Everybody's Guide to Small Claims Court in California

Overview

The only guide to California Small Claims Court that provides tips by former judges! The definitive guide to California Small Claims Court for more than 25 years, this plain-English guide gives you step-by-step instructions to bring or defend your case-from preparing evidence and lining up persuasive witnesses, to making a presentation in court and collecting the money you're awarded.Everybody's Guide to Small...
See more details below
Paperback (Eighteenth Edition)
$28.85
BN.com price
(Save 3%)$29.99 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (12) from $8.20   
  • New (2) from $60.00   
  • Used (10) from $8.20   

Overview

The only guide to California Small Claims Court that provides tips by former judges! The definitive guide to California Small Claims Court for more than 25 years, this plain-English guide gives you step-by-step instructions to bring or defend your case-from preparing evidence and lining up persuasive witnesses, to making a presentation in court and collecting the money you're awarded.Everybody's Guide to Small Claims Court in California shows you how to:
*decide if you have a winning case
*mediate a settlement if possible
*determine how much to sue for
*write your demand letter
*file and serve papers
*prepare evidence and witnesses for court
*plan a winning courtroom strategy
*convince the judge that you are right
*collect your money when you winThe 16th edition-updated with the latest laws and procedures-now features practical tips and insights by former judges of small claims courts. It also shows you how to handle disputes involving Internet transactions.Go after the money that's owed you-represent yourself in small claims court and win!
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Associated Press Staff
Step-by-step advice on how to prepare your case, how to file it, and perhaps most importantly, how to collect if you win.
Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine
Walks you through the halls of small justice and explains how to file a claim, figure damages and argue your case effectively.
San Jose Mercury News
Get information on how to prepare your case, win in court and collect your money from Nolo's Everybody's Guide to Small Claims Court in California.
Los Angeles Times
Warner's book takes you by the hand through all the potential pitfalls of trying your own case.
Associated Press
"Step-by-step advice on how to prepare your case, how to file it, and perhaps most importantly, how to collect if you win."
Associated Press
Step-by-step advice on how to prepare your case, how to file it, and perhaps most importantly, how to collect if you win.
Los Angeles Times
"Warner's book takes you by the hand through all the potential pitfalls of trying your own case."
San Jose Mercury News
Get information on how to prepare your case, win in court and collect your money from Nolo's Everybody's Guide to Small Claims Court in California."
Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine
"Walks you through the halls of small justice and explains how to file a claim, figure damages and argue your case effectively."
Los Angeles Times
"Warner's book takes you by the hand through all the potential pitfalls of trying your own case."
Associated Press
"Step-by-step advice on how to prepare your case, how to file it, and perhaps most importantly, how to collect if you win."
Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine
"Walks you through the halls of small justice and explains how to file a claim, figure damages and argue your case effectively."
Booklist
High costs can be avoided and justice can still be had. This guide lays it all out.... It's all written in lay person's English.... Don't pass this up.
Orange County Register
A step-by-step guide for making the legal system work for you.
From the Publisher
"Walks you through the halls of small justice and explains how to file a claim, figure damages and argue your case effectively." Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781413311013
  • Publisher: NOLO
  • Publication date: 4/2/2010
  • Edition description: Eighteenth Edition
  • Edition number: 18
  • Pages: 470
  • Product dimensions: 7.06 (w) x 9.04 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Meet the Author

Ralph  Warner is widely recognized as a pioneer of the do-it-yourself law movement, Warner founded Nolo with Ed Sherman in 1972. He began publishing do-it-yourself law books written by him and his colleagues after numerous publishers rejected them. Warner holds a law degree from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley and an undergraduate degree from Princeton.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction
1. In the Beginning
A. First Things
B. Checklist of Things to Think About Before Initiating or Defending Your
Case
C. Legal Jargon Defined
D. How to Use This Book


2. Do You Have a Good Case?
A. Stating Your Claim on Your Court Papers
B. But Is My Case Really Any Good?
C. How to Approach a Breach of Contract Case
D. How to Approach a Property Damage Case
E. How to Approach a Personal Injury (and Mental Distress) Case
F. How to Approach a Case When You Are Injured by a Defective Product
G. How to Approach a Breach of Warranty Case
H. How to Approach a Professional Malpractice Case
I. How to Approach a Nuisance Case


3. Can You Collect Your Money If You Win?

4. How Much Can You Sue For?
A. Cutting Down a Claim to Fit Under the Limit
B. Splitting Small Claims Court Cases
C. How to Calculate the Exact Amount of Your Claim
D. Equitable Relief (or, Money Can't Always Solve the Problem)


5. When Can You Sue?
A. California Statute of Limitations Periods
B. Calculating the Statute of Limitations
C. Defendant Should Tell the Judge If the Statute of Limitations Has Run
Out

6. How to Settle Your Dispute
A. Try to Talk Out Your Dispute
B. Mediate Your Dispute
C. Write a Formal Demand Letter
D. Write Down the Terms of Any Settlement
E. Agreement Just Before Court Hearing


7. Who Can Sue?
A. Married Couples
B. Sole Proprietorships
C. Business Partnerships
D. Corporations
E. Limited Liability Companies
F. Nonprofits and Unincorporated Associations
G. Motor Vehicle Claims
H. Government Agencies
I. Special Rules for Owners of Rental Property
J. Special Rules for Homeowners' Associations
K. Suits by Prisoners
L. Suits by Minors
M. Special Rules for Military Personnel Transferred Out of State
N. Class Actions (Group Lawsuits)
O. Participation by Attorneys and Bill Collectors


8. Who Can Be Sued?
A. How to Sue One Person
B. How to Sue Two or More People
C. How to Sue an Individually Owned Business
D. How to Sue a Partnership
E. How to Sue a Corporation or Limited Liability Company (LLC)
F. How to Sue on a Motor Vehicle Accident
G. How to Sue Minors
H. How to Sue Government Agencies
I. How to Sue Contractors and Their Bonding Companies
J. How to Sue the Estates of Deceased People


9. Where Can You Sue?
A. Where to Sue Out-of-State Defendants
B. Where to Sue California Defendants
C. What Happens if Suit Is Filed in the Wrong California Small Claims
Court?

10. Plaintiff's and Defendant's Filing Fees, Court Papers, and Court Dates
A. How Much Does It Cost?
B. Filling Out Your Court Papers and Getting Your Court Date
C. The Defendant's Forms
D. Changing a Court Date


11. Serving Your Papers
A. Who Must Be Served
B. How to Serve an Individual
C. How to Serve an Out-of-State Motorist
D. How to Serve an Out-of-State Property Owner
E. How to Serve Papers on a Business
F. How to Serve a Contractor or Anyone Else With a Surety Bond
G. How to Serve a Public Agency
H. Time Limits in Which the Plaintiff's Claim Must Be Served
I. How to Notify the Court That Service Has Been Accomplished ('Proof of
Service')
J. How and When to Serve a Defendant's Claim
K. How and When to Serve Subpoenas
L. Costs of Service


12. The Defendant's Options
A. Claim That You Weren't Properly Served With Court Papers
B. Claim You Were Sued in the Wrong Small Claims Court
C. Claim You Were Sued After the Statute of Limitations Expired
D. You Have a Partial Defense-Try to Compromise
E. You Want to Avoid Conflict-Try to Mediate
F. You Have Absolutely No Defense
G. You Want to Pay the Plaintiff in Installments
H. If You, Not the Plaintiff, Were Wronged-File a Defendant's Claim
I. Fight Back


13. Getting Ready for Court
A. Interpreter Services
B. Free Small Claims Advice
C. Getting Help From a Private Lawyer
D. Mediation
E. Practice, Practice, Practice
F. Getting to the Courthouse
G. Court Times
H. Understanding the Courtroom and Basic Procedure
I. Dealing With Your Opponent
J. Dealing With the Judge or Commissioner
K. Organizing Your Testimony and Evidence


14. Witnesses
A. Who Makes a Good Witness
B. Subpoenaing Witnesses
C. Subpoenaing Police Officers
D. Subpoenaing Documents
E. Witness Testimony by Letter
F. Judges as Witnesses
G. Testimony by Telephone


15. Your Day in Court
A. If Your Opponent Doesn't Show Up
B. Contested Cases
C. A Sample Contested Case
D. Don't Forget to Ask for Your Costs


16. Motor Vehicle Repair Cases
A. Have You Suffered a Loss?
B. Can You Prove the Defendant's Negligence Caused Your Loss?


17. Motor Vehicle Purchase Cases
A. New Vehicles
B. Used Vehicle Dealers
C. Used Vehicles from Private Parties


18. Bad Debts: Initiating and Defending Cases in Which Money Is Owed
A. Small Claims Court Is a Good Place to Sue on Bad Debts
B. Bad Debt Cases From the Plaintiff's Point of View
C. Debt Cases From the Debtor's Point of View


19. Vehicle Accident Cases
A. Who Can Sue Whom?
B. Was There a Witness to the Accident?
C. Police Accident Reports
D. Determining Fault
E. Diagrams
F. Photos
G. Estimates
H. Your Demand Letter
I. Appearing in Court


20. Landlord-Tenant Cases
A. Security Deposit Cases
B. Unpaid Rent, Rent Withholding, and Other Money Damage Cases
C. Drug Dealing and Other Crimes
D. The Obnoxious Landlord
E. The Landlord's Right of Entry and the Tenant's Right of Privacy
F. Discrimination
G. Evictions


21. Miscellaneous Cases
A. Clothing (Alteration and Cleaning)
B. Dog-Related Cases
C. Damage to Real Estate (Land, Buildings, etc.)
D. Police Brutality/False Arrest Cases
E. Defamation (Including Libel and Slander)
F. Internet Purchases


22. Disputes Between Small Businesses
A. Remember: You Didn't Always Hate Your Opponent
B. Organizing Your Case
C. The Drama of the Distraught Designer
D. Old Friends Fall Out


23. Judgment and Appeal
A. The Judgment
B. Installment Payments
C. Paying the Judgment Directly to the Court
D. File Satisfaction of Judgment After Payment
E. Who Can Appeal
F. Filing Your Request to Correct or Vacate Judgment
G. Filing and Presenting Your Appeal


24. Collecting Your Money
A. The Timing of Collecting Your Money
B. If Installment Payments Aren't Made
C. Collecting a Judgment Against a Government Agency
D. Finding the Debtor's Assets
E. Levying on Wages, Bank Accounts, Business Assets, Personal Property,
Etc.
F. Judgments Stemming From Auto Accidents
G. Creating Property Liens
H. Recovering Collection Costs and Interest


25. Legal Research
A. Local Laws
B. State Laws
C. Case Law

Appendix
Index
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)