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What are the Best Sources of Small Claims Help?

Article Details
  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 16 October 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2017
    Conjecture Corporation
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Small claims court is a type of civil court that handles low dollar value legal disputes. Going to small claims court is often a last resort when civil matters cannot be amicably worked out. There are many excellent sources of small claims help for those considering taking a dispute to court or who have been summoned to appear in small claims court.

Most small claims courts require parties to represent themselves, but this does not mean that legal counsel is prohibited. Hiring a lawyer to help prepare paperwork and build a clear case can be an excellent way to get small claims help. Lawyers can assist in looking up necessary laws and ensuring that each step is taken legally, which may be beneficial to a claim. While lawyers are a good source of small claims help, they can be quite expensive, so it may be wise to also consider alternate sources of aid.

Most regions have organizations dedicated to providing legal help at low or no cost. These groups may provide necessary forms, filing guidance, and even contacts to low-cost attorneys. Many of these groups operate websites with guides to services provided and extensive resources; both the website and the organization itself can be a great source of small claims help.

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Some legal organizations also print publicly available guides to specific types of disputes for each region. These books may cover all of the applicable regional laws, what the basic options are for resolving a dispute, how and when to file a small claims suit, and how to present a case before a small claims judge. For those who prefer a do-it-alone approach, these books can be a valuable resource and are usually easy to find at major bookstores.

The court itself can be a source of small claims help. Most courts have a court clerk that can provide resources and help explain legal procedure. While a court clerk cannot specifically give legal advise or serve as an attorney, he or she can be a valuable source of information as to how trials are run and where resources are located. County clerks may be available by phone or in-person appointment.

An unusual, though sometimes excellent source of small clams court is radio shows hosted by lawyers. Some talk radio stations have weekly programs hosted by lawyers where people can call in, present the facts of a case, and get general advice. It is important to check the background of the expert before calling to ensure that he or she is a real lawyer with a good reputation. Call-in shows can often be a good way to get a legal opinion on whether a suit should be filed or not.

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