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Litigation | Recent Changes to MN Conciliation Court Jurisdictional Limits
Minnesota Conciliation Court Limits Increase on August 1, 2012
As of August 1, 2012, Minnesota’s conciliation courts (also known as “small claims courts”) have authority to decide cases involving up to $10,000.00 (formerly, the limit was $7,500.00). The claim limit is set to increase to $15,000 on August 1, 2014. The August 1, 2012 increase was the first increase in the claim limit since July 1, 1994. Currently, 35 states and the District of Columbia have small claims court limits that are under $10,000.00, and there are only three states (Delaware, Georgia and Tennessee) that have limits of $15,000.00 or more.
Conciliation courts were first established by statute in 1971 for the purpose of providing individuals with the option to pursue a money judgment in a more informal setting without the assistance of an attorney. In 1971, the claim limit was $300.00. Through the years, the type of claims permitted in conciliation court has expanded. Generally, any time money is sought from an individual or an entity, the claim may be brought in conciliation court, subject to the claim limits. Examples of common disputes brought in conciliation court may include the following:
A person performs construction work or provides consulting services for someone, but that person refuses to pay for the services.
A person demands a refund of his or her security deposit, but the landlord refuses to return it without providing any explanation.
A repair shop or other service provider performs defective work and refuses to correct it.
A person damages or destroys the property of another but refuses to pay the costs of repairing or replacing it.
The following disputes/claims must be heard in district court, not conciliation court:
Title to real estate
Libel (defamation, not spoken)
Slander (defamation, spoken)
Actions against deceased people
If you need advice or guidance on whether your claim may be heard in conciliation court, or if you wish to appeal a judgment that someone obtained against you in small claims or conciliation court, please call us at 952-432-3136 or contact us online by clicking here.