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What You Should Know About the Law of Torts for Your Small Claims Suit

There are two areas of law that are litigated in small claims court: tort law and contract law. A tort is a civil wrong other than breach of contract. A [more…]

Who’s at Fault for Your Small Claims Suit?

The two elements of proof in every small claims court case are liability and damages. In other words, was the defendant to blame, and how much should she pay to make it right? In order to win any case, [more…]

Time Considerations for Your Small Claims Suit

Time is generally not on your side in the legal system, and the sooner you bring your case to small claims court the better. Defendants leave the state, people die, retire, or become too ill or too befuddled [more…]

Compensatory Damages in Small Claims Contract Cases

The goal of suing for compensatory damages in small claims court is to restore you — financially, at least — to the state you would have been in if you hadn’t gotten involved with the defendant. [more…]

Compensatory Damages in Small Claims Negligence Cases

In a negligence case in which you suffer personal injury or property damage because of the defendant’s negligence, the money you receive in small claims is also designed to make you whole. But you may [more…]

How to Collect on Consequential Damages in Small Claims Cases

Consequential damages are damages in small claims court that don’t directly arise from the defendant’s actions but that could have reasonably been foreseen to have resulted from them. That’s a mouthful [more…]

What You Should Know About Punitive Damages in Small Claims Cases

Punitive damages are damages designed to punish the defendant for outrageous behavior in small claims court — punish him above and beyond the actual monetary loss to discourage him and everyone else from [more…]

What You Should Know About Liquidated Damages in Small Claims Cases

Liquidated in the case of small claims court doesn’t mean things being soled for bargain-basement prices, like it does on the late-night infomercials. Liquidated — and unliquidated — damages are specific [more…]

How to Get Additional Money from Your Small Claims Win

After you win your small claims case, you may become a little greedy and start wondering what else you can get out of the defendant. The good news is that you can receive interest or collect some of the [more…]

How to Name a Business Defendant in Small Claims Court

It is important that you name a defendant correctly in a small claims case. If you know you’re looking for a corporation or other business that might have several names, you need to dig in the right areas [more…]

How to Track an Elusive Defendant for Your Small Claims Case

One difficult situation that may emerge as you prepare your small claims case is not being able to find your defendant. You may be able to figure out the defendant’s legal name or designation, but if your [more…]

How to Name a Minor Defendant in Your Small Claims Case

Small claims cases involving people under age 18 or those with developmental or some other disability fall into special categories and can require a change in plaintiff or defendant. If you’re under the [more…]

How to Bring a Small Claims Case to the Right Location

Venue is the legal term for the physical location of the small claims court. Basically, the question of venue determines which county is the proper place to bring the lawsuit. The three potential places [more…]

Information Every Clerk Needs for Your Small Claims Case

Your small claims paperwork will proceed more smoothly if the clerk has all the information he needs. Some information comes from the form you fill out to get your case started. You may need to volunteer [more…]

What You Should Know About Clerks for Your Small Claims Case

Judges and lawyers just think they control the small claims courtroom, but not so: Clerks do. Newcomers to court often don’t grasp this, and it often causes great sorrow down their path to justice. Before [more…]

How to Give Notice of Your Small Claims Suit via Mail

Because small claims court is designed to keep litigation costs down, the most common method of giving notice to the defendant in small claims court is by mail. Mail is the cheapest method. [more…]

How to Give Notice of Your Small Claims Suit via Personal Delivery

Personal delivery, having the pleadings actually handed to the named defendant, is the best way to give the defendant notice of your small claims suit. It is also the way you always see it happen on TV [more…]

How to Give Notice of Your Small Claims Suit via Substituted Service

Substituted service is when the small claims pleadings cannot be hand-delivered to the named defendant but are delivered to a person of suitable age and discretion — [more…]

How to Give Notice of Your Small Claims Suit via Conspicuous Service

Conspicuous service, otherwise known as affix and mail or nail and mail service, occurs when the small claims process server cannot find the defendant at the defendant’s home after making several attempts [more…]

Should You Serve a Small Claims Defendant Yourself?

Serving the defendant yourself of a small claims suit is a bad idea on several levels, including the fact that it usually isn’t permitted in small claims or other courts. This is because you have a vested [more…]

What to Expect from a Small Claims Defendant

After the defendant is served, she should follow the directions on the summons and complaint, and either go to small claims court and file a written answer if that is the practice or appear in court on [more…]

What You Should Know if You Choose Arbitration for Your Small Claims Suit

Arbitration means submitting the small claims dispute to a disinterested third party who conducts a hearing and renders a decision that may or not be binding. The two types of arbitration are [more…]

What You Should Know if You Choose to Settle Your Small Claims Suit

At some point the defendant may contact you and offer to settle the small claims case. You can settle a case at any point before you actually walk through the courtroom doors, and you have several very [more…]

What to Do When You Are Served with Small Claims Papers

If you’re the defendant, it’s wise to read all the advice given to the plaintiff, so you understand how small claims court works. Knowing what the opposition is up to may also give you some ideas on how [more…]

How to Respond to a Small Claims Summons

Unless you’re the type of person who gets sued on a regular basis, getting served small claims papers can really ruin your day. You may be chomping at the bit to point out what a liar the plaintiff is [more…]

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