Did You Know? You can be your own lawyer in small claims court
So what happens when you need to sue someone for $4,000.00 but it costs at least $2,500 to hire the lawyer and you don’t have the money? This is a common problem, as there are many cases that do not involve enough money to justify hiring a lawyer. These cases are usually taken to small claims court, where the limits of suing are currently at $5,000.00 and attorneys are usually not allowed to appear in the courtroom. In these cases, the judge works hard to let the parties put on their own cases, often loosening up the rules of civil procedure to reach a decision. But the law stays the same and most of the rules still apply, so it helps to know what to expect.
First of all, you have to get the case started the correct way. The District Court has a form to fill out called a Complaint. It must be filled out, and those unfamiliar with the law should usually put as much factual information on the paper as possible about why they are suing. After it is filled out and given to the clerk, it should be properly served on the person being sued. Usually the clerk will issue a court date a few months off that is to be served with the Complaint. The most common way to serve the Complaint along with the court date is by paying a Sheriff’s deputy to deliver the papers in person.
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