Is Small Claims Court too Large for You?
In 2013 the North Carolina General Assembly increased small claims court jurisdiction from $5,000.00 to $10,000.00. This now means many more cases should be filed (and in some cases MUST be filed) in small claims court. It can be an effective forum for having a dispute heard and decided sooner rather than later.
In some respects small claims court, or Magistrate Court as it is sometimes called, looks like the tv court shows such as Judge Judy or Judge Joe Brown or The People’s Court. The litigants typically do not have attorneys and the rules of procedure and evidence are relaxed. However, the law does not change. This means that the person who is making a claim or counterclaim is responsible for knowing what must be proven and how to go about proving it in order to prevail.
With the relatively recent increase in small claims court jurisdiction there are matters involving sizeable amounts of money finding their way into these courts. A homeowner’s dispute with a contractor, a minor vehicle collision case (even if it involves personal injury), and are but a few examples. If you face a situation that may be headed to small claims court you should begin by considering if you would be best advised to seek and retain legal counsel. If not you should do your homework and learn about small claims court in North Carolina so you are properly prepared to present your case.
The O’Neal Law Office offers free consultations on legal matters and reasonable rates for representation in small claims cases. Contact me with the facts of your situation or to schedule a consultation. Whatever you may decide be prepared and best of success to you.