Should I Sue in Small Claims Court?
Updated: Oct 29
So your strong letter demanding payment didn't result in you getting back what you intended, now what? The next step to consider is taking the other party to small claims court. Consider the following tough questions:
1. Do you have the time to sue this person?
You need to devote time to gathering information, such as sorting through all your papers to find receipts and/or documents related to the agreement, putting together your case to convince the judge your story is correct and possibly figuring out a lot of details such as finding witnesses and eventually appearing in court.
2. Do you have the money to spend on a lawsuit?
It costs money to file a claim, and it costs money to serve the notice of the lawsuit on the person you are suing. While you might be able to get these costs paid to you if you win, you must have the funds available to you to spend before you even step foot inside the courtroom.
3. Are you willing to risk damaging or losing the relationship over this issue?
Oftentimes, the parties involved in a lawsuit have a personal relationship. Lawsuits can damage a relationship, so it is up to you to decide whether you care to preserve your relationship with the other party.
If you answer Yes to all three questions, you are ready to prepare your case.
NEED HELP WITH YOUR JUSTICE JOURNEY?
The quest for justice is never easy, particularly when it comes to getting your money back. However, thanks to advances in technology, it has become easier. Quest for Justice’s first app, JusticeDirect, is the only app of its kind designed to support people without lawyers resolve their dispute and get their money back, both in and out of court. The first step to getting money back is through a letter demanding payment from the other party JusticeDirect offers customizable demand letters for free. If the letter demanding payment does not work, then the next step is taking them to court. JusticeDirect* will guide users every step of the way through the small claims court process by helping them:
Understand the legal process;
Evaluate the pros and cons that come with taking someone to court;
Generate small claims court forms; and,
Avoid common mistakes when filing your forms and serving notice on the other side.
*Currently, JusticeDirect can only help litigants sue in California’s small claims court.