Category Archives: For Defendants

Most Important Small Claims Court Forms for California Are Free

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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

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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

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

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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

Active Duty Service Member? How to Delay Any Small Claims Case, Traffic Ticket Case, Fine, Contract Bill or Collection Action in California

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Active duty service members can get a nearly automatic “stay” (pause) of any California small claims court proceeding, traffic ticket fine or collection action, or even finance contracts for the period of service plus up to 3 by law.

This stay in actions against service members is one of the many protections set forth in California’s Military and Veterans Code section 400 et seq. The two most important of those code sections may be section 401 and 403.

If you are on active duty somewhere, are a California resident or have a California court problem, the law says that you can get a stay for things like traffic ticket payment plans, scheduled court appearances, failure to appear penalties, repossessions, rental late fees and even credit card bills. read more

Auto Accident Without Auto Insurance? Options to Respond to Insurance Company Claim

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The other day, an imaginary potential client named “Crash” walked into my imaginary office. He asked this common question uninsured drivers have after an auto accident:

I got into an auto accident earlier this year. The other driver sustained enough damage to need a new bumper, while my car was totaled. We exchanged information, no police came to the scene even though they were called. The following morning I found out my auto liability insurance lapsed and was terminated. I had minimal contact with the individual that was hit at first. I paid his deductible for his insurance. read more

Getting Sued in Small Claims Court for an Auto Accident? Here Are Some Defense Attorney Tips.

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Insurance defense attorneys are the experts at defending auto accident claims, big and small. They have a pattern for defending auto accident claims, damages, and negligence causes of action that you might be able to use to your own benefit if you have to represent yourself in small claims court.

Sadly, or happily depending on how you look at it, there are no Insurance Defense Attorneys to help you as a defendant in small claims court if you get sued for that fender bender at the mall.

Yes, the one where the dude says you dented his Harley sounding SUV. read more

Avoid The Most Common Small Claims Court Trial Mistakes.

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You can only expect one shot at presenting your case in Small Claims court. Realistically, in a busy urban courthouse, small claims trials may only get 15 or 20 minutes of live court time. As a result, preparing in advance is an activity that is well worth its time.

Being prepared for your small claims court trial can reduce your stress tremendously, and help you meet your case goals. How? Simple.

there are many common mistakes in small claims court trials.

there are many common mistakes in small claims court trials.

To help, we offer the following info on some common small claims court mistakes that you can avoid with a little forethought and preparation. read more

How to Find the Statute of Limitations for Your California Claim.

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One of the most common questions people dealing with a small claims dispute have is: “What is the Statute of Limitations for the claim?”

The good news is that it is easy to look up. We will tell you how, right after a brief explanation of how a statute of limitations works.

A “statute of limitations” is a law that limits the amount of time a claim or case may be filed in court. If a claim is bought to small claims court after the statute of limitations period has passed, the claim must be dismissed. read more

What Happens If you Miss Your Small Claims Court Date in California?

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Miss a small claims court date? Worried the court is going to issue a bench warrant and have you arrested at work?

Relax. Small Claims Courts in California almost never issue warrants. However, when a litigant miss a scheduled court date, like a court trial, there are consequences.

Plaintiffs Who Miss Their Small Claims Court Trial Date Suffer Dismissal

Plaintiffs are usually the party in the small claims case who initially filed a claim with the court against the defendant(s).

When a plaintiff misses a court trial in small claims, their case is usually dismissed. The form of dismissal is normally “without prejudice” – which means the plaintiff can refile and start over if they wish. read more