The Small Claims Court allows every citizen to bring a lawsuit in an informal manner and does not require that a party hire an attorney. However, it is almost always advisable that you do have one, especially if the other side has legal representation. In some instances, such as if you are an incorporated business or limited liability company, you may be required to have legal representation.
The Small Claims Court is just that, a court set up to handle matters that need the resolution of a judge but do not require a full blown trial. In Indiana, the limit in Small Claims court is $6,000 ($8,000 for Marion County).
Small Claims Court hears cases and claims from all walks of life, including, but not limited to:
- Landlord/Tenant Disputes
- Outstanding Debt
- Unpaid Services
- Unpaid Rent
- Damage to Property
- Economic Damages for Theft
- Medical Bills
The Benefits of Retaining Counsel
There are numerous benefits to retaining counsel for small claims. Even though Small Claims court is set up to not require attorneys, people frequently do hire attorneys to represent them. If they do not hire an attorney to represent them in court, they meet with them before they file to learn whether or not their case may have merit, as well as to get additional legal advice on what evidence they will need and how to present that evidence in court in a clear and concise manner.
Having an attorney when the other side does not puts you one step ahead of your opposition in court and gives you the professional advice and experience that you may need to succeed on your claim. Even if you do not wish to ultimately hire the attorney to make a court appearance for you, consulting with an attorney before filing to learn about your legal rights and whether or not it is worth filing the claim can be very beneficial for you.
Steciuch Law is available to offer representation in Small Claims Court as well as to offer consultations for your legal needs.