What Starts a Case In Small Claims Court?

A Small Claims Court Lawsuit Starts By Issuing a Plaintiff's Claim Document and Then Serving the Document Upon the Other Side. After Service Upon the Defendant, An Affidavit of Service Is Filed With the Court.

Understanding the Importance of Properly Reviewing and Preparing Before Starting a Small Claims Court Case

Lawsuit Document To get a lawsuit started in Small Claims Court, the preparing and issuing of the document known as a Plaintiff's Claim is required.  The Plaintiff's Claim document is a specific form, numbered and referred to as Form 7A, and is accessible online.  The main parts of the Form 7A document are quite easy to complete as such simply involves filling in a few blanks of information.  The more challenging aspect of starting a lawsuit is knowing what parts of the story to say and what parts of the story to avoid saying, if any.  There are various rules regarding the extent of information that is required.  The rules on starting a Small Claims Court lawsuit, referred to formally as commencing a proceeding, are found in Rule 7 of the Rules of the Small Claims Court.

Although people may think of Small Claims Court cases as an informal legal process, and indeed there are many Small Claims Court cases that are relatively simple enough that minimal, if any, legal training is required, there are still many concerns to consider. Before starting a Small Claims Court lawsuit, questions to consider include:

  • What if I lose?
  • What if the Defendant brings a third party claim?
  • What if I get the name of someone wrong?
  • What if a counterclaim is brought?
  • What if the case becomes more complicated than first expected?
  • What if legal costs are awarded against me?

The above questions, and many more, deserve careful review before haphazardly starting a lawsuit. Diligent review of these questions and the potential pitfalls are highly important before getting started.

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