Contrary to what most people may think, more small claims cases in California actually go to trial than settle before trial.
According to recent statistics published by the Judicial council of California and the Administrative Office of the courts, 76,006 small claims cases “were disposed of before trial and 107,590 after trial.”
The total number of small claims filings was 192,577 cases, but interestingly, the dispositions were a larger number of 202,194. I’m not sure how you can have more cases settled than filed but it might be carry over from the previous year’s docket.
If you’re looking to for a good estimate of when you can expect to resolve a case through small claims, statewide, the “processing time in small claims cases was as follows: 62% in 70 days, 74% in 90 days.
Source: 2012 Court Statistics Report (CSR) published by the Judicial Council of California and the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC). Data for most recent fiscal year, 2010–2011.
For more information you can find the CSR published on the California Courts website at: