Winning in small claims court can be a pretty big challenge — especially if you’ve never gone to court for anything in your life. Are there things that are worth fighting over? Absolutely. When you’re owed money and you don’t get it, taking someone to court can really make them realize that you’re absolutely serious about getting what you came for. Sometimes you’ll find that people will offer to settle. If they do, then that’s great — you can spare yourself the court costs.
Do you need a lawyer to go to small claims court? Not at all. You get to actually represent yourself. This means that you can save a lot of money if you can resolve it through small claims without getting a costly lawyer involved.
Even though I am studying to be a lawyer, I find myself telling people to go to small claims court under certain circumstances.
Indeed, there are limits to small claims court. They resolve small monetary disputes, evictions, and restitution of property. You cannot file divorce, guardianship, a name change, or declare bankruptcy. You may be limited further on libel or slander suits. There are some things that are a bit too complicated for small claims.
Keep in mind that there are time limits involved when it comes to small claims. You have to make sure that you are following the statutes of limitations of your state. This information can be easily found online. Since I don’t know which state you’re in, you’re on your own to find the information.
In order to win, you need to be willing to work hard towards presenting as much evidence as possible. Photographs, receipts, contracts, witnesses and more all work together to build your case.
Even if you do win your case and convince the judge, you should be aware that all you can do is get a judgment. You will not necessarily always be able to collect the money. If the person isn’t going to be solvent for a while, they aren’t going to voluntarily pay you; this means that it can be on their credit report, but there’s no guarantee you’re going to get paid.
Study all of the factors before you get involved in small claims. Make sure that you can actually sue in this court of if the monetary figure will push you ahead of the “small” court system.
Can you appeal a decision in small claims court? That’s a good question. Again, so much of small claims court depends on the state you live in, not necessarily federal rules and guidelines. Think long and hard before you go to court. Sometimes it’s really unnecessary, but there are some times where going t court is exactly what you need to do!