Small Claims Court is exactly what the name says it is. It can arise for small business owners and middle class private citizens. It is a court for everyone to settle small monetary disputes. Here are just a few small claims cases that can come your way.
These disputes appear frequently in Small Claims Court. Many small business owners find themselves in small claims court over this issue eventually. It is important to separate the contract disputes into two categories. The first are disputes with a participating plaintiff and defendant. The second are simple collection matters.
The collection actions involve an active and participating plaintiff but no participating defendant. The defendant in a collection action has no defense to the dispute and almost never appears. Collection actions are a stepping stone by which a plaintiff advances an overdue bill to a court judgment.
These differ from collection disputes because at their core, the disagreement over who breached the contract is important. The roles of the plaintiff and defendant will be to challenge each other on the facts or the law of contract.
Disputes over security deposits are common in Small Claims Court. This dispute is over an amount that is less than the jurisdictional limit of $25,000.00.
Actions to recover overdue rent flow at the end of a lease and are common in Small Claims Court. These arise at the end of a term of a lease, or when the tenant abandons the property before the end of a lease. Cases brought at the end of a lease are simpler. A plaintiff landlord should be prepared to present the lease as evidence and should provide some statement showing when rent was paid and when it was not.
Cases that include the abandoning of a rental property are much more complicated. When a tenant abandons a rental property, the tenant may leave with six months or more on a lease term. As a landlord, you may be tempted to sue for the entire remaining term of the lease. However, the law may not be on your side. The law may require you to reduce the damages by seeking a new tenant.