Posted on: 2 September 2015Share
Small claims court is the type of court you go to when you intend to bring up a lawsuit against a customer or client. There are many reasons you might go to court, from a client that went against a contract you had with them, to having a customer that failed to pay you for services rendered. Here are some tips to follow when you have to go to this type of court.
When you go to court, you need to have a good amount of evidence to defend your case. Make sure you arrive fully prepared to make a defense with any documents that relate to the case. For example, if you have a client that claims you did not provide the work they asked for, but you have a document detailing the work that was originally requested, you should bring that with you. The court will look at the contract and see that the client signed it, which can be extremely helpful. Bring along any evidence you have, including emails, phone messages, and legal documents.
Stand Up for Yourself
You should also not be afraid to stand up for yourself. When in court, you might experience difficulty when the other party or their lawyer does not let you speak. This is a form of legal bullying and it occurs more often than you might think. Also make sure you are speaking directly to the judge in court, and not the other lawyer or the client. If you are not representing yourself, your lawyer will do most of the talking, so this won't be as big of an issue.
Whenever you are in small claims court, you should always be respectful of others and the law. Speak to the judge by saying "Your Honor" and don't talk out of turn or interrupt others. The judge will speak to you when it is your turn to speak. You should be respectful to everyone, including the other people involved in the case, their attorney, and the bailiff. It is sometimes tempting to defend yourself when you believe statements are false, but wait your turn.
Adhere to the Deadlines
Also keep in mind that all small claims cases have strict deadlines. When preparing the paperwork and scheduling a court appearance, make sure you stick to these deadlines. If not, you might lose your case. If you have any questions or want representation for more info, contact a litigation attorney.