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Andrea, Esq.
Andrea, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 12554
Experience:  25 yrs. of experience in employment law, real estate and business law, family law, criminal defense and immigration.
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I am a Handy Man that does home repairs in the State of Georgia

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I am a Handy Man that does home repairs in the State of Georgia and completed work for a client that said I damaged property in her home while I did the repairs she requested be done and declined to pay the invoice for $975.00. I filed a claim in the County Magistrate Court and was awarded the payment by the court where I represented myself and the defendent was represented by an attorney. The court ruled in my favor and awarded payment for the invoice. The defendent has now invoked her right to appeal the decision and has filed the appeal with the State Court. Can you answer the following for me:
1) Does this mean that the case begins exactly at the beginning again with the State Court or does it just address what the court already granded and how long does this take to get scheduled with a date?
2) Am I required to have attorney when I am notified about the court hearing date?
3) Is all the information that was available from the first hearing allowed to be used for the appeal hearing?
4) If I am required to have attorney, if I would win the case again, can the defendent be required to pay for the expense I incurred for the attorney?
Thank you for your guidance in advance.

Patrick

Hi, Patrick, My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be assisting you with your question today,

 

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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