small claims cases in Arkansas District Court?
Most courts include filing instructions on the court website or provide self-help services. For additional resources, try the Arkansas Attorney General's guide to small claims court or the Arkansas Court's small claims handbook.
You can also view Arkansas's small claims law online on the Arkansas State Legislature's webpage. (Ark. Const. amend. 80 § 7; Ark. Code Ann. § 16-17-706; Arkansas District Court Rules 1-11, except where modified by Rule 10; and Administrative Order 18.)
Forms and more information may be found at: Small Claims information
Fees for filing a small claim
Filing fee: $67.50
Service fee: $50.00
A total of $117.50 on two separate checks will be required upon the date of filing the claim at our office.
The first check for filing fee of $67.50 may be payable to Fulton County District Court.
The second check for service fee of $50.00 may be payable to whatever county's sheriff department the defendant is residing in. For example, if the defendant lives in Fulton County, the check should be made out to Fulton County Sheriff's Department.
For more questions, please call (870) 895-4136