Knowing when to go to a small claims court is essential for expediting your case, getting the largest judgment, and keeping your legal costs to a minimum. Keep in mind that each year, you’re sharing the court system with around 160,000 cases.
It can be a simple way to depose your case but fast-moving. Without the right knowledge or preparation, you could be setting yourself up for failure.
In the following article, we’ll give you five factors to consider before going to small claims with your Alameda real estate litigation. Let’s begin.
You Have a Smaller Claim to Recover
California law places limits on the size of recovery one can get from a small claims court. At the time of this post, the limits are $10,000 for individuals and $5,000 for businesses.
If you believe your Alameda real estate litigation case will stay within these thresholds, then you can proceed. As you do, however, make sure some of the below factors are also present. As always, contact a real estate attorney if you have any questions.
Evidence is Easy to Compile
Before filing a small claims court case in Alameda County, know the case can go against you as easily as it can for you. Preparation is key.
If the evidence is somewhat easy to compile, consider moving forward. Look for any specific contracts, pictures, emails, and other documents that can prove your case.
Also, make it easy for the judge. Do it by finding the places within the law where the evidence you’ve collected aligns with the alleged infraction. Be sure to make three copies of everything you plan on using to prove your case.
Damages Are Worth Seeking
On the surface, any wrongdoing on the part of a tenant or other individual involved with your Alameda real estate litigation is fair game. Be careful, though.
Taking your case to court may or may not be worth it. Do your homework first by realistically calculating what you can recover.
Next, consider whether the defendant will have a legitimate case for a countersuit. Once you factor in the fees associated with a small claims case, and the possibility of a counter-judgment in the defendant’s favor, it could cause you to reconsider. You won’t know until you do the math, however.
You Are Still Within the Statute of Limitations
Any case eligibility involving small claims for Alameda real estate litigation will have to fall within the state’s statute of limitations. These will vary depending on the case you’re bringing.
Typically, the statutes go no further than four years with some as little as 90 days and others as much as two years.
You Are Representing Someone Else Who Cannot Represent Themselves
The last scenario when bringing litigation for Alameda real estate is when you are representing a party who cannot try the case themselves. Stepping into this role is quite simple.
Often, a simple letter from the party you’re representing will do the trick. Also, acting as the conservator of the individual will give you this right as well.
Learn When to Go to a Small Claims Court to Max Out Your Claim
The more you know about when to go to a small claims court, the more money (and the faster) you’ll get paid. Calculate a realistic amount to which you’ll be entitled and prepare your case meticulously.
Also, be aware of the fees, limits, and other parties involved. Best of luck if you go this route. For all other legal help or a free consultation on your case, contact the Law Offices of Jason W. Estavillo today.