Whether your small claim case will be heard through informal appointment, mediation or open court trial, you must know how to present a winning small claim case - which means preparation.
Assembling the critical facts concerning your dispute, evidence, witnesses, exhibits, documents and other elements needed to prove your small claim case is essential.
Depending on the nature of your complaint you will need the following:
The small claims court may give you 'Standard Directions for use in claims arising out of road traffic accidents' or 'Standard directions for use in claims arising out of building disputes, vehicle repairs and similar contractual claims' after the Allocation Stage. These special directions are a good guide to the kind of evidence that will support any small claim you make.
Send a copy of your written documents, photographs and sketches to your adversary in advance of the small claim hearing and ask for agreement as to their authenticity and accuracy. This can save time at the small claim hearing and will help avoid any objections at the hearing that can only prolong the proceedings.
When you have assembled these documents, prepare a sequence of facts that includes the following:
Then reverse your role and anticipate your adversary's small claim case by listing the witnesses, statements, and arguments you believe your adversary will use. With this completed, list the questions you will ask your adversary to disprove their statements. Finally assemble the documents that show your adversary's statements are incorrect.
Remember, you may present three categories of evidence:
Published on: February 1, 2006