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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013

    Default Do Small Claims Make "Case Law"

    My question involves small claims court in the state of: Washington

    I wanted to know if small claims court decisions make precedent for other rulings when they are appealed.

    Do I need to "object" in a small claims court to have the option to appeal the decision.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Do Small Claims Make "Case Law"

    A small claims court has no value as a precedent in other cases. If appealed to the district court, and if a decision is issued, the district court may be willing to entertain arguments based upon that opinion as a precedent, but it would not be binding. If appealed to the Court of Appeals, a published decision might result which would have precedential value.

    The circumstances under which you may appeal are described here, and relate primarily to the size of the damages award.

    There's another doctrine that sounds a blt like "case law" but is quite different - the "law of the case". That basically means that if a court makes decisions on your case that are not appealed, or if appeals are exhausted, those decisions remain binding in your specific case and are not subject to being relitigated.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Default Re: Do Small Claims Make "Case Law"

    Quote Quoting Arlene123
    View Post
    Do I need to "object" in a small claims court to have the option to appeal the decision.
    Object to what?

    If this has anything to do with your other post

    then you apparently haven't actually sued anybody yet.

    Besides, if you are suing for $300 (and lose) then you don't have the right to an appeal at all (according to the WA court website).

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