In a handful of states, including California, Michigan, and Nebraska, you must appear in small claims court on your own.
In many states, however, you can be represented by a lawyer if you like.
But even where it’s allowed, hiring a lawyer is rarely cost efficient.
Should you hire a lawyer for small claims court?
When you sue a corporation or business in small claims court
If you’re suing a corporation or business, it’s prudent to hire a lawyer if possible. In some states, the small claims rules prohibit you from having an attorney as the plaintiff but require the defendant as a corporation to have a lawyer.
What are the legal requirements for small claims court?
The first thing you’ll need to do to sue in small claims court is to find out whether your claim meets the small claims court’s jurisdictional requirements. Each state has established a maximum monetary limit ranging from $2,000 to as high as $5,000 or $10,000.
How much does it cost to hire a lawyer for small claims court?
The fee for filing in small claims court depends on the amount of the claim: $30 if the claim is for $1,500 or less, $50 if the claim is for more than $1,500 but less than or equal to $5,000, or $75 if the claim is for more than $5,000.
Can you sue for attorney fees in small claims court?
Small claims court is a special division of the justice court. Attorneys are allowed in small claims court. But the winning party in a small claims case cannot collect attorney’s fees from the losing party. So a party who hires an attorney will be responsible for paying that attorney.