How to File a Claim at Small Claims Court

Filing a claim in Small Claims Court allows consumers and individuals to resolve issues without having to resort to the costly expense of hiring a lawyer. Whether you have an issue with a contractor or a neighbor, small claims is a way to seek a lawful and binding resolution.

To file your claim, you must go to the clerk's office in the county where the person against whom you are filing the claim resides or has his or her place of business. The filing fee is typically less than $50 and the most you can sue for in small claims court is approximately $2500. You will need to prepare for court by gathering evidence of the claim (photos of damage, receipts, and contracts, anything that will support your claim). If the other person does not appear, you may obtain a default judgment in your favor.

Winning your small claims suit and collecting on the claim are different processes. Even if you are granted a judgment in your favor, it will still be up to your own efforts to collect the money that is due to you. The collection process can be difficult and lengthy.

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