May 16, 2022

Advisory Service

The Small Claims Advisor


The Small Claims Advisor provides resources and answers to specific questions. Please view the information on this website and other resource links which may answer all of your questions.

Before contacting the Advisor, you should download or pick up your claim forms from the Small Claims counter at 801 10th Street, City Towers Courthouse, 4th Floor in Modesto, CA and complete. NOTE: effective October 1, 2012, Small Claims Window hours will be 8:00 a.m. - noon. Clerk's office staff will also give you an "Information Sheet" explaining each step you need to take to use the Small Claims Court. These forms are also available online at

Small Claims assistance is also available in person at the Court's Self-Help Center at the following times and location:

Office Hours:

Monday - Thursday
8:00 a.m. - noon and 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
(Closed for lunch noon - 1 p.m.)

Fridays 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.



Superior Court of California, County of Stanislaus
800 11th Street, Room 220
Modesto, CA 95354



*For the most effective assistance by telephone please provide your full name, a case number (if any), telephone number and briefly descibe the reason for your call. Calls will be returned on Wednesdays between the hours of 8:00 a.m and 3:30 p.m.

**Responses to emails can be expected within 3-4 business days.

What Can the Small Claims Advisor Do For Me?

The Advisor can answer your questions about Small Claims and:

  1. Explain the small claims rules and procedures
  2. Explain how to complete small claims forms
  3. Explain how to prepare for court
  4. Explain how to collect your money if you have won
  5. Explain what you can do if you cannot afford to pay
  6. Refer you to an attorney or other agencies who may be able to help you.

PLEASE NOTE: The Advisor cannot act as your attorney and their services are not intended to replace those of your own attorney. Also, the Advisor will not be able to tell you whether you "have a case", whether you will win or what your chances are of winning. They can, however, assist you in preparing your best case. The Advisor's main purpose is to explain how to prepare for and correctly use the Small Claims Court, how to complete the forms and to inform you about the Small Claims and general California law and common consumer problems.

Lawyer Referral:

Stanislaus County Bar Association's Lawyer's Reference Service at (209) 571-5727 (there is a $60 fee for a 30 minute consultation).

If you are a Stanislaus County resident age 60 or older (or married to such a person) or if have a low income, the California Rural Legal Assistance attorneys may be able to help with certain problems other than Small Claims. To find out whether you qualify for their free services and whether it is the type of case they will handle, you need to call them at (209) 577-3811.

For Additional Assistance

An information booklet called "The Do's and Don'ts of USING THE SMALL CLAIMS COURT" is published in English by the California Department of Consumer Affairs. It provides answers to frequently asked questions about Small Claims Court. The booklet is available to read at the following places: The reference desk of the County library at 1500 I Street and the Small Claims Court counter at 801 10th Street, City Towers Courthouse, 4th Floor in Modesto, CA (please note change of window hours for Small Claims matters above).

Information is also available online at:

Other books available at the public library include:

How to Win in Small Claims Court in California

Everybody's Guide to Small Claims Court in California

Books available at the law library include:

Everybody's Guide to Small Claims Court in California

Small Claims Court and Consumer Law

Small Claims Procedure Manual

How to Collect When You Win a Lawsuit

If you need landlord-tenant information, please visit:

The Judicial Council sponsors a Self-Help Small Claims website with a variety of information on Small Claims law and procedure and specific information about Small Claims Court and advisory services within each of the 58 counties. The address is:

Last updated: March 17, 2020 8:39 AM