Telling your story to a judge is not like telling a story to a friend. When you tell a story to a friend, you usually start over, give all the details, build up some tension, and then end with an ending. In Small Claims Court, you first want to bring the main problem or issues in your case to the judge. If you don`t speak English well and you`re having trouble presenting your case to court, you can bring someone who can interpret for you to the court – perhaps an adult relative or friend, but not a party to the prosecution or a witness. Instead of bringing your own interpreter, ask the clerk for a list of interpreters at least five days before the hearing. Most interpreters charge a fee. If you can`t afford an interpreter, ask the clerk if the court can provide a free interpreter. A subpoena is a legal document that orders the person named in the subpoena to appear in court. An expert witness can NOT be compelled to testify by subpoena, but you have the option of paying the expert the fee of appearing in court to testify.
You must then ask someone else to serve a copy of the subpoena on the witness. Unlike the plaintiff`s claim form (Form SC-100), you or someone else can provide the witness with a copy of the summons. However, this person should be a responsible adult whom you can trust to properly serve court records. Once the witness has received a copy of the summons, the person who served the summons must complete and sign the small claims printed on the back of the form. Make two copies of each document you want to give to the judge. The judge may ask you to give a copy to the other party and include a copy in the court record. The court will usually allow you to keep your original. Service of a subpoena on a witness may be effected by any person (including a friend or relative) 18 years of age or older. A party to this lawsuit may NOT serve a subpoena. The person serving the summons must complete the affidavit and file it with the court. Be sure to keep receipts for your registration fees and other expenses.
Only certain types of costs (called “eligible costs”) can be recovered from the losing party, but others cannot. The costs that can be reimbursed include the amounts you paid for court costs; the costs of service of disputes (including the costs of searching for the defendant for service, if reasonable); witness fees (but generally not for experts); and the cost of service of summonses (witnesses or documents). Since other types of expenses may be awarded at the judge`s discretion, bring your receipts to the hearing. However, expenses other than those listed above are generally not granted. Most small claims courts rely on temporary judges (sometimes trial judges) to hear and decide small claims cases. A temporary judge is an attorney who has been admitted to practice law in California for at least 10 years and volunteers to help the court hear certain types of cases. The temporary judge must complete a training program for small claims judges before hearing cases. If a witness is unable to attend the hearing, you can ask them to write and sign a statement called a “statement” to present to the court. This testimony must contain everything the witness wants to tell the judge about your claim or defence.
At the end of the testimony, the witness must write: “I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing is true and correct and that this statement was signed on [date] at [place] – for example. Sacramento, California. The witness must then date and sign the statement and provide their city and telephone number at the time of signing. You must arrange for the summons to be served personally on the person named in the summons. The summons may be served by a police officer, a sheriff, a private trial server, or a person over the age of eighteen who is not a party to the case. In addition to the subpoena, you must also write a cheque for witness expenses. The fee is currently $25 per day plus $0.58 per mile (estimate the number of miles for a round trip to court or where you are bringing the person to court). You must present proof of service of the summons to the court. An affidavit of service is part of the summons form.
The person serving the summons must complete the affidavit, and you will file the entire summons with the clerk of the court. A person`s failure to comply with a subpoena may be considered contempt of court. (NRC 45(e).) The court may impose a fine of up to $500 on the person and detain them for up to twenty-five days. (NRS 22.100(2).) In addition, a witness who disobeys a subpoena could be ordered to pay $100 and any damages caused by his non-participation, and a warrant for arrest could be issued against the witness. (NRS 50.195, 50.205). If you want the witness to bring documents to the hearing, you must check the box asking them to do so. You will need to complete the declaration form and describe exactly what documents or papers you need and why you need them to support your application. The summons form gives you two options: you can ask the witness to bring the documents to court and testify as a witness, or simply hand over the documents you requested from the court. (You do not need to require the witness to appear at trial.) You must arrange for the service of the summons and the payment of witness fees and, if applicable, travel expenses of the person summoned. Unless the journey takes place entirely within a city, a witness summoned to appear is entitled to travel expenses to the court of the place where the summons was served on him.
To protect privacy interests, you should only display the last four digits of Social Security numbers on financial records. You can take the originals or copies of your evidence to court, but do not submit your originals to the judge for safekeeping. Some courts will reject your evidence once the judge makes a decision in the case. You have the right to have your case heard by an ordinary judge or judicial commissioner. A temporary judge cannot pressure you or threaten you to allow him or her to hear your case. If one of the parties to the dispute does not agree, the Registrar may deem it necessary to postpone the hearing to a later date when an ordinary judge or judicial commissioner is available. Before the hearing, the proceedings are explained in the courtroom either by the judge or by another court official. Many courtrooms now use videotapes to explain these procedures. The court will then call the list to see which plaintiffs and defendants are present at their hearings. Listen carefully to know what to do. Anyone who testifies at a hearing will be asked to take an oath promising to tell the truth.
Usually, you only have a few minutes to explain your side of the dispute and answer questions, so be sure to present your key points first. You can usually use a written outline or notes, but it`s best not to read a prepared statement. Make sure you have all your evidence and important documents with you. Tell the judge that you have them and ask the court clerk or other court official to give them to the judge. If you get permission from the judge, you can give the documents directly to the judge. If the judge needs to keep your evidence for review, ask how and when you will retrieve the evidence. If you and the other party resolve the dispute on the day of the hearing, there may not be enough time to dismiss the matter by signing and filing a motion to dismiss (Form CIV-110). In this case, you and the other party should attend the hearing and, if your case is called, inform the judge that you have resolved the dispute. The judge has several options: the judge can (1) give you the extra time you need to sign and file a motion to dismiss in which the case is dismissed with prejudice before you leave court that day; (2) order the dismissal of the action without prejudice (meaning that it can be reintroduced if the settlement amount is not paid); (3) postpone the hearing for a short period of time so that the defendant can pay the claim, or (4) include the terms of the agreement in an ordinary court judgment. Once the defendant has paid and the plaintiff has received the agreed amount, the plaintiff must sign and file a motion to dismiss (Form CIV-110) dismissing the case with prejudice (meaning the lawsuit can never be filed again).