The General District Court decides civil suits involving amounts of money up to $50,000. However, unlawful detainer (eviction) suits that include a request for rent for commercial or agricultural property can be heard by the general district court even if the amount of rent requested is more than $50,000.
A suit is begun by filing a civil warrant, summons, or complaint with the clerk of the court and paying a filing fee.
Small claims cases are civil cases in which the plaintiff is seeking a money judgment up to $5,000 or recovery of personal property valued up to $5,000. If a case is filed as a small claims case, the judge conducts the trial in an informal manner, with less restrictions on certain procedural matters, in order to better provide justice to both sides.