How Do I Sue In Small Claims Court?

A Small Claims Court Lawsuit Starts By Issuing a Plaintiff's Claim Document and Then Serving the Document Upon the Other Side. After Service Upon the Defendant, An Affidavit of Service Is Filed With the Court.

Understanding the Importance of Properly Reviewing and Preparing Before Starting a Small Claims Court Case

Lawsuit Document To start a case in the Small Claims Court requires the issuing of a document known as a Plaintiff's Claim.  The Plaintiff's Claim is a form, known as Form 7A, and is available online.  The main form is relatively easy to complete as much is just filling in the blanks with basic information such as names and addresses of the parties involved in the lawsuit.  More difficult is the telling of the story that gives rise to the lawsuit whereas, in legal matters, the story often must be written in a sensible chronology and will often require some legalese, even in Small Claims Court. Additionally, knowing what should be said and what should be omitted can be crucial.  The rules of process for starting a legal case in the Small Claims Court can be found in Rule 7 of the Rules of the Small Claims Court.

Although people may think of Small Claims Court cases as an informal legal process, and indeed there are many Small Claims Court cases that are relatively simple enough that minimal, if any, legal training is required, there are still many concerns to consider. Before starting a Small Claims Court lawsuit, questions to consider include:

  • What if I lose?
  • What if the Defendant brings a third party claim?
  • What if I get the name of someone wrong?
  • What if a counterclaim is brought?
  • What if the case becomes more complicated than first expected?
  • What if legal costs are awarded against me?

The concerns listed above, among others, should be very carefully reviewed before bringing a lawsuit.  Diligent review of these questions and the potential pitfalls are highly important before getting started.

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