Do you know what happens after you file a lawsuit in small claims court?
If you answered “yes,” do you know how to avoid mistakes in every step that follows?
If you answered “no,” how couldn’t you benefit from consulting with a small claims lawyer?
To get the best results for your case, you need a guide that does more than answer your questions. You want an article that shows you how to find the best small claims court lawyer in Wisconsin.
Learn the essentials by reading the sections below and take notes for your initial consultation with an attorney.
What Types of Cases Go to Small Claims Court?
Most small claims cases involve simple monetary disputes where one party acted in the wrong.
The most common examples include:
- Unlawful evictions
- Disputes over pets
- Disputes over gym contracts
- Minor disputes with a neighbor
- Not receiving payment for a sale
- Collecting payment from a debtor
- Refusal to return a security deposit
- Overcharging or faulty work for car repair
Anyone can bring a small claims case in front of a local judge if the issue involves a lower amount of money. This type of lawsuit offers the advantage of resolving monetary disputes at a low cost.
You don’t have a complicated court process, either. Anyone without formal legal education can understand how the process works. If you have a straightforward case, you may have a chance at winning without legal help.
It’s important to note that what appears straightforward to you may have unforeseen legal complications. Any assumption that you make without legal advice may mean that you lose your case before it starts.
Can You Sue in Small Claims Court?
You can go to court if you are over 18 years old or a legally emancipated minor. You don’t have any legal obligation to hire a lawyer for small claims court.
It’s critical to know the limitations of these lawsuits. Wisconsin limits small claims to $10,000 or less.
Does your case involve government agencies? Examples of this include discrimination from an employer based on sex, race, gender, or sexual preference. You must show that you filed complaints to government entities before going to court.
When Do You File and How Much Does it Cost?
If you wait too long to file, you may not have an option to deal with the problem. Do your homework and find out what the law states.
In Wisconsin, the statute of limitations goes from two to six years, depending on the case.
You should expect the following fees that will vary depending on the circumstances:
- Court fees
- A filing fee
- Court clerk costs
- A service fee
How Can a Lawyer Help in Small Claims Court?
Do you need a lawyer for small claims?
You don’t have a legal obligation to hire a lawyer for small claims court. It’s worth considering for any dollar amount, however. An attorney’s expertise may mean the difference between winning or losing your case.
Avoid a Disadvantage in Representation
Are you filing a claim against a governmental entity or corporation? Wisconsin law says that companies must have an attorney present for all legal proceedings.
If you go to court without an attorney, and the other side has representation, you’re at a disadvantage.
Do you have confidence that there’s no viable counter-claim? If you become a counter-defendant, you can face judgments against yourself that could cost thousands of dollars.
A consultation may prevent you from wasting your time and money. Even if you don’t believe that you need a lawyer for small claims court, you should at least know the advantages.
Have you taken the time to discuss your claim with a neutral party? It’s difficult to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case without a professional’s insight. If you do nothing else with a consultation, you’ll have a sense of how to strengthen your case before your hearing.
Do you know the proper procedure for having evidence admitted in court? Do you what may or may not be admissible?
If you answered “yes” to those questions, you have a law degree.
Hiring an attorney means you have an expert in what documents to present and what may constitute hearsay. You don’t want your case to suffer because you missed a rule about admitting evidence in a Wisconsin courtroom.
Is a Small Claims Lawyer Worth the Expense?
The dollars and cents don’t seem to add up. How can small claims lawyer fees make sense?
Lawyers offer a variety of fees to help clients with small claims. You may find a lawyer who’s open to:
- A fixed fee
- Working on contingency
- An hourly fee for limited help
Ask for a consultation and present your case to a lawyer. If you don’t have confidence that hiring a small claims attorney works for your case, at least you took the time to explore the option.
Before you decide to move forward without representation, take the time to investigate the reality for yourself.
Do You Need a Small Claims Attorney?
You have more information than when you started, but where do you go from here?
Can you decide if you need a small claims lawyer on your own?
You don’t have to leave your legal fortune up to chance. For small claims or large ones, use our website as a resource or call us at 920-261-1630.