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Before filing a small claims case, you should make one last attempt to get your money by sending a formal demand letter.
A demand letter should include a summary of the situation, what you see as the damages and a detailed request that the other party pay by a certain date. The letter should include your contact information, including mailing address, telephone number and email address.
If the other party does not respond favorably or respond at all, you will need to file the case in small claims court. Only civil cases can be brought to small claims court. Some examples of small claim cases include property damage, product liability, breach of contract and some fraud cases.
The amount you can sue for varies from state to state and is usually somewhere in the range of $3,500 to $10,000. You must file the small claims case in the court that has jurisdiction. This could be the territory in which the incident took place or the territory in which the defendant is located.
You must file the claim by filling out paperwork spelling out all the facts of what happened and how you were damaged. You should also included copies of letters, bills, receipts, photographs or anything else that will help your case. You will also need to have all the contact information for the defendant. When you file the case, you will be given a case number and a court date. You will also need to pay a small court filing fee.
The copy of your complaint will be mailed to the defendant by certified mail. You will then present your case to the judge on your court date.
There are a lot of small claims forms and rules involved when filing a small claims case, so following through on a complaint can be complicated. At Rocket Lawyer, they can make the whole process a lot easier with their Small Claims Worksheet. This customizable form will help get organized and prepare for a small claims case. Visit RocketLawyer.com for more details.