Most common claims in small claims courts involve:
Auto Accidents - Someone dents your vehicle and refuses to pay for the repairs.
Small Loans - Someone refuses to pay you back the money he/she borrowed.
Defected New Products - Your new chair breaks but the store will not fix it or return your money.
Poor Services Rendered - A dry cleaning company ruins your favorite dress and will not pay for or replace it.
Landlord/Tenant Issues - The property owner or landlord refuses to return your security deposit, even after certifying the place was left in in good condition.
Things to bring to court:
Original copies of all papers you need to help prove the case (contracts, letters, rental agreements, canceled checks, deeds, repair bills, IOUs, diagrams, written damage estimates, photographs or even drawings.)
2 photocopies of every original document. (one for the defendant, one for the court)
The piece of clothing or the appliance damaged by the defendant, if that's the case.
Any witness that could help the case. Some judges allow notarized statements by witness that cannot appear in court.
Small Claims Courts Requirements:
You must be at least 18 years of age. (If not, a guardian appointed by the court will sue for the minor.)
Be of sound mind or mentally competent. (If not, a guardian appointed by the court will sue for the incapacitated.)
United States citizen and non-citizens can use the small claims court.
There are no juries in small claims courts.
No objections are allowed.
Either the plaintiff (the person who is suing) or the defendant (the person being sued) are allowed to speak with an attorney before coming to court, but lawyers are not allowed in the court with you. You must be a Pro Se litigant (represent yourself.)
Hearing dates are usually set on some evenings or on Saturday (once a month.)
Hearing is scheduled within 40 days in most cases (up to 70 days if one litigant does not live in the same county).
ARKANSAS SMALL CLAIMS COURTS
Sebastian County Courts Complex
901 South B Street, Suite 105
Fort Smith, AR 72901
Phone: (479) 784-2420
The Small Claims Division holds court on Wednesdays
Baxter County District Court - Small Claims Civil Division
206 W 8th Street
Mountain Home, AR 72653-4344
Phone: (870) 425-8910
Small Claims Court - County Of Garland
607 Ouachita Avenue # 150
Hot Springs, AR 71901-3921
Phone: (501) 321-6763
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