3 More Mistakes to Avoid in Small Claims Court

Posted on May 13, 2019

3 More Mistakes to Avoid in Small Claims Court

We have previously discussed some mistakes to avoid when going to small claims court, but there are more than the three we shared previously. Because we want you to do everything you can to make your case a success, here are three more mistakes you should avoid that could cost you on the day of your hearing. 

Failing to Consider Alternatives Beforehand

Many people run straight to court before considering other options, such as resolving the problem directly, either by mediation or talking to your opponent directly. Consider all of your options prior to going to court. Court cases should be reserved for a last resort for disputes. Revenge is not a good litigation strategy. It could cost you too.

Making Poor Monetary Decisions

It is easy to focus more on the amount of money owed to you rather than how you get the money. It is imperative that you gain understanding of the process and prepare your case carefully and wisely. You have to remember to make a clear case with proof. Don’t assume the judge knows the details of your case or how much money you are owed just because he has heard thousands of similar cases. You need to state your case clearly. Don’t just focus on how much but how to present your case.

Having a Bad Attitude

Your attitude in court is important. If you walk into your hearing with a confrontational attitude or have a chip on your shoulder when talking to the clerk, the judge or any other personnel, it will not do you much good and can actually kill your credibility for your case. 

It is okay to be upset. If you are in court, you likely already are and have good reason to be. But keep from losing your head in court because it will not help you to win. Try to remain calm and focus on the facts. As Teddy Roosevelt once said, “speak softly and carry a big stick.”