Small Claims Court Resources


View the video of our November 7, 2013, program: ALL RISE! TAKE YOUR CASE TO SMALL CLAIMS COURT

Stay tuned: We are still in the process of compiling (with answers) the list of excellent questions we received at our Multnomah and Beaverton Library Small Claims Court programs.

Handout for October and November 2013 Small Claims Court Programs


  1. "Using Small Claims Court in Oregon." by Janay Haas, 2012. (Oregon Legal Guides)

  2. "Everybody's Guide to Small Claims Court," by Ralph Warner, Nolo (Various editions - please visit the Nolo website for current edition and updates. Many public libraries will have this book in their collections.) (This book is not Oregon-specific.)





Oregon Laws and Statutes:

: Most of the following articles are available from multiple sources. My sources are identified in square brackets.

Small Claims Court Bibliographies

  • Northrup, Everett H. “Small Claims Courts And Conciliation Tribunals: A Bibliography," 33 Law Library J. 39 (1940) [HeinOnline]

  • Yngvesson, Barbara and Patricia Hennessey, "Small Claims, Complex Disputes: A Review of the Small Claims Literature." Law & Society Review, Vol. 9, No. 2, Litigation and Dispute Processing: Part Two (Winter, 1975), pp. 219-274 [JSTOR]

Articles and News Reports about Small Claims Court(s)

  • Bailey, Jonathan. "Update on the Potential Copyright Small Claims Court." Plagiarism Today, Feb. 28, 2013 []

  • Baldacci, Paris R., "A Full and Fair Hearing: The Role of the ALJ in Assisting the Pro Se Litigant," Journal of the National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary, Volume 27, Issue 2 Article 3, 4-5-2013. See also: Paris R. Baldacci, A Full and Fair Hearing: The Role of the ALJ in Assisting the Pro Se Litigant, 27 Clev. St. L. Rev. (2013) [])

  • Bestf: "Peace, Wealth, Happiness, and Small Claim Courts: A Case Study," by Arthur Bestf and Deborah Zalesne, with Kathleen Bridges, Kathryn Chenoweth, Lisa Fine, Jonathan L. Miller, and Kimberly White, 21 Fordham Urb. L.J. 343 1993-1994 [HeinOnline]

  • Bonner: "Probabilities of small claims judgment satisfaction and factors influencing success," by Bonner, Patricia A. and Metzen, Edward J., Journal of Consumer Affairs; Summer 1993, Vol. 27 Issue 1, p66-86. (Related: "Small Claims Court: Factors Influencing a Successful Outcome for the Individual Plaintiff, by Patricia Bonner; Edward J Metzen, Journal of Consumer Affairs, Summer 1992, Vol. 26, Issue 1, p.1 [EBSCOhost, via Academic Search Premier])

  • Bradway: "Benefits, Functions, and Procedures of Small-Claims Courts," by John S. Bradway, 50 Monthly Lab. Rev. 16 1940 [HeinOnline]

  • Cayton: "Small Claims and Conciliation Courts," by Nathan Cayton, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 205, Frontiers of Legal Aid Work (Sep., 1939), pp. 57-64 [JSTOR]

  • DeJong: "Small Claims Court Reform," by W. DeJong, 1993, National Institute of Justice, NCJRS paper reproduction [NCJRS]

  • Domanskis: "Small Claims Courts: An Overview and Recommendation," by Alexander Domanskis, 9 U. Mich. J. L. Reform 590 1975-1976 [HeinOnline]

  • Frierson: "Let's Abolish Small Claims Courts," by James G. Frierson, 16 Judges J. 18 1977 [HeinOnline]

  • Goerdt, John. Small Claims and Traffic Courts: Case management procedures, case characteristics, and outcomes in 12 Urban Jurisdictions. (1992) [NCSC]

  • Joseph, Jeffrey H.; Friedman, Barry A.  "Consumer Redress through the Small Claims Court: A Proposed Model Consumer Justice Act." 18 B.C. Indus. & Com. L. Rev. 839 (1976-77) [BC Law Digital Commons]

  • "Justice Enters the Poor Man's Court," Literary Digest, Sept. 29, 1934, p. 18. [Author unknown.]

  • Kendra: "Skeptical Shopper: Resolving Complaints: Can Small Claims Yield Big Wins?" by Anne Kendra, PC World, June 2012. [Public library database]

  • Long, Jennie Johnson, "Justice and compliance in small claims court: Exploring issues of fairness and compliance in mediation and adjudication. Dissertation: Arizona State University, 1999

  • Louisell, David W. and Geoffrey C. Hazard. "Note on informal tribunals," p. 111, in "Cases and materials on pleading and procedure: state and federal." Foundation Press, 1962

  • National Center for State Courts website:

  • National Lawyers Guild: "The Availability of Legal Services and Judicial Processes to the Low and Moderate Income Groups and Proposals to Remedy Present Deficiencies," by [Abridged version of Report of the National Lawyers Guild Committee on Professional Problems], 10 Law. Guild Rev. 8 1950 [HeinOnline]

  • Nims: "Law Courts For The Forgotten Man, by Harry D. Nims, Forum and Century, 1934, p. 340 []

  • Olds, W. F. Small claims court," The American Legal News; May 1917, Vol. 28, p18-19.

  • O'Rourke, Sean Patrick. "The Small Claims Court: An Argumentative Instructional Alternative." Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western Speech Communication Association (San Jose, CA, February 14-16, 1981).

  • Pagter: "The California Small Claims Court," by Carl R. Pagter, Robert McCloskey, and Mitchell Reinis, 52 Cal. L. Rev. 876 1964 [HeinOnline]

  • Pound, Roscoe. “The Administration of Justice in the Modern City.” 26 Harv. L. Rev. 302 (1912-1913)

  • Pringle: "The Cheapest Kind of Justice," by Murray T. Pringle, American Mercury, 39-42 (1956) []

  • Rezendes, Michael et al. “Dignity Faces a Steamroller.” (July 2006). Boston Globe. Part two asserts that "the 'people's court' has become the collectors' court," in that small claims courts ignore the rights of defendants in favor of collection agencies and businesses. []

  • Rezendes, Michael et al. “No Mercy for Consumers.” (July 2006). Boston Globe. Part one illustrates the hardships suffered by debtors, and notes that defendants often do not receive notice because courts provide outdated contact information to plaintiffs. [Four-part Series homepage:]

  • Ruhnka, John C., and Weller, Steven, and Martin, John A. "Small claims courts: a national examination." National Center for State Courts 1978 [Book] Publication (National Center for State Courts); Proceeds from the sale of this book go to benefit the Friends of the Evergreen State College Library in Olympia, Washington. [See NCJRS Abstract:]

  • Smith: Growth of Legal Aid Work in the United States: a study of our administration of justice primarily as it affects the wage earner and of the agencies designed to improve his position before the law," by Reginald Heber Smith and John S. Bradway and preface by William H. Taft, Chief Justice of the U.S.S.Ct. , GPO, Bureau of Labor Statistics Report, 1926, pp. 22-30 [Google Scholar]

  • Steele, Eric H. "The Historical Context of Small Claims Courts," American Bar Foundation Research Journal, Vol. 6, No. 2 (Spring, 1981), pp. 293+295-376

  • Zorza, Richard. ‘The Access to Justice "Sorting Hat": Towards a System of Triage and Intake that Maximizes Access and Outcomes.’ 89 Denv. U. L. Rev. 859 (2011-2012) [HeinOnline]

  • Zucker, Bruce and Monica Herr: "The People's Court Examined: A Legal and Empirical Analysis of the Small Claims Court System," 37 U.S.F. L. Rev. 315 2002-2003 [HeinOnline]