Facebook pixel

Common Questions About Small Claims Court

Small claims court, or county court, is a type of court that decides simple disputes with only a small number of damages involved. Small claims cases only cover damages up to 8,000 dollars and are a simpler option than going through the process of a full trial.

This blog will go over the process and give some information so you can determine if small claims is right for you.

When is Small Claims Court The Best Option?

Small claims court is a good choice for cases wherein there are small amounts of money at stake, and where the issues are very simple. If there are large sums of money, or many complicated issues, then it is better to go to a normal court.

With that being said, if you find your damages to be more than 8,000 dollars you are barred from small claims court. You must go to a full court, regardless of the nature of your claim.

Can I Bring a Lawyer to Small Claims Court?

Yes, it is completely acceptable to bring your lawyer to small claims court. They can assist you with the procedure and make a more convincing argument for you. They will be able to do most of the work for you and allow you to relax more while the case is ongoing.

If I Lose My Case in Small Claims Court, Can I Appeal?

Yes, you can file the motion for rehearing or a appeal with the particular court within the applicable time period for each type of motion. Generally, this range of time is very short, from ten to thirty days. In most cases, you must file a written brief, arguing what you are appealing, and what law the court overlooked in deciding your case. A lawyer can be helpful in this circumstance.

Where Should I File My Small Claims Lawsuit?

You should choose the courthouse with the proper “venue.” If you choose an improper courthouse, your claim may be dismissed or transferred. You should choose a courthouse that fulfills any of the following requirements:

  • Where the event giving rise the lawsuit occurred
  • Where any one or more of the defendants resides
  • If a contract is at issue, where the contract was agreed to
  • If a promissory note is at issue, where the note is signed
  • If money is owed, where the payment should have been made

It is important to note that if a contract was signed relating to the suit, and the contract specifies a location where the suit should be filed, you should file the suit where the contract demands. If you feel that you should not file a suit at that location, it may be a good idea to get a lawyer so that they can analyze if there is anything that may invalidate that clause of the contract.

You can discover the address of specific persons through public records, and can find the headquarters of businesses on the Secretary of State’s website. When you find a specific courthouse, you can find filing rules on the specific court’s website.

How Much Can I Sue For in Small Claims Court?

The max number of damages you can ask for in small claims court is 8,000 dollars in Florida. If you need more damages, you need to file your lawsuit in trial court.

What is The Best Way to Present My Small Claims Case to a Judge?

Presenting a case to a small claims judge can be stressful, and there may be a worry of how far you should go. In most cases witnesses are not needed. The best way to present your side of the story in small claims court is to begin by giving a brief overview of the issue, and then going through each fact.

Each fact should be backed up by some form of evidence, such a photo, contract, written policy, or other item. Keeping your records is important for small claims court. Witnesses can be used in more complex cases. In these situations, make sure you have a list of what you want the witness to tell to the court, and make sure you have a proper list of questions.

End your presentation with a one sentence line of the damages you’re asking for.

Can Any Type of Claim be Resolved in Small Claims Court?

No. Small claims generally only apply to simple monetary disputes under $8,000. These could include contract disputes, simple negligence, and evictions. Small claims courts cannot decide divorce issues, or bankruptcy, even if the money involved is low.

Small claims court can be a good decision if you have a simple case with low damages. Still, it can sometimes be hard to decide what number of damages you have, and whether your case is simple enough for the small claims system.

Bulluck Law Group has years of experience in the legal field and can help determine the best legal strategy for your case. Contact us for a free consultation today, wherein we can determine these issues for you.

Previous Post
The Different Types of Damages in Legal Cases
Next Post
Common Legal Terminology 101