If the case is against a sponsor whose legal liability is based on the acts or omissions of another person, the maximum claim is $2,500. However, there are two exceptions to the $2,500 for the jurisdiction: (1) If you are an individual suing a guarantor who charges a fee for its warranty or surety services, the maximum amount is $6,500. (2) If the plaintiff is not an individual and the defendant guarantor charges a fee for his or her services or is the registrar of the Contractors State License Board because the plaintiff is suing for surety of a contractor, the maximum amount of claims is $4,000. In this situation, be sure to name the contractor and guarantor as defendants and be prepared to prove a violation of the contractor`s licensing laws. (See Business and Professions Code beginning with Section 7101 and the Contractors State License Board) When you file your file, you must indicate on your application form (Form SC-100) why the court where you filed your application is a court. In particular, in cases brought against a defendant who lives outside the district (or outside the judicial district where the court is located), the judge will carefully consider and decide whether the court is fit to deal with that case. Examples of other disputes that could be resolved in Small Claims Court include: The statute of limitations and the court rules that interpret and apply them are complicated, and exceptions may apply to your claim. For example, if the defendant has lived out of state or been in jail for a period of time, the time limit for filing your lawsuit may be extended. Or you might assume that a contract is a verbal contract that has a two-year limit, while it can be interpreted as a written contract with a four-year limit.
If you`re not sure your lawsuit is too old to file, you can file it and let the judge decide if it was filed too late. Better yet, you should contact a small claims advisor before filing your application. WARNING: Even if the conditions are met for the employee to represent his employer, this does not mean that his testimony is sufficient to win the case. Some judges may require the testimony of the employee who worked on the account and who has personal knowledge of the account history in order to make a judgment for the company. Dollar amounts sought: Small claims courts are often associated with claimants seeking very small arbitration awards, although some states allow amounts up to $15,000. In California, for example, individuals can claim amounts of up to $10,000, but businesses can only sue small businesses up to $5,000. If your claim exceeds the small claims limit, you can file a case in the regular superior court, where you can represent yourself or hire a lawyer to represent you. Instead, you can choose to reduce the amount of your claim and waive (waive) the rest of the claim to stay within the monetary limit of Small Claims Court. Before reducing your claim, discuss your plans with a small claims advisor or lawyer. Once the dispute has been heard and decided in Small Claims Court, your right to collect the amount you have waived is lost forever. It is your responsibility to ensure that each defendant is duly notified of the claim in this manner and to pay the fees and costs of such notice.
As a courtesy, try to notify the defendant(s) more in advance than required by law. If you decide that mediation (not small claims court) could resolve your dispute, ask the case officer if small claims court offers a mediation program. If not, the case officer may be aware of a publicly funded program in your county. You can also find a mediation program by checking the section of your phone book or by calling the California Department of Consumer Affairs at (800) 952-5210. People with hearing loss can call (800) 322-1700 (TTY) or (916) 322-1700 (TTY). A list of mediation programs can also be found on the California Department of Consumer Affairs (www.dca.ca.gov/consumers/mediation_programs.shtml) website. You can obtain the forms to file your application by visiting or writing to a small claims court or by clicking on the Council of Judges` self-help website under www.courtinfo.ca.gov. While it is generally easy to complete these forms, it is helpful to read Small Claims Claimant Information (Form SC-100 – INFO). You will receive them when you go to Small Claims Court to file your claim. You can also view it and other court forms on the Judicial Council`s self-help websites.
You can fill out most of these forms on your computer. Some courts allow you to submit forms by fax or over the Internet. Regardless of the type of service you use, the service must be completed within explicit time frames before the hearing. If you are not served on the defendant within this express time, the defendant can ask the court to postpone the hearing and, in most cases, the date of the hearing will be changed. When counting the days, do not count the day the service was completed, but the date of the hearing. Also, keep in mind that a completed and signed proof of service (Small Claims) (Form SC-104) showing that service was effected within these time limits must be presented to Small Claims Court at least five days before the hearing date. For more information, ask the Clerk for a copy of What is “proof of service”? (Form SC-104B). Like all court forms, you can read and print them by visiting the Council of Justice self-help website in www.courtinfo.ca.gov. Only the largest counties are divided into judicial districts. If a county is not divided into two or more jurisdictions, a lawsuit that may be duly filed in that county may be filed in any small claims court in the county. A small claims advisor can also show you a map showing court locations in counties (such as Los Angeles County) where there is more than one judicial district in the county.
The application form requires you to provide the post office with certain information about the application, including the names of the parties, the court hearing the case, the case file number (if it has already been filed) and the capacity in which the postal service customer is served (for example, as a party or witness). If you are a natural person who represents you, you do not have to answer question 5 (which deals with the law that allows you to serve court documents). When a company sues, the law authorizing service must be indicated. Think carefully about how much money you want to call damages. The judge will ask you to prove that you are entitled to the amount claimed from you. This means that you can only get a judgment for an amount that you can prove. You can prove your claim with almost any type of evidence: a written contract, warranty, receipt, void check, letter, professional damage estimate, photos, drawings, your own statements, and testimony from witnesses who come to court with you. Your claim form (Form SC-100), if completed by you and issued by the Small Claims Officer, will inform the defendant of the amount of your claim, the basis of the claim, and the date, time and location of the hearing. Similarly, no case directly addressed the question of who can act as an agent of the company. It should be noted that Duke Power`s agent was an employee of the utility`s credit department, suggesting that an agent does not need to be an officer of the company. A brief overview of other jurisdictions with a similar rule shows that a director or employee of a company can be unanimous.
See, for example, Cleveland Bar Assn. Pearlmen, 832 NE2d 1193 (2005) (Ohio law allows “bona fide officers or employees” to represent businesses to a limited extent in small claims court); Babe Houser Motor Co. v. Tetreault, 14 P3d 1149 (2000) (Kansas law permits a full-time agent or employee, only for minor claims). If your claim exceeds $2,500, you will be asked to check the box on your claim form (Form SC-100) indicating that you did not file more than two lawsuits for more than $2,500 in the calendar year. If you are an individual and can claim up to $7,500, you cannot file more than two small claims claims over $2,500 in a calendar year. If you don`t know which of several potential defendants is responsible for your claim, name each person you think is liable. The court will decide whether the people you name are legitimate defendants and legally liable.
A small claims judge may also be able to order the return of property. For example, if an employee resigns or is fired and refuses to return their company-provided laptop, a small claims judge may order them to return the computer to your company. (2) A plaintiff or defendant who, in the opinion of the judge, is unable to understand or attend the hearing on his or her own behalf may be represented by a friend or relative if he or she knows the facts and is not a lawyer. Small Claims Court is a special court where disputes are resolved quickly and cost-effectively. In Small Claims Court, the rules are simplified and the hearing is informal.