July 28, 2014
Filing a Claim - Overview

Before you file your claim, you must ask the party you are suing, known as the Defendant, for the money. You can do this either orally or in writing.

There are Monetary Limits for Small Claims Court. Always sue for a dollar amount. Be prepared to substantiate and verify the dollar amount of your damages.

To file your claim, you will need to know the correct and complete name of the party you are suing. If you're suing a business, it's important to know whether it's a corporation, partnership or sole proprietorship.

Small Claims cases must be filed in the Clerk's Office located at 400 County Center, Room A in Redwood City.

At the hearing be prepared to tell your story in a brief, concise, logical way, and to prove what you say by bringing evidence such as photos, receipts, bills, contracts or witnesses to support your case. However, numerous exhibits can be confusing and are not recommended. Be sure your exhibits are organized, concise and well marked. If you are claiming a service was performed improperly, have either oral or written verification by an expert in that field. For example, if you believe your vehicle was not repaired properly, have a mechanic's statement to verify that fact. If your claim involves an auto accident, bring at least two (2) written estimates of repair costs.

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