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CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Attorney
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Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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How back does someone provide evidence in small claims cou

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How back does someone provide evidence in small claims court
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 7 months ago.
Dear Customer,While small claims court is generally informal - the court will ask each party to provide a statement as to what they are basing their respective claims and defenses are. They can then provide documents showing this support, and even bring in witnesses, the rules of evidence still technically do apply (although they are very much relaxed).To introduce a piece of evidence (for example a letter), a plaintiff could say "your honor, I received this letter from the defendant on June 1 saying that he agreed to cut my lawn every week until November" and then offer the letter to the court. This properly "authenticates" the letter (the plaintiff identifies that they received the document in question, identifies that the defendant (who is standing there) wrote it, what it says, and what the purpose of introducing it is).However, it would be objectionable if the plaintiff tried "your honor, I found this article online that says yard care companies should cut lawns once per week, I would like this article introduced into evidence" (in this case, there is no authentication - the author of the article is not present, there is no guarantee of authenticity, and the defendant has no opportunity to cross examine the author of the article).This article gives a number of other examples: http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/presenting-testimony-evidence-small-claims-30120.htmlBut courts do vary in how they conduct their small claims hearings, the very best advice I can offer you in preparation for your hearing is to actually go and sit in on the small claims calendar for your court (the courtroom in which your hearing will be) and watch how the judge conducts their hearings).

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