Your first step in resolving a small claims dispute is to send a demand letter.
You’ve made the decision that it’s time to make a minor claim. You’ve heard it’s rather painless and simple. But you realize you don’t know where to begin. How exactly do you begin your claim? You start by drafting a demand letter, then. To start your case and enter the small claims court, you must issue a demand letter.
Your first step in filing a small claim
The common person’s equivalent of a legal complaint is a demand letter. You describe your issue and the reasons why you wish to resolve it in court in it.
The sum for which you are suing or the precise remedy you need must also be included in the demand letter. This letter is addressed to the party you are at odds with. Send a copy to the court clerk if and when you are ready to file. Even if you don’t need legal writing expertise to write a demand letter, it must be concise and well-structured.
You should briefly outline the conflict’s history. Justify the absence of a current agreement. While your adversary may be aware of all that occurred.
Organize it chronologically, but be brief. That way, an uninvolved observer will be able to follow it easily.
Be kind, succinct, and clear about what you want and what you will do next if the issue is not fixed. Include the amount owing and the due date, for instance, if the transaction involves a debt settlement. Say so if you’re prepared to take less money as compensation. If not, be sure to state that as well. Inform the opposing party that you will launch a small claims lawsuit if you are unable to reach a resolution. Hopefully, he or she will determine that reaching a compromise makes sense.
What to avoid when writing a demand letter
Avoid making threats or making fun of the other person. Avoid expressing your dissatisfaction or fury verbally.
Putting others in a bad attitude will only make it more difficult to come to an agreement. The letter’s purpose is to convey your seriousness to the other person and to allow them time to think about their legal options. It is not a chance to belittle them or forge a hostile bond with them. Keep in mind that the judge who hears your case will also read your demand letter if the matter ends up in court. Another justification for remaining impartial and expert is this. The very last thing you want is for the court to think you’re being hostile.
How long should the letter Be?
A demand letter may be any length—neither brief nor lengthy. But shorter is preferable. It shouldn’t be more than a page lengthy; simply long enough to make your point clear. Your opponent will see that you are serious about the litigation if you write them an incisive letter. Additionally, it will benefit the judges, who are overworked, and the court clerk. The better it will be for your case, the less you offer them to read.
Create and maintain several copies of the letter for your own use and to bring with you to any next court hearings. If you’re lucky, you won’t have to appear before a court, but if it does, you’ll be ready.