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Gather Your Evidence Early



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When you are going to court for a small claims suit, you will want to bring with you any evidence that you can to help illustrate your case. Evidence can help prove your claim and failing to present such evidence might have a detrimental effect on your whole small claims suit.

If you have any signed contracts or agreements that pertain to the issue at hand, make sure you bring them along on court day. The details that are contained in such documents often make judgment much easier to make simply due to the fact that they list out the specific responsibilities of both parties involved. Some contracts and agreements even list out what is to happen in the case of dispute.

Another excellent type of evidence that you can bring with you to court is any receipts you have for payments made to the other party with regard to the service or goods you were to receive from them in this transaction. Your cancelled checks are good evidence to show payments you have made as well. In the case that the payments were to be made to you by the other party, bring any copies of payments they did make to you, if you have any such evidence.

Copies of any bills and invoices you have presented to the other party will be helpful as well. If your case involves money owed to the other party, you will want to bring any bills and invoices you have received, whether they are correct or not. These are extremely helpful to the judge in assessing how this case evolved to the point it now sits.

If your case involves goods that are easily brought to court, you should bring them. Damaged items and defective items that are a crucial part of the case should always be presented unless they are too large or dangerous to bring into the courtroom. In the case where you cannot bring the items into court, you may want to bring some pictures of them for illustration in their absence. If you must bring pictures, be sure that they include some close ups as well as overview shots so that the judge can see as much as possible.

Estimates for repairs to your damaged goods should also be brought with you to help you present your case. If your case is one that involves estimates for work to be done, it is advisable to bring three different estimate quotes rather than only one.

Often, small claims suits may involve witnesses. People who were present during transactions or conversations between you and the other party can be helpful in your case in many circumstances. If you do have any witnesses, be sure to bring them with you on your court date. The judge may wish to ask some questions of witnesses from both sides in order to get the full story.

Be ready for when you get your day in small claims court. Gather all your evidence together as early as possible in the case so that you know you’re prepared. Go through it all again before the date to be sure you remember what you have with you and make sure it is all organized so that you can produce it easily when the time comes.



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