Small Claims Court in Alabama
Regardless of what a person is filing a lawsuit for, everyone’s cases are a little different. As such, these cases are handled differently. Many lawsuits require a complete trial while others can be resolved fairly on a much smaller scale. For these cases, there’s small claims court.
Types of Cases Heard in Alabama Small Claims Court
In Alabama, small claims cases are heard in the Small Claims Docket of the District Court. Common situations that lead people to small claims court often involve unresolved conflicts like property damage resulting from improper handiwork, personal injuries from smaller accidents, unfulfilled contracts be it oral or written, and more. The largest sum one can ask for in small claims court is set at $6,000. Moreover, there is a statute of limitations set for each type of case one could file. According to Alabama state law; Ala. Code § 6-2-30 et seq. – the statute of limitations to file are:
- Personal injury – Two years
- Disputing an oral contract – Six years
- Disputing a written contract – Six years
- Property damage – Six years
While these limitations seem long on paper, a variety of delays and complications in the court system could easily delay a proper small claim. Cases should be filed as quickly as possible. After the plaintiff has filed a small claims court complaint, the defendant has 14 days to submit a written answer.
While lawyers are not allowed to attend small claims court in many states, the state of Alabama allows both the plaintiff and defendant to have an attorney represent them in small claims court – this advantage is often overlooked by at least one party in the court.
Don’t let the name fool you – small claims court is still court. Even if the stakes seem lower, do not underestimate the importance of having legal assistance. Having an attorney represent you in small claims court could make your case stronger and could make for a smoother process.
If you or a loved one is facing small claims court in Alabama for any reason, contact an attorney who could represent you. Contact the Law Offices of Salter Ferguson today to schedule your case consultation.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.