Small Claims Hearings

How to Appear for Your Hearing

In certain circumstances, the San Diego Superior Court may allow appearances for hearings to be either in-person or remote.

To Appear In-Person:
Please arrive at the courthouse at least 30 minutes before your scheduled hearing and report directly to the assigned courtroom.

To Appear Remotely:
You can attend the hearing by video or audio conference using the free Microsoft Teams App, unless otherwise ordered by the court.

Small Claims Departments' Teams Links and Conference Phone Numbers

For tips on how to prepare for a virtual hearing, please refer to the Appearing for Hearings page for general information on using Microsoft Teams and continue reading below for information specific to Small Claims virtual hearings

Information on Submitting Evidence

  1. All evidence to be reviewed and considered by the Court must be submitted and received by the court at least ten (10) Court days before your scheduled hearing date. DO NOT SEND ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS. Evidence submitted less than ten (10) court days before the hearing may result in the judicial officer not considering the items. Please note: Do not submit your exhibits at the time of filing a new claim. Exhibits submitted before a trial date is scheduled will not be accepted. The court will only accept exhibits for cases that have a pending trial date scheduled. Exhibits must be submitted with a cover sheet indicating case number, name of submitting party, trial date, time, and department.
  2. Evidence submitted to the Court for consideration must be served to all parties named in the case. Any evidence not provided to the opposing party may result in the judicial officer being unable to consider the item.
  3. Only trial exhibits will be accepted via the e-mail addresses listed above. You may not submit filings such as a Request to Postpone Trial, Request to Dismiss, Declaration of Military Status, Authorization to Appear, Change of Address, Interpreter Request/Cancellation Form, etc. or any other submission to the e-mail mailbox listed above. Any submission other than trial exhibits will not be processed and must be filed in the Small Claims Business Office.
  4. Pursuant to San Diego Local Rule 2.5.6, “…Exhibits must be legible and complete, and not require use of another resource to hear or view the exhibit.” The following are specifically prohibited and ARE NOT ALLOWED for exhibit submission:
    1. Compact Discs (CDs)
    2. Digital Video Discs (DVDs)
    3. Other types of digital storage devices
    4. USB flash drive (thumb drive)
    5. External file-sharing links such as Google Drive.

  5. E-mail attachments are restricted to 10MB. If your file is larger than 10 MB, you will need to submit a compressed file or send hard copies via U.S. Mail to the court.
  6. If any exhibit is more than one page, each page shall be numbered in sequential order, e.g., 1, 2, 3, and so forth.
  7. Evidence may be submitted to the case location that the matter is assigned to by U.S. mail or e-mail. E-mail submissions may be made to the court location to which your case is assigned using the following e-mail addresses designated for the location:
    Department E-mail Address for Submission of Evidence
    C-62 [email protected]
    C-63 [email protected]
    C-1104 [email protected]

  8. Your email submission of evidence must include the following (see sample below):
    1. The subject line of the e-mail submission must include (i) case number, (ii) the date of the hearing, and (iii) the name of the party submitting the evidence.
    2. The body of your e-mail must state that you certify (state that the information is true) that you have served the evidence on the other side.

    Failure to provide the identifying information above, or failure to provide your evidence to the other party could result in your evidence not being considered by the Court, or could result in your hearing being continued to allow for your evidence to be resubmitted with the proper identifying information or to allow the other side time to review the evidence and respond. Please submit one e-mail only with all of your evidence. There is no guarantee that the Court will be able to access or view evidence submitted by e-mail. To assist in the Court’s ability to access and view evidence submitted by e-mail, it is preferred that the evidence submitted be in PDF or JPEG format.

Sample email:

Small Claims Departments' Teams Links and Conference Phone Numbers

Location Courtroom MS Teams Link MS Teams Conference Number Exhibit Email Address
(Please read important information
above on submitting evidence)
Hall of Justice
C-62 C-62 Video Hearings +1 619-614-4567 United States, San Diego (Toll)
Conference ID: 902 238 499#
[email protected]
Hall of Justice
C-63 C-63 Video Hearings +1 619-614-4567 United States, San Diego (Toll)
Conference ID: 713 075 716#
[email protected]
County Courthouse
C-1104 C-1104 Video Hearings +1 619-614-4567 United States, San Diego (Toll)
Conference ID: 835 429 205#
[email protected]

IMPORTANT: Please be advised that the MS Teams Links may change. Please check and refer to this page on the date of your hearing to ensure that you are using the most current department conference link or telephone conference ID number. 

Procedures During the Hearing

  1. At the beginning of a calendar being called, the Judges will set forth guidelines for the proceedings. Listen carefully for further direction.
  2. Hearings may be called out in case number order or by party names, so be sure to pay attention as the calendar is being called. You will need to answer “present” at the appropriate time.
  3. All participants shall place their microphones on mute unless they are speaking or wish to make an objection.
  4. All efforts shall be undertaken not to interrupt other speakers during the hearing unless it is necessary to assert an objection. Please do not interrupt when another party or the judge is speaking.
  5. If an interpreter is necessary, all participants shall speak slowly, in short, complete sentences or questions, and allow time for translation. No one shall respond to a question posed by another participant until the question has been translated.
  6. If an objection is made, all participants must stop speaking and wait for the Court’s ruling on the objection. An attorney or self-represented party can ask to be heard on the objection after it is made. The Court may also request a response to an objection.
  7. Where an objection is made, and discussions are required in the absence of the witness, the witness may be asked to mute their computer or otherwise be virtually ejected from the meeting space, and invited to re-join the meeting when the objection has been addressed.
  8. All participants are required to identify anyone who may be observing the proceedings with them. This is essential to ensure the credibility of testimony.
  9. The Court will hold all hearings to a strict time estimate. Thus, participants are encouraged to not to repeat arguments included in their written pleadings already submitted to the Court.
  10. Once the Court has heard from all litigants, the matter will be submitted for decision. Once submitted, the Court will make a ruling, and no further argument shall be considered.
  11. Participants SHALL NOT record the video conference. ADVISORY: This virtual hearing SHALL NOT be photographed, recorded (audio or video), or rebroadcast without prior written judicial authorization consistent with California Rules of Court, rule 1.150, and San Diego Superior Court General Order of the Presiding Department, Order No. 010120-02. Please be advised that any unauthorized recording, photography, or rebroadcast without prior written judicial authorization may be a basis for a citation for contempt of court or an order imposing monetary or other sanctions as provided by law. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 1.150(h).)

Guidelines for Participants

  1. For the purpose of this guidance, a participant includes a party, an attorney, or a witness.
  2. This information is provided as guidance. The conduct of the hearing remains a matter for the presiding judicial officer. Participants should follow any direction given by the judicial officer.
  3. The behavior, manner, and presentation of a participant should be the same as if they were attending the Court hearing in person. This includes addressing the Judge correctly as “Your Honor” and addressing Counsel politely and courteously.
  4. The participant will ensure that there will be no interruptions or distractions for the duration of their appearance at the hearing.
  5. If participants are unable to give uninterrupted evidence, they should advise the courtroom clerk or their attorney as soon as practical.
  6. A participant should have a copy of all pleadings and documents necessary for the hearing.
  7. A participant that plans to examine a witness must ensure the witness has a copy of documents to which they may be referred.
  8. Participants are not permitted to use or access their phones during the hearing except to communicate with their attorney of record as permitted by the judge.