Filing a lawsuit in a Sacramento court isn’t free. There is almost always a filing fee associated with starting a new lawsuit. The filing fee will depend on the court in which you are filing and the type of lawsuit involved.
Sacramento Superior Court
The Sacramento Superior Court classifies lawsuits based upon the amount of money in controversy. “Unlimited Civil” cases are lawsuit where there is more than $25,000 at stake. The filing fee for an unlimited case is currently $435.
For civil lawsuits that demand less than $25,000, the filing fee is tiered based upon the monetary demand. From $10,000 to $25,000, the complaint fee is $370. Lawsuits for less than $10,000 will incur a fee of $225.
This fee does not only apply to plaintiffs. A defendant filing an answer or other responsive pleading (the court just calls them “first papers”) must pay the same fee to participate in the lawsuit.
These fees were updated by the court on April 1, 2015. The fees do change time to time, so it is best to check with the court for the updated fee list.
Federal District Court
Not all lawsuits in Sacramento should be filed with the Superior Court. Some types of lawsuits are better off being filed in a United States District Court. The federal court that covers Sacramento is called the Eastern District of California.
The federal court does not make a distinction amongst ciivl cases of varying dollar amounts. All civil cases there have a $400 filing fee.
Unlike in Superior Court, a defendant does not have to pay a fee to file his or her answer with the court. This is a big advantage for defendants being sued in federal court.
Again, the court changes its fee schedule from time to time. Here is a link to their most current list of civil fees.
Have questions about civil litigation in the Sacramento area? Don’t hesitate to call my office to schedule a consultation. The office phone number is (916) 333-2222.