If you need to bring someone to court, it’s always important to know the procedures. Knowing how to sue someone is something you never hope to have to do, but certain situations make it a necessity.
Cases are heard in small claims court all over the country. So what tips should you keep in your back pocket?
Here are some ironclad points that will help you learn how to sue in small claims court no matter where you live.
1. Tally Up How Much You’re Owed
Your first priority needs to be learning how much you’re owed. It’s important to be realistic about this number and base it only on facts.
For instance, if you’re suing a roommate who stopped paying rent, tally up the amounts that you’ve paid versus the amount they owe. You can also keep track of the utility bills and other points that go with the upkeep of your residency.
In small claims court, you typically can’t sue for more than $5,000 to $10,000 or so depending on where you live. Factor in these points and have an exact dollar amount that you’re asking for in court.
2. Reach out to Them to See if You Can Settle it Outside of Court
Before you file your petition, reach out to the other party to see if you can come to an agreement. Going to court should always be the last case scenario.
If they show you in good faith that they’re willing to pay you and set up a plan for doing so, you may not even have to take them to court. However, if this isn’t possible, make sure you stay diligent about filing the claim and doing your research.
You should also apprise yourself of the laws in your state or jurisdiction. For instance, you may need to learn the three types of bad faith claims in Louisiana.
3. Find the Appropriate Court and File a Petition
You can move your case along without setbacks when you file your case in the correct court. Making a mistake can hinder the process and render your case null and void.
Once you find the correct court for your case, go to the clerk’s office and file a petition. Get the petition filed in a timely manner and stay diligent about your court date. The other person will also be given a copy and a summons to show up to court.
4. Get a Copy of the Court Judgment
After you win your case, you’ll need to retain a copy of the court judgment. This gives you the legal right to receive the payment from the other person.
It’s during this time that you should figure out the next steps you’ll take. Many people look into garnishing their wages. If you know where they work, you can file another petition to have their wages garnered.
Use This Guide on How to Sue in Small Claims Court
Learning how to sue in small claims court will help you out know how to move forward. Keeping these tips handy will give you a great starting point for winning the judgment that you need.
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