AgentRentals

Some rental disputes better off in small claims court

Tips on preparing case, witnesses, trial etiquette

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Does someone owe you money and you think you have a case? If you've already exhausted every reasonable avenue and feel like you're spinning your wheels, you may want to try another route. Welcome to small claims court, where anyone can have his or her day in court without a lawyer at their side. Devised to give the average person a chance to present his or her case, it is inexpensive and relatively easy to pursue. Before pursing a case, "Be sure to write a "demand letter" to the other party, setting forth the payment you expect, and that you will go to court if the other side does not come through," suggests attorney and legal author Janet Portman. "This letter is more than a formality -- many courts all but require that you do so before filing suit in small claims court," Portman concludes. Keep in mind that even if you prevail in court and win a settlement, the court doesn't collect the money for you. Realistically consider the odds of collecting the judgment based on th...