State Representative Steve Hambley (R-Brunswick) voted in favor of legislation that doubles the monetary cap in small claims courts during today’s session.

House Bill 387, sponsored by Cincinnati-area lawmakers Reps. Lou Terhar and Jonathan Dever, increases from $3,000 to $6,000 the amount of money that is available for recovery in small claims divisions of county and municipal courts, marking the first time in nearly 20 years that the cap has been raised. The adjustment also puts Ohio on par with both the national average and surrounding states.

“House Bill 387 is a great bill. Not only does the bill benefit small businesses, but it also provides affordable access to the justice system for our citizens,” Hambley said. “Increasing the amount of money available for recovery from $3,000 to $6,000 modernizes Ohio’s small claims courts, providing relief that we see in our neighboring states. As an original co-sponsor, I am proud to announce this bill’s unanimous passage in the Ohio House of Representatives and hopeful for similarly quick action in the Ohio Senate.”

The previous $3,000 cap made it difficult for small businesses to recover losses in small claims courts, especially after additional court costs were factored in. Similarly, going through higher-level courts is not an option for many businesses due to high attorney fees. HB 387 both preserves the role of small claims courts being a quicker, less expensive alternative, while still allowing businesses to recoup losses when seeking monetary recoveries in civil disputes.

HB 387 now heads to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

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