Appealing the Decision
How to request a new trial if you were sued and lost the case.
Appealing the Decision
Court forms are available at California Courts – Forms. Select “Small Claims” from the pull down menu. Forms are also available at the Court Clerk’s office. Completed Sample Forms are available here. Starting September 2, 2021 all litigants in Small Claims Court can appear virtually or telephonically for FREE. Read the details from the court here.
A Small Claims appeal is a request for a new trial.
Who can file an appeal?
You can file an appeal if you are the Defendant and lose on the Plaintiff’s Claim.
If you are a Plaintiff, you cannot appeal the loss of your own claim. A Plaintiff can only appeal if the Defendant countersues and you lose on the Defendant’s Claim.
A Defendant who loses because they did not come to court should file a Motion to Vacate, not an appeal.
Is there a time limit for filing an appeal?
Yes. An appeal must be filed within 30 days of the day the court mails you the decision.
How do I file an appeal
- Fill out an SC-140 Notice of Appeal form.
- File the form at the clerk’s office where your case was heard.
- Pay the filing fee.
What happens after I file my appeal?
There will be a new trial scheduled with a different judge. The clerk’s office will notify all parties of the new hearing date by mail.
What happens at the new trial?
When you go to court:
- Both parties can have an attorney represent them.
- A new Judge will hear your case as a new trial.
- Be ready to present your case in full all over again. Bring witnesses, documents and evidence to court. If you have new evidence, bring it to court too.
If you are the Defendant and lost on the Plaintiff’s Claim, or if you are the Plaintiff and lost on the Defendant’s Claim, the Judge will enter new judgments on both cases.
What happens if I win my appeal?
You can ask the Judge at the hearing to award your court costs, and up to $150 in attorney fees. The judgment is final and you can try to collect using available collection procedures.
What happens if I lose my appeal?
You cannot appeal any further. You must pay the judgment to the other party plus interest and court costs. You may also have to pay their attorney fees.
Court forms are available at California Courts – Forms. Select “Small Claims” from the pull down menu. Forms are also available at the Court Clerk’s office.
County of Los Angeles Department of Consumer and Business Affairs. Last change: August 26, 2021.