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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.

Ask a Lawyer

Tina
Tina, Lawyer
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 8603
Experience:  JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
4460311
Type Your Legal Question Here...
characters left:
13 Lawyers are Online Now

How JustAnswer Works:

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    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
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    Rate the answer you receive.

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Tina
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 8436
JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
Ely
Counselor at Law
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Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
FiveStarLaw
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25 years of experience helping people like you.

Recent Small Claims Questions

  • Hello. I have a friend who recieved her first social security

    Hello. I have a friend who recieved her first social security check. She does not have a drivers license. . She asked me if i could cash it with mine.ANy implications?
  • can I take my ex wife to small claims court for the ring I

    can I take my ex wife to small claims court for the ring I payed for? We divorced in june 2014 and she gave me back the ring. we recently tried to get back together and I let her borrow the ring because she wanted to wear it. we are now not talking and she will not give the ring back.
  • Had a fender bender in a pre school parking lot. I was almost

    Had a fender bender in a pre school parking lot. I was almost backed out of space and was hit from behind. He did not speak English. He had to have been cutting a corner as the damage is minimal to my left rear bumper, and to his left rear fender. He wants the fender replaced entirely and for me to assume blame. I think we are 50/50 to blame. Private lot, no rules, no police involvement as he spoke no English. I mimed that he pull over and managed to give him my phone number and got his. I have no photos. There were no witnesses. Now his daughter called me and got an estimate says that it is over 1K. She wants me to file a claim with my insurance company. My ins company says most private lot disputes are handled without insurance as the laws are both parties are at fault. (in effect, no laws, is this true? CT). My ins. co. says both can file, or that we can offer her what we feel is a fair price privately if we want to do this and she's OK with it. What is the best way to proceed? I did call immediately and reported it to insurance but I do not accept full blame, as he was cutting a corner thru the lot and I was literally in the lane already almost fully backed out. In no way did I "plow into him" as his daughter put it.
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