Tips For Using Small Claims Courts

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Most of us will use the assistance of the small claims court at some point in our lives in order to resolve a limited dispute. Before filing a claim, there are a few things to consider: First, make sure to research the limitations within your jurisdiction. These courts won't hear cases when you're asking for more than a certain dollar amount. In some states this is anything more than $2,000, in others, you're capped at $15,000. Next, organize your evidence to make sure whatever you're claiming is substantiated by hard verifiable facts. If you have never been to court before, it may be helpful to sit in on a few cases to get acquainted with the flow of the proceedings. Also, you'll want a plan for collecting when you win. Although you may get a judgment in your favor, collecting money owed is often a long and potentially painful process. Finally, consider alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation, which may provide you with easier collection terms.

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