Conciliation Court Limit in MN increased to $10,000 Today

1 Aug

In Minnesota, Conciliation Court (the term used for small claims court) has been the forum to resolve legal disputes concerning a smaller amount of disputed damages than would otherwise be pursued in District Court.  Until today, the limit on the amount in controversy that can be pursued in Conciliation Court was capped at $7500.

Due to the Minnesota Legislature changing that cap, an amount in controversy up to $10,000 may now be pursued in Conciliation Court.  The $10,000 limit became effective today (August 1, 2012).  While it is still possible to handle a Conciliation Court matter without utilizing an attorney, having the possibility of obtaining a judgment for $10,000 (or conversely having a judgment against you for $10,000) is likely a sufficiently significant financial proposition that is its prudent to consider hiring an attorney to at least advise you about your options, help you prepare for Conciliation Court and so forth.

Now that a dispute up to $10,000 can be held in Conciliation Court, determining whether a matter is “worth litigating” and whether or not to enter an arbitration agreement in various business or real estate transactions is something to consider anew.  If you are faced with a Conciliation Court action, or are contemplating initiating one, some preliminary information can be found at the Minnesota Judicial Branch website (mncourts.gov).  Separately, you might find the guide available at the Attorney General’s Office website useful.  They have a “User’s Guide to Small Claims Court”, which you can find here.  Once you’ve reviewed that information, your next step should be to contact your attorney.

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This blog entry is written by Brad Boyd, a Shareholder at Thomsen Nybeck.  Brad’s practice focuses primarily in Real Estate, Real Estate Brokerage, Business and Corporate law.  Brad provides legal advice, guidance, and representation related to risk management in a wide variety of real estate and business law matters.  He is counsel to the Minnesota Association of Realtors, many individual Realtors and brokerages, business clients and individuals, and is a frequent speaker for real estate continuing education throughout the state of Minnesota.

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