Filing & Winning Small Claims

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Ten Ways to Improve Your Odds of Winning in Small Claims Court

Winning in small claims court isn’t always about whether you’re right. The way you present your case — and yourself — in court can also be a factor in determining whether or not you walk out the door with [more…]

Should You File a Small Claims Suit?

One of the first things to do before heading for the courthouse is to decide whether you really belong in small claims court: Do you really have a legal problem that requires you to go to court? You may [more…]

The Goal of Substantial Justice in Small Claims Court

One of the goals of your small claims suit is to achieve substantial justice for yourself. Most people are familiar with the statue of Lady Justice standing blindfolded with scales in her hand. [more…]

Law Versus Equity Compensation in Small Claims Court

When you sue someone in small claims court, you’re looking for one of two things: monetary compensation or some other result. If you’re suing a mechanic who took your money and didn’t fix your car, you [more…]

When Small Claims Court Is Not For You

Not all cases are appropriate for small claims court. In some situations, what you hope to gain or who you’re trying to sue makes it unlikely that a judge will hear your case in small claims court. [more…]

When You Don’t Need a Lawyer for Your Small Claims Case

In all likelihood, among the reasons you decided to pursue your case in small claims court is because you don’t want to have to or can’t afford to pay a lawyer. Before looking at instances when hiring [more…]

When You Need a Lawyer for Your Small Claims Case

It’s usually better to determine whether you need a lawyer upfront rather than waiting until you’re embroiled in the middle of the small claims case and asking someone else to sort out the mess. You may [more…]

How to Find the Right Lawyer for Your Small Claims Suit

Choosing a lawyer you like for your small claims suit isn’t essential, but it will make the process more pleasant. Working with a lawyer for your small claims suit who is competent, trustworthy, and will [more…]

Lawyer Fees for Your Small Claims Suit

It is a good idea to understand lawyer fees for your small claims suit prior to procuring legal counsel. Although lawyers and billable hours have become somewhat of a point of scorn over the years, lawyers [more…]

What You Should Know About Contract Agreements for Your Small Claims Suit

One of the most common types of case heard in small claims court involves the claim by one party that the other party breached a contract. The simplest definition of [more…]

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…]


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