What happens at the trial?
  • When you arrive at the court, check the calendars outside each courtroom. If you don't find your case, ask a bailiff or clerk for assistance. When your case is called, come forward to the counsel table and the judge will swear in all the parties and witnesses.
  • On the day of the hearing, the parties will meet with a mediator in an attempt to resolve the case without having to go to trial. If the case is not resolved during mediation the case will be set for trial on another date.
  • Don't be nervous - remember that a trial in a small claims court is informal. The judge will ask the plaintiff to give his or her side first, then will ask the defendant for his or her explanation. Be brief and stick to the facts. The judge may interrupt you with questions, which you should answer straight out and to the best of your knowledge.
  • Be polite and don't interrupt - not just to the judge, but also to the other party. Whatever happens, keep your temper. Good manners and even tempers help the fair, efficient conduct of the trial, and make a good impression. After both sides have been heard, the judge will formally announce the decision right then and will sign and hand the parties a judgment.

Show All Answers

1. Who can be sued?
2. How much does it cost?
3. How do I get started?
4. How does the notice get served?
5. What if we settle?
6. How do I prepare for the trial?
7. What happens at the trial?
8. What happens if my opponent does not appear for the trial?
9. How do I collect my money?
10. Can you appeal a case if you lose?