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Small Claims Courts and How They Work

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Small claims courts are designed to bypass much of the legal wrangling of larger civil cases involving attorneys, large amounts of paperwork and months in trial preparation. simple civil cases involving smaller sums of money can be presented by the parties involved , without the need for attorneys.

WHAT IS SMALL CLAIMS court? small claims court is a special court where disputes are resolved quickly and inexpensively. The rules are simple and informal. The person who sues is the plaintiff. The person who is sued is the defendant. In small claims court, you may ask a lawyer for advice before you go to court, but you cannot have a lawyer in court.

The Small Claims Court allows every citizen to bring a lawsuit in an informal manner and does not require that a party hire an attorney. You may hire an attorney if you want; however, in most instances you will not be able to get the other party to pay your legal fees even if you win unless there is some written agreement making the other party liable for your attorney’s fees.

The staff who work behind the counter at any Small Claims Court registry are helpful, but there are limits to what they can do for you. They cannot give legal advice and they can’t fill out your forms for you, but they will gladly answer many of your questions about Small Claims Court processes and procedures.

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Collecting on a Judgment. Success in small claims court means that you successfully collect the money that is due to you. To do that, you may have to go back to court to get a lien on the person’s property or to order a wage garnishment. The small claims process is fairly simple, but you must do the work to set up the claim and pursue payment through the court.

 · How small claims court system works Personal Finance / 3 December 2014, 4:27pm / Bert van Hees This article was first published in the third-quarter 2014 edition of Personal Finance magazine.

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