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Everybody's Guide to Small Claims Court in California [Paperback]

Ralph Warner , Linda Allison

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Book Description

April 2006 Everybody's Guide to Small Claims Court in California
The only guide to California Small Claims Court that provides tips by former judges!

The definitive guide to California Small Claims Court for more than 25 years, this plain-English guide gives you step-by-step instructions to bring or defend your case -- from preparing evidence and lining up persuasive witnesses, to making a presentation in court and collecting the money you're awarded.

Everybody's Guide to Small Claims Court in California shows you how to:

-decide if you have a winning case
-mediate a settlement if possible
-determine how much to sue for
-write your demand letter
-file and serve papers
-prepare evidence and witnesses for court
-plan a winning courtroom strategy
-convince the judge that you are right
-collect your money when you win

The 16th edition -- updated with the latest laws and procedures -- now features practical tips and insights by former judges of small claims courts. It also shows you how to handle disputes involving Internet transactions.

Go after the money that's owed you -- represent yourself in small claims court and win!

Product Details

  • Paperback: 427 pages
  • Publisher: NOLO; 16 edition (April 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 141330446X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1413304466
  • Product Dimensions: 22.1 x 17.8 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 680 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,769,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


A step-by-step guide for making the legal system work for you. -- Orange County Register

Warner’s book takes you by the hand through all the potential pitfalls of trying your own case. -- Los Angeles Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Ralph Warner is a co-founder and e-publisher of Nolo.com and one of the pioneers of the self-help law movement. A graduate of Princeton University and the Boalt School of Law (U.C. Berkeley), he is the author of many books and articles aimed at making our legal system more accessible and democratic. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Small claims court in California is finally getting some of the respect it has long deserved. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Used it in real dispute. Aug. 6 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
I have used it and it works. It is straight to the point no nonsense approach. I won the case and did get my money back. It instructed my step by step, how to make a demand, file a claim, and serve the papers, how to prepare and act in court. Than how to collect a judgement, how to put the lien. What to do and when not to. Also commons sense advise when not to file. Power to the people, justice for all, without an attorney taking half of what is yours
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars START WITH THIS BOOK FIRST June 28 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
If you want to make less mistakes, save time and money, it's best to start with this book so you can get the correct service, venue, and evidence organized to file and win. I found the chapter on how to write a demand letter and settle your claim before it gets to court very helpful. They even offer sample letters you use to settle your case. Nolo Press seems to put together the best legal self help books.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Win in Small Claims Court! June 12 2001
By Aaron Morris, Esq. (www.toplawfirm.com) - Published on Amazon.com
If you have a claim involving $5,000 or less, you can easily and inexpensively bring an action in Small Claims Court. But even though Small Claims Court is designed for non-attorneys (in fact, attorneys are not allowed) you still must have a basic understanding of the rules of evidence and know how to put on your case. Invest a little time to read this book, and you will stand a much better chance of winning.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent self help guide on the subject March 3 2006
By Gaetan Lion - Published on Amazon.com
If you are reading this review, you are most probably a prospective plaintiff considering recovering losses you incurred in an auto accident through the small claims court process. This guide will help you tremendously. The NoLo series is an incredible service to mankind. It is the equivalent to the Dummies series focused on the Law. And, who besides expensive lawyers really understand the Law? Readers who have studied NoLo books!

The book is very well organized. Even though there is a lot of material, it is easy to extract the information pertaining to your very specific situation. The author covers a lot of those; as he dedicates specific chapters to auto repairs, auto accidents, lord-tenant dispute, etc... The author states that he covers the main type of cases that account for 99% of the cases tried in small claim courts. I believe him. If your case is outside those presented, there is a good chance it does not belong in small claims court.

The author gives crucial information about the basics of small claim courts. If you are not a lawyer, you are unfamiliar with all the procedures associated with it. Thanks to this book, you will know exactly what to do and when to file, prepare, and try a claim in small claims court. Once you have done the studying and the preparing it is not all that difficult. And, this book allows you to navigate through a bureaucratic process that would appear overwhelming and Byzantine otherwise.

This is my second NoLo book and hopefully the last. Who wants to deal with the Law if you don't have to? My first one was on how to fight a ticket. Thanks to NoLo, I reduced the price of my ticket by $120. Now, I anticipate recovering the cost of a fender bender where I am dealing with one uninsured and one unwilling party. It is not fun, but those NoLo books allow you to uphold your rights when you have to.
4.0 out of 5 stars Everybody's Guide to Small Claims Court in California June 2 2014
By Ravi Jain - Published on Amazon.com
It is a good beginner's book for persons who have the need to go to Small Claims Court only occasionally. However, if you go to the small claims court frequently, such as a landlord owning several rentals, he/she must obtain another book to supplement his/her knowledge with the "Consumer Law Sourcebook, Small Claims Court, Laws & Procedures" published and distributed by the State of California, Department of Consumer Affairs, for a price of $40.00 only for a wealth of information. This book provides in detail the law and procedures in Small Courts in California. You will be surprised that in some or most of the cases, even the court clerks in some courts are not knowledgeable about some of the matters about small claims and their appeals. As an example, one supervisory court clerk told me that an appeal from Small Claims Court goes to a regular Civil Court with the Civil Court laws and procedures in force. In fact, the appeal from a Small Court within a Superior Court of California, goes to the same Small Claims Court within the same Superior Court except another new judge is assigned to hear the case, with the same informal small claims court's procedures and total relaxation of Rules of Evidence with respect to hearsay, except either party can be represented by an attorney subject to same procedures. The appeal is heard de novo, meaning that the appeal would be heard again as a new case as a small claims action.

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