Post Number: 272
|Posted on Sunday, September 29, 2002 - 01:40 am: ||
Since we're having Holly's and my very unusual and discouraging "small claims" experiences, I need to explain a few things:
We are in ARIZONA.
Arizona has a reputation of being rather consumer UNFRIENDLY.
We don't have the right to a "plain English" or "peoples" court. They designed the legal system to allow corporations to hire attorneys to move the case OUT of small claims and into Justice Court.
You then you have to hire an attorney. Even if you're willing to PAY an attorney, you may find that consumer credit attorneys simply do not exist.
As you can see, whether it's Capital One, NH Higher Education, or Compass Bank, they all file motions for legal fees and/or sanctions and if the judge is a moron, he'll award those fees.
Lesson #1: The law means nothing.
Just because you're right doesn't mean you'll prevail and win your case.
That's why my advice for AZ residents is to think long and hard before filing in small claims. I might still file small claims suit, but I'll definitely dismiss right away if they move to Justice Court.
If you're in CALIFORNIA, things look a little better. You can pick your hearing date and time. No lawyers are allowed.
But the defendant can APPEAL the case after you won and then you have a new trial in Superior Court (I think) and of course the defendants send their attorneys.
EVERY State has DIFFERENT procedures!
Look up YOUR small claims court rules on the web, or call your court to find out how to get more info.
Read the entire brochure, timelines, appeals procedures, etc.