Small claims court is designed to allow a party to take another party to court without involving an attorney. Many of the court rules are relaxed or designed to enabling the plaintiff to argue their case and the defendant to defend their case before an assistant clerk or clerk magistrate. Small claims damages are limited to $7,000.
Do I need an attorney?
You do not need an attorney, small claims court is designed so that attorneys are not needed.
Should I consult with an attorney before filing a small claims matter?
Consulting with an attorney before filing a small claims matter is a good idea. An attorney can help you determine if you have a valid case and how to strengthen your case with facts. Additionally, an attorney can assist with court preparation. Proper preparation can make the difference between prevailing or not.
In what court should I file my complaint?
A complaint cannot be filed in any court. For example, if you want to take someone to court for an issue that arises out of a housing matter, Attorney Corson almost always recommends bringing the matter before the housing court for your geographic area because the housing court specializes in housing matters and has a better understanding of the housing laws.
Should I bring an attorney to court.
The decision to be represented by an attorney in a small claims proceeding is best made upon analyzing the facts and circumstances. For example, maybe you are not comfortable with public speaking and will not be able to convey your issue clearly to the clerk magistrate. In a situation like this you may want to be represented by an attorney if there is a large sum of money at stake.
What can I do if I lose in small claims court?
If you’re the plaintiff and you lose in small claims court the matter is over. However, if your the defendant and you lose, you can appeal the decision. Read the entire judgement completely and follow the directions if you choose to appeal the decision you only have a few days to file your appeal.
Attorney Corson will gladly talk to you about your case and help you determine if you should obtain assistance from an attorney for preparation or representation in small claims court.