In this article, I would like to discuss several tips, tricks, and techniques that just about anyone can use to determine whether or not you should take your case to small claims court.
We watch all TV, so we know what a horrible mess the United States legal system can be. The last thing most people want to do is wind up in a court with lengthy and expensive legal fees, and years of their lives stuck dealing with unpleasant court proceedings.
Luckily there is another court many people have never even heard of, that can hear your case very quickly, easily, and cheaply often without even requiring you to hire a lawyer. I’m talking about small claims court.
Small claims court is for things that are,
well, small. If you hired a plumber to fix your bathroom and they did a shoddy job, you could go to small claims court. If that mechanic charged you too much and didn’t actually fix the problem, you can go to small claims court. Usually small claims court costs anywhere from $10-$50 to file a case. Most of these courts set a dollar amount as to how much you can ‘claim’ in your lawsuit and this often sits around $1,500-$3,000 depending on your state. Many states are trying to raise that limit.
Most of the time you have to act fairly soon after the grievance has taken place. You also have to know exactly who you are suing, so that you name the correct person. For instance, you wouldn’t sue the mechanic, you would sue the company the mechanic works for.
Here are some tips for making your way through small claims court:
Be sure to keep your claim withing the court’s dollar limits. A quick search for small claims court and your specific state will show you what those limits are. Be sure to state your claim correctly when filing out the form and attach any evidence you may need. Most of the time you can do this without an attorney but if the form is too confusing for you, you may just have to bite the bullet and swing past your local attorney’s office for a quick consultation which should be relatively inexpensive.
It’s also a good idea to practice what you’re going to say in front of the judge beforehand so that you can be as clear and concise as possible. Often times, small claims court judges are rushed and don’t spend a lot of time preparing for cases. They will look at you, will spend a couple minutes listening to what you have to say, and then they will often rule and put you out of their mind so be concise and honest.
-Article by Financial Judgment Recovery.
This article is my opinion, and not legal advice. I am a judgment recovery expert, and am not a lawyer, If you ever need any legal advice or a strategy to use, please contact a lawyer.