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What Court should I go to sue tenant?

Denver, CO |

I will sue my former tenant for unpaid rent and damages. Total is over $10K. I know limit for Small Claims Court in CO is $7,500, but if I want to sue for the whole amount, and go to Superior Court do I have to have a lawer? Is it just easier and quicker to sue in Small Claims Court? I'm not sure what are my best options.

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Attorney answers 4


If you intend to bring a complaint against your former tenants for over $10,000 in damages the case will need to be brought in the County Court for the county in which the Defendant now resides. You may bring the case yourself, but I recommend giving serious consideration to hiring an attorney, you have over $10,000 on the line, you may be able to obtain the cost of your representation as a portion of the judgment amount.

Good Luck!

Donald at Robinson and Henry, PC at (303) 688-0944 or The above information is provided to you “AS IS,” does not constitute legal advice and we are not acting as your attorney. Because we do not have a full view of the facts in providing the above information we make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this web site and its associated sites. Legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case and the information provided to you may not be an appropriate fit in your case. Nothing here is provided or should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel. This postings is for educational and information purposes only, not legal advice or legal opinions. The information is not intended to create a lawyer-client relationship between the author and you.

Stephen Clark Harkess

Stephen Clark Harkess


Note that the ability to recover attorney fees as part of your lawsuit will usually depend on the specific provisions of your written lease.


You would sue in County Court, which has jurisdiction up to $15,000 now. I am a former County Court Judge and refer all landlord/tenant cases to Mr. Eby.

The information provided in this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not considered to be legal advice.


I agree with the above answers but would like to add that while you can file and pursue the suit without an attorney in regular court, you also will be held to the same performance standards as an attorney. That includes compliance with all the court's rules and procedures - proper pleading format, compliance with time deadlines, motion filing and response, etc. There is a reason attorneys spend years in law school so you will be at an extreme disadvantage if your opponent has an attorney and you do not. Good luck.

Nothing contained herein should be considered as legal advice for any specific situation and nothing herein is intended to create a lawyer-client relationship. Every case is very "fact-specific" and persons wishing legal advice on a specific matter should contact me or another attorney for an appointment to review their particular circumstances and to create a lawyer-client relationship. Gregory L. Abbott, Attorney at Law, 6635 North Baltimore, Suite 254, Portland, Oregon 97203. Tel: 503-283-4568; Fax: 503-283-4586; Email: Specializing in Consumer and Small Business Law.


I would go to County Court. The limit there is $15K, plus attorneys' fees and interest. Check your lease to see if you're entitled to those. Must you have a lawyer? No. Should you? Well, for that amount of money, I think counsel would be appropriate. You're also going to want to have your attorney run an asset search on the tenant to make sure the lawsuit is worth it. If you cannot collect the judgment, its probably not worth your time so doing that search up-front is important. Otherwise, if you sue in Denver County Court, you will probably be ordered to mediation.

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