Consumer Protection Law
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1. The Magistrate Court is also known as "Small Claims Court" because they hear cases up to their jurisdictional amount of $15,000. When a party appeals, it is a "Trial de Novo" which means that it is an entirely new trial, from the beginning;
2. It is advisable to have an Attorney represent you, especially where the Defendant is represented by an Attorney. The State Court expects all parties who represent themselves to be familiar with the Rules of Civil Procedure and you might be at a considerable disadvantage where the opposing party is represented by an Attorney;
3. The Rules of Evidence are more relaxed in the Magistrate's Court and they are much more formal on Appeal. For example, an item of evidence may have been admitted in Magistrate Court, but the Judge might exclude it because of the more formal Rules of Evidence;
4. You should always ask for Attorneys' fees. They are not granted automatically and sometimes, it is up to the Judge's discretion,
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