Can you take someone to court for owing you money? Whether you own a business or made out a loan, more than likely a debtor stiffed you once.
Frustration and anger are understandable, but take heart, you can seek relief through the small claims court.
The small claims court is usually a local court which doesn’t involve lawyers, unless it involves a witness who happens to be a practicing attorney or judge.
So can you take someone to court for owing you money? The small claims court is an effective way to settle disputes.
Filing a claim with the small claims court starts at either a city, county or superior court.
These courts have a small claims section where the staff has the necessary forms to file a claim.
There are some claims in which documentation is required. The cost of filing a claim also varies, it can be as little as $15 or as high as $200.
The filing fee can be waived if the claimant demonstrates a need.
The next step is for the papers to be served. They can be presented by the claimant, his or herself. Remember, though, some jurisdictions forbid this practice.
Typically the best way for the papers to be served is to either have someone not affiliated with the case, or pay a court marshal or sheriff or a process server. Some jurisdictions permit the papers to be mailed.
Plaintiffs and defendants can, before the hearing, consult an attorney on the best way to present his case.
On the day of the hearing, both parties should dress in proper attire. Men should wear either suits or dress slacks and shirts.
Women should wear a scintilla of make-up with their attire consisting of either a skirt or dress pants with a good shirt.
Hats and sunglasses, unless one or both of the parties is blind, are prohibited from the court.
Both parties may bring relevant witnesses and documents to the hearing.
When your case is called, the judge will ask each side a few questions. It is important to be attentive to the court and to answer questions when asked.
Be polite and respectful. A decision will either be rendered immediately or be mailed to the parties in a two to three week period.
In short, filing a claim with small claims court is the best way to get relief from those who owe you a debt.
This is why it never hurts to contact small claims lawyers for advice or a no win no fee lawyer, if you can not find a lawyer that offers free consultations.