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Questions about Small Claims Court Procedure

Small claims court allows a person to represent themselves without legal counsel. Small claims court generally deals with private disputes that do not include large amounts of money being at stake. People who have never been involved with a small claims court can have legal questions. Lawyers on JustAnswer can answer any type of small claims court questions that you may have. Take a look at five of the top small claims court questions answered by the Experts.

Can you sue someone in small claims court if they have filed chapter 7?

You would normally not be allowed to sue or attempt collection from a debtor during a bankruptcy process and most definitely not once a discharge order has been entered in the case. If the person adds the debt that they owe you in the bankruptcy, that debt will be discharged upon completion of the chapter 7 case. Some people have repaid a debt even after the debt was removed though a bankruptcy. This is generally not the case in most situations, but it is a possibility.

What should a person do if they miss a court date and the court enters a default judgment against them?

You will need to file a motion to set aside the judgment. You can speak with the court clerk and request a form. Usually the court clerk will be willing to assist you if you need help filling the form out. You will need to convince the court that you had missed your court date due to an excusable error. You must also express your ability to prevail on the merits of the action (win the case) if given another court date. Usually, the court will allow a motion to set aside judgment if there is a legitimate reason for missing the court appearance.

Should a person sue a landlord in small claims court for withholding a security deposit?

If your landlord is wrongfully withholding the security deposit, he could possibly be liable for twice the amount of the security deposit that was wrongfully withheld. This means if the court finds that the landlord is withholding your money in a wrongful manner, you could receive twice the amount of your deposit.

What happens if a person misses a court date and there is a counterclaim against them in the same case?

If you miss a court date and there is a counterclaim, your claim will be dismissed and the judge would grant the counterclaim. If you want to avoid a court hearing, you could possibly call the person who has the counter claim and offer to dismiss your claim if they are willing to dismiss their counterclaim. Many people manage to make this type of arrangement and avoid a court battle. Generally, a counterclaim is made out of retaliation for a claim that has been entered. Once the opposing party sees that you are willing to let the claim drop, they usually agree to drop the counterclaim.

In California, can a person sue for defamation?

You can sue for defamation in small claims court. You would sue for slander and liable. You can take the person to small claims court if you are seeking $7,500 or less. If you are seeking a larger amount, you will have to sue the person in a trial court. There may come a time when you find yourself in need of experienced legal insight. Before you act on your friend’s views and ideas, you can ask a lawyer on JustAnswer. Even when you have the services of legal counsel, a second opinion from an Expert always helps. Experts on JustAnswer answer many legal questions related to small claims court and can answer your questions in an efficient and knowledgeable manner.
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