When your legal dispute involves a low amount of money or piece of property that's valued at a small amount, small claims court in South Carolina may be a valid approach to win your battle. Compared to hiring a Pawleys Island lawyer, a small claims case is often quick, simple, informal, and inexpensive. In most cases, you will present your own case without a lawyer.
South Carolina Small Claims Court Rules
The rules for small claims court vary by state. In South Carolina, small claims cases are heard in Magistrates Court. The maximum amount allowed for recovery in South Carolina small claims court is $7,500. If the value of your lawsuit stretches beyond this amount, you will need to hire a lawyer in Pawleys Island.
Those eligible to sue in small claims court in South Carolina include anyone at least 18 years of age or emancipated minors. A business or corporate entity is typically allowed to bring a case to small claims, but if you have questions, it's best to schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney who can help you determine the best plan of action.
The majority of small claims court cases in the Palmetto State involve money. If you're suing for something other than cash, consult a lawyer to see if your case qualifies for the court. For example, if you're seeking to change a child support amount or want an increase in alimony, you'll need to go to family court.
Deadline For Small Claims Case in South Carolina
The statute of limitations for small court cases differs depending on the state. For South Carolina, the deadline for small claims in most situations is typically three years. However, it's best to confirm that deadline with your small claims court or consult a Pawleys Island lawyer before filing the lawsuit. If you miss the deadline, but still want to pursue legal action, contact an experienced attorney for options on how to move forward.
How To File Small Claims South Carolina
Step number one in filing a small claims case in South Carolina is to obtain and fill out the necessary paperwork. You'll also need to pay the associated fees. The paperwork will identify the person or business you are suing (the defendant) and will provide you space for a detailed description of the events surrounding your lawsuit. Small claim cases are usually filed in the county where the person being sued lives, although there are exceptions to this standard. You may have the option to file where the incident took place, but it's best to confirm this with the small claims court.
If you win your small claims court case, the court will not collect the win for you. The person or business you sue may not have the money or may refuse to pay it. In this case, you'll need to hire a Pawleys Island lawyer to help you collect your judgement. If you're unsure if your case is best suited for small claims court or should be presented by a lawyer, contact the Hopkins Law Firm for a consultation.