State Civil Courts & Frequently Referenced Landlord-Tenant Laws
For All 50 States & DC

© 2011





This chart is an attempt to gather, in one convenient place, the information you will need to refer to the basic landlord tenant laws of your state in preparation for disputes with your tenant or landlord, and to navigate your state’s civil court system, should a resort to it be necessary, self-help resources, if provided by the state courts and Small Claims Court descriptions and links for all 50 states.  You will find in it the following resources.


Statutes:  These are the statutes of your state that we have found bear most directly on the profession of landlording or being a tenant.  They are the ones that you will most often, in our view, need to review on day to day questions, such as how much time you have to refund a moving tenant’s security deposit, who is responsible to foot the bill for repairs to damage done to the rental premises, or what you can do if rent is not paid on time.


Trial Courts:  Not all courts are equal.  That does not mean some are more important than others.  It means that they all have different functions.  The courts you will almost always have direct contact with are the trial courts.  Trial courts are those that hear cases by listening to witnesses and the contentions of the parties and make decisions based on the information they receive and the manner in which the law bears on it.  The trial courts’ work is divided according to how large the stakes in the dispute they must hear are.  At the lowest level are the small claims or justice courts, and at the highest are the courts that can hear disputes of unlimited magnitude.  We provide a portal to your state’s court structure so you can determine where your claim belongs.  You will also find how to contact the court in your area that can hear your claim so you can obtain information on how, where, and when to make your filing.  We do not include highly specialized courts, such as those dealing with juvenile offenders, divorce courts, tax courts, and the like, as these do not bear directly on landlord-tenant disputes.


Court Self Help Resources:  We have found 47 states that provide substantial on line assistance to persons who want to make a claim on their own, without attorney assistance.  These self help centers run from the elaborate, with provisions for electronic filing of complaints and other pleadings with detailed instructions, to the very simple, but one thing you can be sure of is that, because they are run or commissioned by the courts themselves, you will not be given any bum steers.


Small Claims Materials:  Small claims court is the court you will most likely and most often have contact with.  We have given them a separate column for this reason.  In this column you will find court provided or sponsored information on how to file your claim if you are making one, or how to present your defense if you are being sued, how the system in your locality works, and a lot of the other details you will need to know to make your day in court as stress free as possible.



State Courts and Laws



Trial Courts

Court Self Help Resources

Small Claims Materials


Alabama Code

§35-9-1 and foll.

§35-9A-101 and foll.


Judicial Circuit, District, and Small Claims Courts

Alalinc: Compilation of self help resources on line

Alabama Small Claims Court Rules


Alaska Statutes

§34.03.010 and foll.

Superior, District, and Small Claims Courts

Forms, Instructions, and Publications sorted by subject

Alaska Small Claims Handbook


Arizona Rev. Stats

§33-1301 and foll.

§33-301 and foll.

§12-1171 and foll.

Superior, Justice of the Peace, Municipal Courts, and Small Claims Courts

AzTurboCourt: efiling and information

Arizona Judicial Branch Evictions and Small Claims


Arkansas Code

18-16-101 and foll.

18-17-101 and foll.


Circuit, District, City, and Small Claims Courts

Court Forms:  On line official forms for a variety of proceedings, many with instructions

Small Claims Court in Arkansas


California Civil Code §1940 and foll., Code of Civil Procedure §1159 and foll.

Superior and Small Claims Courts

California Courts Self Help Center

California Courts Small Claims Self-Help Center


Colorado Rev. Stats.

38-12-101 and foll., 38-12-301 and foll., 38-12-501 and foll., 13-40-101 and foll.

District, County, and Small Claims Courts

Colorado Courts Self Help Center

Local Small Claims Practices, Small Claims Handbook


Conn. Stats. §476a-1 and foll.

Superior Court and Small Claims

Connecticut Judicial Branch Self Help Center

Small Claims Frequently Asked Questions


Delaware Code Title

§5101 through §5907

Superior Court, Court of Chancery, Court of Common Pleas, Justice of the Peace Court

Citizen Help Center

How to File and Defend a Summary Possession Action in Justice of the Peace Court

District of Columbia

DC Code

Title 42, Chapter 32 through chapter 36A

Superior and Small Claims Courts

Representing Yourself: Guides to handling simple matters yourself

Small Claims and Conciliation Branch


Florida Statutes

§83.40 and foll.

Circuit Court, County Court, and Small Claims

Self Help Center

Eighth Circuit Small Claims Court Brochure


Georgia Code

§44-7-1 and foll.

Superior Court, State Court, Magistrate Court, Municipal Court

Self Help Resources from the Georgia Courts

Magistrate Courts in Georgia


Hawaii Rev. Stats.

§521-1 and foll.

Circuit Court, District Court, and Small Claims Court

Hawaii Judiciary Self Help Center

Your Guide to the Small Claims Court


Idaho Code

§6-301 and foll.

§55-208 and foll.

District Court, Magistrate’s Division (small claims)

Court Assistance Offices

Idaho Courts Information Resources


735 Ill. Com. Stat. Article IX §5/9-201 and foll.

765 Ill. Comp. Stat. §705/0.01 and foll.

Circuit Court, Small Claims Court

Citizen Self Help

Small Claims Court


Indiana Code

§32-31-1-1 and foll.

Superior Court, Circuit Court, City and Town Court, County Court, Small Claims Court of Marion County

Self Service Legal Center

Indiana Rules of Court, Small Claims


Iowa Code

§562A-1 and foll.

District Court

Representing Yourself

Representing Yourself, Small Claims Court


Kansas Statutes

§58-2501 and foll.

District Court

Self Help Information

Small Claims Information


Kentucky Rev. Stats.

§383.010 and foll.

Circuit Court, District Court

Legal Forms

Small Claims Handbook


Louisiana Rev. Stats.

§9:3251 and foll.

Louisiana Civ. Code

Article 2668 and foll.

District Court, Justice of the Peace Court, City and Parish Courts


Baton Rouge City Court Small Claims Division informational site


Maine Rev. Stats. Title 14

§6001 and foll.

District Court, Superior Court

Representing Yourself

Small Claims Court site


Maryland Code

§8-101 and foll.

Circuit Court, District Court and Small Claims

For Citizens

How to File in Small Claims Court


Mass. Gen. Laws, ch. 186, §1 and foll.

Mass. Sanitary Code

Superior Court Department, District Court Department and Small Claims, Boston Municipal Court Department, Housing Court Department

Self Help Center

Small Claims Information


Mich. Comp. Laws

§554.131 thru 201, §554.601 thru 641

Circuit Court, District Court, Municipal Court

Self Help Center

Small Claims Court


Minnesota Statutes

§504B.001 and foll.

District Court, Conciliation Division (Small Claims)

Self Help Center

Conciliation Division


Mississippi Code

§89-7-1 and foll.

Circuit Courts, Chancery Courts, County Courts, Justice Courts


Justice Court


Missouri Rev. Stats.

§441.005 and foll.

§535.010 and foll.

Circuit Court

Representing Yourself in Missouri Courts

Missouri Small Claims Court Handbook


Montana Code

§70-24-101 and foll.

District Court; Justice’s Court, City Court, Municipal Court

State Law Library of Montana

Small Claims Court


Neb. Rev. Stats.

§76-1401 and foll.

District Court, County Court

Self Help Center

Small Claims Court Self-Help Center


Nev. Rev. Stats

§118A.010 and foll.

§40.215 and foll.

District Court, Justice Court, Municipal Court

Self Help/Pro Se

Clark County Small Claims Court site giving information on Small Claims procedure generally

New Hampshire

NH Statutes

§540:1 and foll.

§540A:1 and foll.

§540B:1 and foll.

Superior Court, District Court, Small Claims

How Do I …

Small Claims Court, from NH Department of Justice

New Jersey

NJ Stats. Ann.

§46:8-1 and foll.

§2A:42-1 and foll.

Superior Court, Small Claims Section

Self Help Center

Small Claims Handbook

New Mexico

New Mexico Statutes

§47-8-1 and foll.

District Court, Magistrate Court, Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court

Supreme Court Approved Forms

New Mexico Small Claims

New York

N.Y. Real Prop. Law RPP §220 and foll., Real Prop. Actions RPA Articles 7 & 7A, Multiple Dwelling Law MDW, Multiple Residence Law MRE; Gen. Obligations Law GOB §7-101 and foll.

Supreme Court, County Court, District Court, City Court, Civil Court of the City of New York, Town and Village Justice Courts, Civil Court of the City of New York Housing Part



North Carolina

NC Gen. Stats

§42-1 and foll.

Superior Court, District Court

County Self Serve Centers

About Small Claims Court

North Dakota

ND Century Code

§47-16-1 and foll.

District Court, Municipal Court


Small Claims Court


Ohio Rev. Code

§5321.01 and foll.

Court of Common Pleas, County Court, Municipal Courts


Small Claims Court: A Citizen’s guide


Okl. Statutes Title 41

§101 and foll.

District Courts, Small Claims Courts


Should You Go to Small Claims Court


Oregon Rev. Stats.

Chapters 90 and 91

Circuit Court, Justice Courts

Self Help

Small Claims Court


Penn. Cons. Stats.

68 Cons. Stats. §250.101 and foll.

Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia Municipal Court, Magisterial District Judge

For the Public

Small Claims Court

Rhode Island

RI General Laws

§34-18-1 and foll.

Superior Court, District Court


Small Claims Court

South Carolina

SC Code

§27-40-10 and foll.

Circuit Court, Magistrate Court

Self Help Resources

Charleston County Magistrates Court, general information for Small Claims Courts

South Dakota

SD Codified Laws

§43-32-1 and foll.

Circuit Court, Magistrate Court

Unified Judicial System – General Public:  A site covering several procedures and trial courts

How to Use South Dakota’s Small Claims Court


Tenn. Code

§66-28-101and foll.

Circuit Court, Chancery Court, General Session Court

Self Help Center

Small Claims Court


Texas Property Code

Title 8, Chapters 91 and 92

District Courts, Constitutional County Courts, County Courts at Law, Municipal Courts, Justice Courts

Self Help Legal Forms and Information

Justice Courts FAQ


Utah Code

Title 57, Chapters 17, 20, 21, and 22

District Court, Justice Court

Self Help Resources/Self Represented Parties

Small Claims Court


Vermont Statutes Title 9 Chapter 137

Superior Court

Pro Se Education Program[mandatory]

Small Claims Court in Vermont: How to Use It


Virginia Code

Title 55, Chapters 13 – 13.2

Circuit Court, District Court

For Citizens

Small Claims Court Procedures


Washington Rev. Code, Title 59

Superior Court, District Court

Resources for the Public

An Introduction to Small Claims Court

West Virginia

W Virginia Code

§ 37-6-1 and foll.

Circuit Court, Magistrate Court

Self Help Center

Magistrate Court


Wisconsin Statutes §704.01 and foll.

Wisconsin Administrative Code §134.01 and foll.

Circuit Court, Municipal Court

Self Help Center

Small Claims Courts


Wyoming Statutes

§1-21-1201 and foll.

§34-2-128 and foll.

District Court, Circuit Court

Self Help Center

Rules and Forms Governing Small Claims Cases


 This is a reference guide; state laws are ever-changing.  Always consult legal professionals when warranted.

  Copyright 2011 

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