Everybody's Guide to Small Claims Court

Everybody's Guide to Small Claims Court

by Cara O'Neill Attorney
Everybody's Guide to Small Claims Court

Everybody's Guide to Small Claims Court

by Cara O'Neill Attorney

Paperback(20th ed.)

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You don’t need a lawyer when you know how to present a winning small claims case.

Preparing for your day in court can make the difference between receiving a check and writing one. Everybody’s Guide to Small Claims Court explains the steps necessary to sue someone or defend yourself in small claims court successfully. You’ll learn how to do the following:

  • determine the case’s value
  • draft a demand letter
  • negotiate a settlement
  • file and serve papers
  • present supporting evidence
  • question witnesses, and
  • collect money when you win.

The revised edition’s settlement section includes powerful negotiation strategies and bargaining tips used by lawyers and businesspeople. Use them to help you settle small claims and other disagreements before trial or even when buying a car or negotiating employment and other contracts. You’ll also find sample letters, legal forms, and links to other resources, including an online statute of limitations chart to help you determine when you must file your case.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781413331608
Publisher: NOLO
Publication date: 03/26/2024
Edition description: 20th ed.
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 1,110,258
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Cara O'Neill is a bankruptcy attorney in Northern California and a legal editor with Nolo. She has been practicing law in California for over 20 years and is the coauthor of Nolo's How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, and Nolo's Money Troubles and Credit Repair.

Table of Contents

1. In the Beginning 2. Do You Have a Good Case? 3. Can You Collect Your Money If You Win? 4. How Much Should You Sue For? 5. When Should You Sue? 6. Settling Your Dispute 7. Who Can Sue? 8. Suing Different Kinds of Defendants 9. Where Can You Sue? 10. Filing Fees, Court Papers, and Court Dates 11. Serving Your Papers 12. The Defendant’s Options 13. Getting Ready for Court 14. Witnesses 15. Your Day in Court 16. Motor Vehicle Repair Cases 17. Motor Vehicle Purchase Cases 18. Bad Debts: Initiating and Defending Cases 19. Vehicle Accident Cases 20. Landlord-Tenant Cases 21. Miscellaneous Cases 22. Disputes Between Small Businesses 23. Judgment and Appeal 24. Collecting Your Money 25. Legal Research Appendix: Small Claims Court Rules for the 50 States (and the District of Columbia) Index


Preparing for a small claims matter doesn’t have to be overly stressful. Written with both plaintiffs and defendants in mind, you’ll find the easy-to-follow instructions in Everybody's Guide to Small Claims Court will help you present your case with confidence.

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