Appealing a Small Claims Judgment


Small claims courts do not have a court reporter or electronic record of the court hearing; because of this a small claims court appeal results in a trial de novo (new trial). This means that the appellate judge will hear the case from the beginning without referral back to what the trial judge had decided. If you appeal your small claims court decision, you will have to represent your evidence and testimony from the beginning to the appellate judge.

The plaintiff may not appeal a small claims case. Only the defendant or the plaintiff who was the defendant in a counter-suit may appeal the ruling of a small claims case.

If there are multiple defendants in a small claims court cause of action, any one of them may appeal, causing all the defendants to have to reappear in court to re-defend themselves in the small claims appeal.

Normally in small claims court causes of action, you may not have an attorney attend and represent you in the hearing, however, in small claims appeals you may hire an attorney to argue your case before the court in small claims court appeals.

If you must change your trial date, you must send a written request to the court stating your reasons for the change. You must also send a copy of this request to the other parties in the appeal.

Deadline: (Statue of Limitations)

You must file an appeal within thirty days of the mailing of Notice of Entry of Judgment. After thirty days there is an automatic Entry of Final Judgment after which you have no more right to appeal.

The thirty days are calculated from the beginning of the day after the date shown as the mailing date on the Notice of Entry of Judgment form. If the 30th day falls on a weekend or a court holiday, your appeal must be filed the next court day

Refer to California Rules of Court 2.100 through 2.119 for proper format.
Waiver of Fee forms are available at all Small Claims Courts

Contact Information:

Civil - Unlimited 661-868-7205, E-Mail

Small Claims 661-868-7204, E-Mail

Filing Fee:
Please see: Court Filing Fees
Money orders or checks should be made payable to Kern County Superior Court and are required at the time of filing.
What if I can't afford to pay?