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What to Expect When You Show Up for Small Claims Court

Knowing what to expect when you show up for small claims court can help things go smoothly. One of the most important things you can do to get in good with the court is be on time. Better still, get there [more…]

How to Deal with the Judge of Your Small Claims Case

All judges take their jobs very seriously, even in small claims court. They realize how they treat you as a litigant affects how you’ll view the law and the fairness of the judicial system. Because the [more…]

How to Get a Small Claims Postponement

You may find yourself having prepared for court only to have some unexpected event occur resulting in a postponement of your small claims trial. There’s a simple answer to the question “Can I postpone [more…]

The Burden of Proof in Small Claims Cases

The plaintiff in a small claims case — the person bringing the case against a defendant — always has the burden of proof. This means that you have the responsibility to establish what happened and have [more…]

Direct Versus Circumstantial Evidence in Small Claims Cases

As a plaintiff, you must provide the evidence to prove your case. There are two types of evidence: direct and circumstantial. As a plaintiff, always try and gather as much direct evidence as you can. [more…]

Discovery of the Facts in Small Claims Cases

In small claims court, the procedure for either the plaintiff or the defendant to find out more about the other side’s case is called discovery. Although rare in small claims court, it’s a fact-finding [more…]

How to Subpoena Information for Small Claims Cases

The closest thing to discovery in most small claims court cases is the use of the subpoena. A subpoena is a legal document that directs a person to come to court and either bring evidence needed for the [more…]

How to Present Evidence in Small Claims Cases

Sometimes what you need to prove your small claims case is not testimony from other people but hard evidence in the form of documents or photographs that graphically prove your point. It’s your job to [more…]

How to Choose Not to Be Your Own Witness in Small Claims Court

If you’re filing your case in small claims court, you’re probably willing — if not downright eager — to be a witness and get into the courtroom and tell your side of the story. In most cases, it goes without [more…]

How to Call the Defendant as a Witness in Small Claims Court

As you’re preparing for trial in your small claims suit, you may wonder whether you should call the defendant to the witness stand as part of your case. In certain situations you do, but generally, unless [more…]

Question Categories for Small Claims Court

Questioning witnesses in small claims court isn’t really rocket science, but it does take preparation and considerable thought. You want your questions to elicit the testimony you want to help your case [more…]

How to Ask Leading Questions in Small Claims Court

A leading question is a question in a small claims trial that contains the answer in it so that the witness only has to answer “yes” or “no.” For example, in a landlord-tenant case asking the tenant, “the [more…]

Present Affidavits in Place of Live Witnesses in Small Claims Court

Whether you’re the plaintiff or the defendant in a small claims suit, relying on a witness to prove your case is always a problem, especially if the witness is not a family member or friend and doesn’t [more…]

How to Impeach a Witness in Small Claims Court

Impeaching a witness can make a powerful statement in your small claims case. Witness impeaching means calling a witness’s credibility into question, and trying to cast doubt that what a witness says is [more…]

How to Use an Expert Witness in Small Claims Court

Even in small claims cases, you may need the testimony of a witness who possesses some special knowledge or skill in order to prove your case. In the legal profession, such a person is known as an [more…]

How to File Pre-Trial Motions in Small Claims Court

In a small claims case, the person most likely to seek a pre-trial motion is the defendant. The most common pre-trial motion is to ask for an adjournment because the defendant just received the notice, [more…]

How to Make Motions During Trial in Small Claims Court

You can make a motion during a small claims trial. Of course, if both sides are representing themselves without the assistance of counsel, there’s little likelihood that either side will have the expertise [more…]

How to Make a Post-Trial Motion in Small Claims Court

Post-trial motions in small claims may be made immediately after both sides present their respective cases, or they can be made after the case is over and the judge has rendered a decision. [more…]

How to Raise Objections in Small Claims Court

You may need to make an objection during your small claims trial. Anytime you see a trial on television or in a movie, you can bet at some point one of the lawyer characters will jump up and yell, “I object [more…]

How to Handle Hearsay at Your Small Claims Trial

Hearsay is a term you may hear repeatedly at your small claims trial. Knowing what to do when this term is brought to bear may help you win your case. [more…]

How to Handle Dismissals in Small Claims Court

When it comes to small claims courts, a dismissal isn’t a good thing. Having your case dismissed at any time during the proceedings usually creates problems you may not be able to fix. [more…]

How to Handle Inquests in Small Claims Court

An inquest is essentially a trial without the defendant being present in small claims court. But it’s important to understand that you can lose an inquest. You don’t just win because you showed up. [more…]

What You Should Know About Security Deposit Disputes for Small Claims Court

The most common reason for landlords and tenants to end up in small claims court is the landlord’s refusal to return the tenant’s security deposit. The purpose of a security deposit is to ensure that the [more…]

How to Get Your Security Deposit Back in Small Claims Court

Getting your security deposit back when faced with a small claims suit is much easier if you follow a few rules, starting with when you first move into a new rental. You’ll have an easier time getting [more…]

What You Should Know about Small Claims Disputes with Condominium or Homeowner’s Associations

Condominium boards and homeowners’ associations often end up in small claims court with members who haven’t paid their dues, fees, or assessments annual charges or special charges to pay for the upkeep [more…]

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