When a plaintiff sues a business in small claims court, the law requires the plaintiff to have their court documents, called “Plaintiff’s Claims and ORDER to Go To Small Claims Court (SR-100)“, served upon the defendant. There are technical rules to getting this done that trip many people up, and prevent people from collecting on legit claims. In fact, a failure to complete service of process on a business is probably the #1 difficulty plaintiffs have when trying to sue a business in small claims court.
Have a small claims trial coming up real fast? Sitting in court right now, waiting for the judge to call your case? Want some last minute tips that will help anyone out? Here you go.
- If You Get Surprised by New Evidence, Ask for a Continuance on That Basis.
“Trial by Surprise” does comply with the right to Due Process and Fundamental Fairness as required by the 14th Amendment to the United States’ Constitution. You can ask for time to prepare for new evidence by arguing that the right to Due Process requires it. Make sure you mention that you made reasonable efforts to get all the evidence in advance of trial.
In California and most other states, a state, county or city government can be liable for damages when an employee, agent or Board Member of the government commits a Tort, like negligence. When the damages are less than $10,000 a claimant can use the County Superior Court’s Small Claims Division to get paid. A person can represent themselves in small claims court and sue the government, either city , county or state by jumping through a couple of hoops. Here are some basic attorney tips to get you started on the right path if you have a government claim.
A Breach of Contract claim is probably the most common basis for a small claims court case. The “Breach of Contract” claim, also known as a breach of contract “Cause of Action”, is pretty straight forward. But representing yourself in small claims court is never easy. Need good news? With some preparation, you can make a basic plan for your breach of contract case that will increase the chances of winning the court trial. Here are a few self help tips to give you that advantage, in any state.
Sure. If your landlord refuses to return your security deposit, or makes false charges against it, you can sue the piss out of the feudalistic offender in small claims court.
Is it worth it? Maybe. There are strong legal penalties for a landlord who makes illegal charges against a security deposit or who fails to return it on time.
Our Recommended Attorney Drafted Self Help Template comes with 30 minutes Attorney Coaching:
Written Notice to Landlord of Intent to Vacate with Demand for Pre Move Out Inspection.
Many potential plaintiffs who have disputes with a landlord or property owner have questions about how to use a “Lis Pendens” filing to help their court case. Can it force an early settlement? Are there dangers to recording such a notice?
In this survey article, we present the basics of what a “Lis Pendens” filing is, and we point out the dangers of such a filing when it is not done in accordance with the law.
The Basic Purpose of a Lis Pendens Recording Is to Give Notice of Litigation.
1. Small Claims Court Has Monetary Limits.
In California, the current limit to a small claims case brought by an individual is $10,000. That means you can ask for $10,000 or less in a small claims court case.
There are lower limits for businesses who file multiple cases in a year, and for auto accident cases where there is auto accident cases where there is confirmed auto insurance coverage.
1. Imagine Your Small Claims Court Date in Advance.
Most small claims court dates start with a mediation session that the court hopes will result in a settlement of the case without a trial. If there is no settlement prior to the court date or in mediation, the court will hold a trial with one judge.
A driver in an accident without insurance can expect the Department of Motor Vehicles to suspend their driving privileges for many months. A citation and summons to court for violating California’s Financial Responsibility Law with fines of about $1200 can also be expected. It gets worse if you get sued for an accident without liability insurance coverage.
A Plaintiff representing his/her self in a Small Claims auto collision case should prepare in advance a written “Statement of Damages” which lists, and asks for the following categories of damages separately: