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

Suing In Small Claims Court Starts With Issuing a Plaintiff's Claim Document and Serving the Plaintiff's Claim On the Defendant. 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 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. Understanding and carefully reviewing the potential complications, considerations, and consequences, before starting a lawsuit is highly important.

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