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Conciliation Court is also known as "small claims" court. General claims of $15,000 or less can be filed in Conciliation Court. Once you file a claim, you cannot later file another claim for more money related to the same event(s).
Conciliation Court procedures are easier to follow and the filing fee is lower than the District Court level. A person does not have to have a lawyer in Concilation Court, but it may help you to talk to a lawyer to get advice about the law applies to the facts of your case. A business or association may be represented by a non-lawyer such as an officer or manager only in Conciliation Court. See MN Statutes § 491A.02 subd.4. If a business wants to appeal a Conciliation Court judgment to the District Court, then the law requires that the business be represented by a lawyer. See the "Advisory Committee Comment" to Rule 521 of the Gen. R. Prac. for District Courts (Tit.VI).
|IMPORTANT: Winning a case in Conciliation Court does not guarantee payment. You are responsible for collecting your judgment from the losing party. The Court does not collect the payment for you. Collecting a judgment can be difficult and may involve additional out-of-pocket expenses for filing fees and other costs. For more information, go to How Do You Collect a Conciliation Court Judgment?
Common claims that may be heard in Conciliation Court include:
- claims by creditors for unpaid debts
- claims by employees for unpaid wages
- claims by tenants for return of security deposits
- claims by landlords for damage to property
- claims about the possession or ownership of personal property valued at $15,000 or less
Claims that may NOT be heard in Conciliation Court include:
- disputes about title to real estate
- libel or slander claims
- class actions
- medical malpractice claims
- actions against deceased people
We encourage you to read the law in MN Statute § 491A.01 which lists the types of claims that are and are not allowed in Conciliation Court.
"How to Handle a Conciliation Court Hearing" (10 min.) Available in English (captioned), Hmong, Somali, and Spanish.
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