small claims court

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small claims court

A court of limited jurisdiction, meaning it will not hear disputes larger than a certain dollar amount.It is usually intended to be fast,informal,and not dependent on technical rules of procedure or evidence that would give an advantage to persons with lawyers. Matters pertaining to title to real estate,rights of occupancy under leases,or requests for injunctions normally cannot be heard in small claims courts, but suits for real estate commissions, collection of unpaid rent, or minor property damage would be appropriate. Normally the losing party may appeal to a somewhat higher court and automatically obtain a completely new trial. Most states allow corporate officers or employees to represent the corporation in small claims court, even though this technically constitutes practicing law.

References in periodicals archive ?
In other cases, especially if the amount you have lost is over the small-claims court's limit, you may need an attorney.
Mansnerus, L., "Be Your Own Lawyer in Small-Claims Court," New York Times, Jan.
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