What Should Be Considered Before Starting a Small Claims Court Case?

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 Starting a lawsuit in Small Claims Court requires the preparation of, and issuance of, a Plaintiff's Claim document. 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 prescribed rules for the requirements when beginning a Small Claims Court lawsuit are available for review at Rule 7 of the Rules of the Small Claims Court.

Although many people think of the Small Claims Court as relatively informal, and some legal issues are simple enough that laypeople can handle a case without needing assistance from a lawyer or paralegal, there are concerns to think about.  Concerns to think carefully about 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. Understanding and carefully reviewing the potential complications, considerations, and consequences, before starting a lawsuit is highly important.

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