How To Sue in a Small Claims Court

If you are thinking of suing a person or business when you’ve tried other ways to resolve a problem, you should always consider going to Small Claims Court before hiring a lawyer.

There is a limit to the amount ($10,000 in Texas) and the types of claims that you can bring.  Also, a Small Claims Court can only award money damages (aside from evictions, it cannot force someone to perform, or issue an injunction prohibiting someone from doing something).  But Small Claims Courts are informal, effective, and a lot less expensive than attorneys.

Ensure that your claim is LESS than $10,000 (if not, the case will be dismissed).  Also, research the legal name and/or assumed name of a business to make sure that you are suing the right party.

The State Bar of Texas publishes an excellent pamphlet (PDF) on everything you need to know about handling a case in Small Claims Court.  Here is the link:

http://www.texasbar.com/Content/NavigationMenu/ForThePublic/FreeLegalInformation/OurLegalSystem/HowtoSueinSmallClaimsCourt.pdf

I guess “Arbitrator Judy” and the “The People’s Arbitrations” didn’t sell with the corporate sponsors.  Good Luck.