Small claims court is a place where some look to level the playing field against individuals, businesses, or partnerships that have wronged them in the past. Thousands of Americans end up there each year. Many people cannot afford the cost of a lawyer to ensure a solid case and as a result, are left out in the cold. Small claims courts are not nearly as simple as those television judges make it seem: fixing problems in 30 minutes on dramatized shows. If you are not fully prepared with the right paperwork, evidence, and witnesses, you may end up worse off than before.
With this comprehensive guide, you will get a complete run-through of everything you need to know before you submit your case to court. The book includes a checklist of things you need to look for before filing a claim, information on how the courts work, and all of the legal jargon — defined — that will be thrown during the process.
You will learn how to state a claim in formal documents and ultimately whether your case has a chance of winning before you file. Different approaches to more than 15 different kinds of small claims cases are provided, including breaches of contract, property damage, personal injury, defective products, breaches of warranty, and nuisance claims. The limitations on monetary compensation in small claims court are outlined for you, along with specific methods for how to calculate your own limit. You will learn how long you have to sue after an offense has occurred and how you can approach a settlement with the plaintiff outside of court. Different legal procedures for bringing legal action against individuals, couples, businesses, and corporations are provided. A detailed chapter about the various filing fees, needed court papers, and court schedules is also provided in this comprehensive book.
Based on hours of interviews with small claims court lawyers and successful defendants, an outline of the process is also included with information on how to get ready for court, prepare your witnesses, and what you can expect on the day you are to be in court. You will learn the difference between various judgments and what options you have after a verdict is reached. For anyone looking into the option of taking legal action against a person or business, this book is a necessary resource that will ensure you are both fully educated and prepared for the process.
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