Q: I lent a friend money because he was behind on his rent and needed help. Now, months later, he still hasn't paid me back, and he's cut off all communication and contact with me. I posted a demand letter on his front door and garage door which I know he received. It gave him 10 days to pay up or I would sue. Should I represent myself or hire an attorney? Keep reading for the answer.
You can represent yourself in small claims court, but an attorney can very be helpful. The small claims court process is more informal than other courts such as district or county courts, and the judges often fulfill some of the functions an attorney would normally fulfill. However, attorneys understand the procedure, what needs to be proved, how to prove it, possible defenses and how to rebut them, what damages are available (and not) and how to get those damages awarded, etc. You most likely do not. Attorney fees are available in some cases such as breach of contract, but nothing is guaranteed, especially in small claims court. Consider the likely benefits verses the likely cost when determining whether to hire an attorney. In the event the defendant hires an attorney, it would probably be best if you retained an attorney.
NOT LEGAL ADVICE.
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