Small Claims Court

What Is Small Claims Court?

There are various different types of courts systems in the city of Los Angeles, the state of California, even within the entire country. One type of court system is the small claims court. The small claims court was specifically created to resolve minor disputes between two parties. The small claims court was initially created to prevent the overflow and mix of minor cases and larger cases where there could be thousands of dollars at risk. Usually, those cases that go through small claims court resolve quickly.

What Are Examples Of Cases That Could Go Through Small Claims Court?

  • Landlord and Tenant Dispute: Some of the most common landlord-tenant disputes include a tenant failing to pay rent, and a landlord filing a lawsuit against them to recover that month’s rent. Another example may include an uninhabitable home that the landlord has provided to the tenant, and fails to make any necessary repairs.
  • Property Damage: When one party damages another party’s property, and the damage is not severe, the two parties can take the claim to small claims court.
  • Business Disputes: If it is a minor business dispute, and there is not much monetary damage, then the case could take place in small claims court.
  • Roommate Disputes: When two roommates have a dispute over who is to pay rent, and the portion of each roommate, they will most likely fall under a small claims case.
  • Car Accidents: If the damage from the car accident was $10,000 or less, then it most likely will have to be resolved in small claims court.
  • Unsatisfactory Service: One common example of this includes home repairs. If you experienced unsatisfactory service from a home repair company, whether it is a contractor, plumber, electrician, etc., it should be resolved under small claims court.
  • Loans: Private loans between two individuals could fall under small claims court if not repaid timely.

When Should I File My Small Claims Case in Los Angeles?

There is a set amount of time when you should file your small claims case in court. The deadline depends on the type of lawsuit you are going to file. For example, if you have a written contract dispute, you should file a small claims court lawsuit within four years from the date the contract was not followed through. If you experience any property damage, then you should file within three years from the date of the damage. If you suffered any type of personal injuries from the other party, then you should file the small claims within two years from the date of the Injury. Each circumstance is different, that is why we recommend that you speak to our highly-qualified attorneys as soon as possible for more information on any deadlines, and any requirements that you must have to meet when filing a claim with small claims court.

Are Attorneys Allowed in Small Claims Court?

During the first stage of the small claims court hearing, you do not have the ability to have an attorney representing you. Attorneys are only allowed to represent clients in small claims court after an appeal has been filed.

How Does a Small Claims Court Hearing Occur?

During the hearing, the plaintiff, which is the party that files the initial lawsuit, must have to prove their case and meet all the requirements, along with answering any questions that the judge may have. The defendant, which is the party the lawsuit is filed against, will have to defend themselves and raise any issues that the plaintiff has argued. 45 days before the hearing, the defendant must be served with the hearing information in order to show up. If the defendant does not show up, then the plaintiff will still have to explain their case to court. If the plaintiff does not show up, then the case will automatically be dismissed.

How Should I Prepare For My Small Claims Court Case?

You should be well prepared for the hearing as soon as it has been scheduled. In order to prepare for your hearing, you should:

  • Have a list of cases that support your argument.
  • Gather all your evidence against the defendant.
  • Make sure you know what to argue, and how to answer any questions that the judge may have.
  • Print several copies of your argument to the judge, and any other members of the courts that may be there the day of the hearing.
What Is a Mediation?

A mediation is a meeting between the plaintiff and the defendant to come to some sort of agreement, which may end in a settlement agreement. However, a mediation must be agreed upon by both parties. If even one party does not agree to a mediation, then the mediation will not take place. The small claims court provides the mediation to both parties. Usually, the court will let the parties know if there are any opportunities for mediation the day of the hearing.

How Much Is The Amount For Small Claims Court?

If you have suffered a loss of $10,000 or less, then you must file your lawsuit within the small claims court. However, if you are a business and have suffered $5,000 or less, then you must file your lawsuit with the small claims court. If you are a business and have a lawsuit that deals with more than $5,000, you can file a case in Los Angeles Superior Court.

How Long Does Small Claims Court Take in Los Angeles?

Usually, small claims court cases take less time to recover. A hearing for your small claims court case will usually be scheduled 30 to 60 days after you filed the claim.

Do You Need a Lawyer For a Small Claims Court In Los Angeles?

A witness is someone who saw the incident occur. Usually, small claims court lawsuits do not have witnesses that speak and testify in court. Usually, witnesses appear in civil and criminal claims.

Do You Have Any More Questions About Small Claims Courts in California? Call Our Attorneys Today For More Information.

Our car accident attorneys are always available to help our clients with any questions that they may have regarding a potential small claims lawsuit. We have assisted many clients go through the small claims court process. Our experienced legal team is on standby and available to answer any questions you may have 24/7. Give us a call today to discuss your case. Sometimes, many people may also think that they have a small claims lawsuit, when they actually have damages more than $10,000. In that case, the case will then need to go to Los Angeles Superior Court that deals with cases more than $10,000.

Small claims court could be very difficult to navigate through, especially because there are no attorneys allowed during the first couple steps. An attorney will only be able to represent you once an appeal has been filed. That is why we recommend that you speak to our attorneys for any questions you may have with your potential small claims case. Give us a call today so we could help you navigate through this process. Although we will not be able to represent you, we may provide you with some tips on how to prepare for your small claims court hearing.

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