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Can I settle the case before the trial begins?

You can still try to resolve your dispute before you appear before the judge. If necessary, ask the court to postpone hearing to let you and the other party resolve the dispute informally. The Plaintiff can have the case dismissed if a settlement is reached before the court date. You can still settle your case on your court date. If you do settle the judge may:

  • Give the parties more time to come to an agreement
  • Order a dismissal without prejudice
  • Postpone the hearing for a short time to allow payment
  • Include the agreement terms in the court judgment.

Both parties must agree to the settlement. The plaintiff should have received payment in full before filing a Request for Dismissal (CIV-110). Once the form is filed it is considered a receipt for full payment and the case will be dismissed with prejudice.

For the forms listed above and for a complete list of Judicial Council Small Claims forms, go to the California Courts website.

Appearing in Court
More Small Claims Q&A Topics
Small Claims Basics
Thinking about Filing a Small Claims case?
Filing my case
Serving Notice of my case to the defendant
Responding to a Small Claims case as a defendant
Appearing in Court
Your Day in Court
Collecting a Judgment
Paying a Judgment
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