The movement to create small claims courts began in the early 1960s when the justice of the peace was deemed increasingly obsolete, and officials found it desirable to have such a court to ensure justice. Small claims courts allow aggrieved parties to represent themselves without an attorney. Small claims court, also known as people’s court, is a special court in which disputes are resolved quickly and cheaply. In small claims court, the guidelines are simplified so much so that an aggrieved person can plead himself before the court, and the attorneys are mostly not allowed. The hearing in small claims court is of informal nature. It is normally a limited jurisdiction court, which means that only cases related to a specific cause can be brought before and tried in small claims court. Limited jurisdiction also means that you can only bring claims up to a certain amount in small claims court, depending on the state to which you belong.
While small claims courts generally follow the same procedure, there are some differences between states, such as state-specific forms and monetary jurisdictions. Typically, the limit is between $ 3,000 and $ 15,000, depending on your state. For example, the maximum amount is $ 5,000 in New York, $ 10,000 in California, $ 15,000 in Minnesota, and $ 5,000 in Vermont. Small claims courts offer a quick, informal, and inexpensive way to resolve many types of disputes you may have with specific individuals or entities.
Common forms used in small courts include Answers, Case Actions, Complaints, Counterclaims, Deposit Refunds, Notices, Settlements, Specific, Property, Summons. However, these may also differ from state to state.
Conditions to be pondered upon before filing a suit in small claims court.
If you have decided to file a case in small claims, it is mandatory for you to think if it is the best way to resolve the problem currently confronted. As most of the time, many confronted problems and/or disputes may be resolved most of the times by availing of other available options such as mediation. However, even after mediation, if the dispute remains unresolved, you may approach the small claims court as described in the paragraph hereafter.
When to approach a small claims court?
Most disputes regarding cash may be filed in small claims court. Small claims court is frequently used to accumulate a terrible debt. It’s enormously easy to provide proof demonstrating that the debt was owed but not paid yet paid. Once a creditor gets the judgment, the creditor can use series of strategies to accumulate the debt.
But that is not the simplest sort of case you may file. For instance, you may additionally ask the court to solve a dispute for the following cases:
- Your landowner refuses to return the security deposit.
- Someone has damaged your car and refuses to reimburse for repairs.
- Your brand new television does not work out, and the store refuses to repair or replace it.
- Your tenant has damaged the apartment in excess of the deposit.
- You were tricked into buying a car and want to cancel your purchase and get your original payment back from the seller.
- You give money to a friend, and he refuses to return it.
- If the clothes are damaged during alteration or cleaning.
- Dog bite and other personal injury matters.
- If the terms of service contract are not fulfilled properly according to the contract made.
Normally the following claims are not allowed to be claimed in small claims court, but some states may allow a vast jurisdiction to small claims court by allowing the below-mentioned claims to be claimed in small claims courts:
- Cases relating to defamation.
- The brutality of police or wrongful detention.
- Malpractice at professional places.