Here is the link to the Santa Clara superior court website for fees. It looks like it is $75.00.
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Your appeal must be heard in the superior court where the small claims action was tried. It will not be moved to your local superior court.
You have as long to present the case as the judge allows -- and you should be as organized, efficient, and brief as possible. It is not possible to tell you if you should meet with an attorney about your case -- but keep in mind the amount of attorney's fees you will pay for the consultation.