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).
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.
MARYLAND SMALL CLAIMS COURTS
Wicomico County Circuit Court Courts Building Salisbury
101 N Division St Salisbury, MD 21801-4940
Anne Arundel County Judges Anne Arundel Circuit Court
Baltimore, MD 21201
55 N Court St Westminster, MD 21157-5155
York County District Courts
20 Wayne Ave Hanover, PA 17331-3305
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.
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