Amount parties can claim in Ohio’s small claims courts to increase this September

Governor John Kasich signed a bill this week increasing the maximum amount of damages that parties can sue for in Ohio's small claims courts from $3,000 to $6,000. O.R.C. 1925.02 governs Ohio's small claims courts and provides that the courts have jurisdiction over civil claims to recover money and taxes only, and currently limits the amount to $3,000. O.R.C. 1925.10 provides for transferring of cases that exceed the $3,000 limit.

For larger claims, parties would have to file in the regular division of municipal court, which generally caps claims at $15,000, with a few exceptions, or common pleas court for greater amounts than what municipal court allows. HB 387 amends the laws governing small claims limits, increasing them to $6,000.

The bill passed the Ohio House and Senate unanimously and will become effective on September 26. For more information about small claims court, visit our research guide on the topic and the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts site. The Ohio Supreme Court provides an introduction to the Ohio judicial system on their website, and the Ohio State Bar Association has also published a guide on Ohio's court system generally.