This segment of The Law and You features personal injury trial lawyer Lara Johnson describing how small claims court works.
JOEL: This is Joel Block for The Law and You with Eugene attorney, Lara Johnson. Lara, many people have asked about small claims court. Can you tell us how that works?
LARA: Joel, small claims court can be used for claims of less than $7500 by people who do not want to use a lawyer. There is a filing fee of $50 to $100, depending on the size of the claim and the county where the claim is filed. Before you go to small claims court, as with any case, try to settle your claim. When you file in small claims court, you will be asked to sign a sworn statement that you made a genuine effort to settle the claim. The person bringing the claim has the burden of proof. Save your relevant records, and have witnesses available. If someone has brought a small claim against you, you have 14 days to do one of three things: pay the clerk of the court the amount of the claim, ask for judge to hear the case, or if the claimed amount is greater than $750, ask for a jury trial.
JOEL: Thanks, Lara. If you would like to know more about Small Claims Court, visit the Law Firm of Corson & Johnson at CorsonJohnsonLaw.com. The Law and You is a community service and does not replace the advice of an attorney.
The Corson & Johnson Law Firm, a Eugene, Oregon personal injury trial law firm, produces and distributes The Law and You as a continuing public service to help families and consumers answer questions about our legal system and how it works for them. The Law and You spots are aired on KKNU, KMGE, KEUG, and KODZ in Eugene, Oregon. If you have suggestions of legal questions or topics you would like addressed by The Law and You, please contact us.