If you have a case for a relatively minor personal injury or property loss, small claims court may be the best place to have your case heard. The purpose of small claims court is to help move cases that have a relatively small amount of damage through the system quicker and save both the plaintiff and the defendant time and money. You can only sue for a maximum of $5,000 but you save substantially in time and lawyer fees.
The advantages of small claims court include:
- Convenient hours and locations in your county
- You do not need a lawyer
- It is inexpensive. Court fees are $15-$20, which is significantly less than regular court.
- It is very easy to do. You simply file a complaint and will soon get a court date in the mail. You will then present your case to a mediator or judge.
- The court will notify the defendant for you. You do not need to worry about paying a process server to serve the complaint.
- The court will get you an interpreter if you need one.
- Cases usually get resolved much quicker than through regular civil court. You’ll get a hearing date soon after filing the complaint
- You can only sue for up to $5,000. Because of the time and money saved, it often pays to use small claims court for cases that exceed this amount.
- You can only sue for money.
Are you unsure if you have a case for small claims court?
If you have a case and are not sure where to file it, contact our Long Island personal injury lawyers and we can help determine if your case is better resolved in a small claims court. Call us at 516-222-4000 and let our lawyers help you figure out your legal options and best course of action. Our consultations are free and come with no obligation--there are never any out-of-pocket expenses, we only get a fee if we get you money in a verdict or settlement.