small claims court

When Can a Small Claims Plaintiff or Defendant Use an Attorney?

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In general, attorneys are not allowed to represent parties in small claims court. In nearly all cases, the parties represent themselves in a court trial. However, this does not mean an attorney cannot help a litigant in a small claims case. Here are some free attorney tips on when an individual litigant can use the services of an attorney in a small claims court case.

1. An Attorney Can Help a Plaintiff or Defendant Prepare for a Small Claims Court Trial.

A little preparation and organization can go a long way towards winning in a small claims trial. An attorney hired by a plaintiff or defendant in advance of the court trial date can help that part determine which documents or evidence are relevant and important, and which are not. read more

Most Important Small Claims Court Forms for California Are Free


Here is a list of the most common and important small claims court forms for California Court from the California Judicial Council. They are all available free on the internet at the Judicial Council’s website. You can learn a lot just by browsing these forms in advance of a court date.  Use California Judicial Council Forms When Ever Possible (CA Judicial Council )

small claims property damages

Photos can be good evidence to prove damages in a small claims court trial.

Plaintiff’s Claim and ORDER to Appear in Small Claims Court (Form SC-100)

This is the most important form in small claims court. It states the amount of the plaintiff’s claims, the name of the alleged defendant, and the facts of the claim. In general, the plaintiffs are limited to the amount of the claim as stated in the SC-100 form read more

Last Minute Tips for Small Claims Court Trials


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.

  1. 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. read more

Can You Sue a County or City in Small Claims Court? Yes. Free Government Claim Tips.


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. read more

Attorney Tips for Presenting a Breach of Contract Claim in Small Claims Court

breach of contract

Breach of Contract may be the most common cause of action in small claims court.

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. read more

Tips for Getting Your Rental Security Deposit Back. 2017 Update.


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. read more

Property Disputes: Basic Use and Dangers of a Lis Pendens Filing

small claims property damages

Photos often are good evidence to prove damages in a real property dispute.

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.
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Small Claims Court Basics


Small Claims courts are not that scary if you are prepared.

Small Claims courts are not that scary if you are prepared.

You probably know that if someone owes you money, or causes you property damage or injury, you have the right to sue in small claims court. But you may not know the basics of how small claims court cases work. Here is some free self help info on that topic to help you out.

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. read more

How to Prepare for Your Small Claims Court Trial; Free Attorney Tips


small claims court trial pic

The party with the best organized evidence has an advantage in small claims court trial.

Too many people show up for their small claims court trial unprepared, in denial, and/or unaware of what to expect. These failings can sink a case quick. Fortunately for you, there are some basic tips that can help anyone prepare for a small claims court trial. We present them here for you, for free. We hope they help.

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. read more

A Lack of Auto Insurance Does Not Make One Liable for an Accident.


Insurance company settlement offer too low?

Insurance company settlement offer too low?

California Auto accident, but no auto insurance? That is a bad fact. There are consequences to getting into a car accident without liability insurance.

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. read more