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

Beginning a Small Claims Court Case Requires Issuing a Document Known As a Plaintiff's Claim 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 get a lawsuit started in Small Claims Court, the preparing and issuing of the document known as a Plaintiff's Claim is required.  The Plaintiff's Claim document is a specific form, numbered and referred to as Form 7A, and is accessible online.  The primary parts of the form are relatively easy involving simple fill in the blanks information.  The more challenging aspect of starting a lawsuit is knowing what parts of the story to say and what parts of the story to avoid saying, or at least to avoid in the beginning.  There are many rules regarding the manner of what should be provided.  The rules on starting a Small Claims Court lawsuit, referred to formally as commencing a proceeding, are 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. Concerns to carefully consider include:

  • What if a counterclaim is brought against me?
  • What if I lose the lawsuit?
  • What if I lose and legal costs are awarded against me?
  • What if the Defendant includes a 'third party'?
  • What if I name someone wrong?
  • What if the case is more complicated than expected?

The above questions, and many more, deserve careful review before haphazardly starting a lawsuit. Diligent review of these questions and the potential pitfalls are highly important before getting started.

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