When someone owes you money, you want to make sure you get it back as quickly as possible. If they’re majorly delayed on payments or not responding to your requests, you might be unsure of what to do next. A lawsuit and possible trail could be extremely expensive, and might not be worth it if they only owe a few thousand dollars. If that’s the case, you might want to consider going to small claims court.
Small claims court helps people settle relatively small financial or monetary disputes. Typically, the amount owed must be between $3,000 and $10,000 dollars, depending on your state. Still, not every kind of claim is allowed in a small claims court, even if they fall within your state’s dollar limit.
Common claims include failure to repay a loan, pay rent or return a security deposit. Renters and landlords alike could go to small claims court if either party were not honoring the terms of the lease. Small claims court can also be used if someone didn’t meet the terms of a service contract. For example, if you paid an auto mechanic who didn’t properly fix your car or a roofer who messed up on a roofing job and refuses to fix it. Some states also allow “breach of warranty” cases in small claims court. If you buy a something that is guaranteed to last a year and it breaks in six months, you can get your money back in small claims court if the company won’t honor the warranty.
There are things you can’t take to a small claims court. No states allow you to use a small claims court for divorce cases, requesting guardianship or to file for bankruptcy. You may also be prevented from presenting a case if it involves slander, libel or a false arrest.