How Does a Lawsuit Start?

Suing In Small Claims Court Starts With Issuing a Plaintiff's Claim Document and Serving the Plaintiff's Claim On the Defendant. After Service Upon the Defendant, An Affidavit of Service Is Filed With the Court.

Understanding the Importance of Properly Reviewing and Preparing Before Starting a Small Claims Court Case

Lawsuit Document To get a lawsuit started in Small Claims Court, the preparing and issuing of the document known as a Plaintiff's Claim is required.  The Plaintiff's Claim document is a specific form, numbered and referred to as Form 7A, and is accessible online.  The primary parts of the form are relatively easy involving simple fill in the blanks information.  The more challenging aspect of starting a lawsuit is knowing what parts of the story to say and what parts of the story to avoid saying, or at least to avoid in the beginning.  There are many rules regarding the manner of what should be provided.  The rules on starting a Small Claims Court lawsuit, referred to formally as commencing a proceeding, are found in Rule 7 of the Rules of the Small Claims Court.

Although many people think of the Small Claims Court as relatively informal, and some legal issues are simple enough that laypeople can handle a case without needing assistance from a lawyer or paralegal, there are concerns to think about.  Concerns to think carefully about include:

  • What if I am countersued by the Defendant?
  • What if I lose the case?
  • What if I lose and the Defendant seeks costs against me?
  • What if the Defendant sues another person as a 'third party'?
  • What if I get a name wrong?
  • What if the case becomes more complicated than originally expected?

The concerns listed above, among others, should be very carefully reviewed before bringing a lawsuit.  Diligent review of these questions and the potential pitfalls are highly important before getting started.

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