The Small Claims Lawyer

The Law Office of Brian D. Russ proudly serves small claims clients throughout California.

Small Claims is an essential part of California's civil justice system. Don't take on a Small Claims case without Brian's help! Small Claims is complicated even though it is designed for fast resolution without many legal hurdles.

Call The Law Office of Brian D. Russ at (888) 632-6623 for assistance with your case today!

Small Claims Process

STEP 1. A DEMAND IS MADE.
The first step of every small claims case is that the Plaintiff makes a demand that satisfies the requirements of the California Code of Civil Procedure. The Plaintiff must demand payment or possession of the disputed property.

STEP 2. A LAWSUIT IS FILED.
The Plaintiff (i.e., the person suing someone else) must file a lawsuit against the Defendant (i.e., the person being sued). The Plaintiff's suit will likely be filed using the Judicial Council Form SC-100. The suit must describe why the Plaintiff is owed money from the Defendant.

STEP 2A. MAKE IT A STRONG CLAIM.
This is the step where I see most cases fail. The Plaintiff shouldn't win if they make a bad claim. For example, if you think someone breached a contract, in your filing, you should explain to the court what terms of the contract were breached and what remedies arise when a breach occurs. Or, if you were injured a car accident, explain how the accident was the other party's fault and why their actions mean you should recover compensation.

STEP 3. THE OTHER PARTY IS SERVED.
There are specific rules for serving another party to ensure your case will be heard in court. Service rules are complicated, especially for Defendants who live outside of California.

STEP 4. THE HEARING.
Assuming the suit was properly filed and served, the court will hold a hearing on the claims. Note that the court may require the Plaintiff and the Defendant to attend mediation before the hearing to come to a mutually-agreeable resolution. Also, attorneys cannot represent parties at a small claims hearing - the parties must represent themselves at the hearing.

STEP 5. THE JUDGMENT.
After the hearing, the court will make a decision on the claims. The court will most likely not make a decision on the same day as the hearing and may mail a decision within thirty days after the hearing.

STEP 6. ENFORCING THE JUDGMENT.
If the court enters a judgment for either the Plaintiff or the Defendant (on a counter-claim), that Party must enforce the judgment against the other party. Hopefully, the other party would be civil and just pay the judgment, but sometimes the prevailing party must seek other avenues to enforce the judgment, such as by levying a bank account or garnishing wages.

STEP 6A. APPEALING THE DECISION.
In Small Claims, a Defendant may appeal the court's decision if the court's decision is for the Plaintiff. The Plaintiff may not appeal the court's decision if the court decides for the Defendant (unless it's on a counter claim).

Brian's Cases

Brian has advised plaintiffs on dozens of small claims cases. The list below shows outcomes of some of Brian's victories:

➥ Recovered $9,000+ on a diminished value claim arising from an automobile accident.
➥ Prior to filing suit, reached a settlement with a private school for $7,500+ on a breach of contract issue.
➥ In a pre-hearing settlement, received $5,000 from a solar company liable for damage to solar panels.
➥ Reclaimed $5,000 from a door-to-door credit card scam preying on the elderly.
➥ Full recovery of out-of-pocket medical expenses plus an additional $1,500 in pain and suffering from an automobile accident.
➥ Successfully forced a social media company to reinstate a business's profile page.

**Ready for Brian to work on your case? Call us today at (888) 632-6623.

Contact

Call (888) 632-6623 to schedule a time to talk with Brian about your California small claims case.

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PRICES

Initial Suit

$850 Legal Fees +Costs
This legal fees must be paid upfront and includes:
➢ Demand letter sent to the other party from The Law Office of Brian D. Russ;
➢ Attempt to negotiate a settlement with the other party; and
➢ One hour of one-on-one coaching with attorney Brian D. Russ prior to your small claims hearing.
➢ If you are suing someone, Brian will prepare the Plaintiff's Claim and Order to Go to Small Claims Court (Form SC-100) and arrange service on the other party; or
➢ If you are being sued and want to sue the other party, Brian will prepare the Defendant's Claim and Order to Go to Small Claims Court (Form SC-120) and arrange service on the other party.

Appeals

Hourly Legal Fees +Costs
A case-by-case agreement will be made for appeals fees given the complexity and time requirements of the case.
➢ Full review of original case, decision, and strategy for an effective appeal or defense;
➢ As needed, filing and service of Notice of Appeal (Small Claims Form SC-140);
➢ Attempt to negotiate a settlement with the other party; and
➢ Attorney Brian's representation of you in court.
Unlike the initial hearing, attorneys are allowed to represent a small claims party at an appeal hearing. Brian will represent you at your appeals subject to additional fees and costs.

Contact The Law Offices of Brian D. Russ Now.