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Filing and Winning Small Claims For Dummies (For Dummies (Business & Personal Finance)) [Kindle Edition]

Philip Straniere
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Real advice you can trust and use in small claims court

When every other method to collect has failed, a small claim is the right remedy to seek. If you're looking at either prosecuting or defending in a small claims court, with or without an attorney, the information presented in Filing & Winning Small Claims For Dummies is indispensable.

The nuances of small claims courts vary from state to state, but the basic approach in preparing and presenting a small claims case is extremely uniform no matter where you are. Regardless of state or circumstance, you can find, trust, and use the info in Filing & Winning Small Claims For Dummies to prepare yourself for your court date. You'll find everything you need to know including establishing a case, settling or mediating a dispute, fees, applications, and other paperwork, statues of limitations, securing witnesses and experts, preparing for court, filing for appeal, case studies and more. Filing & Winning Small Claims For Dummies also includes the most current information and resources on specific laws, statues, dollar limits, and procedures. 

  • Includes the most current information and resources on specific laws, statues, dollar limits, and procedures
  • Offers practical information on securing witnesses and experts
  • Complemented with real-world examples of small claims court cases

If you're headed to small claims court, either as a plaintiff or a defendant, you'll want Filing & Winning Small Claims For Dummies in your corner! 


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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Learn to:

  • Prosecute or defend your small claims case
  • Grasp small claims court laws, statutes, and procedures
  • Settle or mediate a dispute

Real insight you can trust and use in small claims court

When every other method to collect has failed, a small claim is the right remedy to seek. If you're looking at either prosecuting or defending in small claims court, with or without an attorney, the information in Filing & Winning Small Claims For Dummies has you covered. You'll find everything you need to know, from establishing a small claims case to settling or mediating a dispute — and everything in between.

  • A small claim is a big deal — determine if your case belongs in small claims court and then make the big decisions before you take the next step, like how much money you'd like to get and if you need a lawyer to help you get it
  • Court is in session — get expert tips on all of the paperwork and information you'll need for your day in court
  • Make your case — discover how to present your case to the right person at the right time in the right way (and how to avoid making any missteps that will compromise your case)
  • Keep order in the court — find examples of some of the most common types of small claims cases and how to prepare specifically for them

Open the book and find:

  • Help for deciding if your case belongs in small claims court
  • How you can determine if you have a "civil dispute"
  • The limitations of small claims court
  • The pros and cons of hiring a lawyer
  • How to classify your case in general legal terms
  • Tips and guidance on presenting your case in court
  • Ways to handle post-trial issues
  • Ten blunders to avoid in court

About the Author

Hon. Philip S. Straniere was named an Acting Justice of the New York State Supreme Court in 2004 and is currently the Supervising Judge of Civil Court, Richmond County, New York. Prior to going on the bench he was in private practice for over 20 years.


Product Details

  • File Size: 854 KB
  • Print Length: 360 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition (March 19, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BY2WRGS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #675,456 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Overview of Small Claims Court August 27, 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Small Claims Court is one of the few areas of the law where, in my opinion, individuals can, in many cases, effectively represent themselves. A book like this goes a long way in familiarizing the general public into what is involved when being a plaintiff or defendant in Small Claims Court.

While small claims' courts vary in terms of procedure from state to state this book looks at the big picture of what to consider when filing a claim in small claims or responding to one. You would need to contact the court in your area for specific rules.

The first part of the book looks at whether it is worth bringing a claim in small claims, where to bring the claim and whether or not to hire a lawyer or represent yourself.

The second part looks at what you need to do to start things rolling. It looks at who to contact, how to serve the defendant and what to do if you are a defendant.

The third part looks at how to act in court, legal concepts like making motions and examining witnesses and understanding the judges decision. This section could have been larger since textbooks have been written on court procedure but considering this is a Dummies book the section works.

The fourth part looks at specific types of cases brought in small claims and how to address them. It looks at cases against businesses, landlord tenant disputes, suing neighbors and claims relating to internet issues.

The fifth part looks at post trial issues. Issues such as what to do if you win or lose are addressed. For instance how to appeal a case is addressed or how to collect on a claim is also reviewed.

Finally the book looks at the top ten ways to improve your chances of winning and the top ten blunders to avoid.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Whether you are a small business owner, a homeowner, or just about anyone else in our society, Small Claims Court is a very important and valuable tool that you need to know more about. This book is a very good handbook and guide for the process. You might never go to court, but if you don't know how the tool works you are putting yourself at a disadvantage. I strongly recommend that you read this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
One of those "foolish assumptions" the Honorable Philip S. Straniere has when you crack the pages of this book is that you're "either suing someone or being sued in small claims court." Wrong in my case, but I do know someone who is being sued. His stress factor is sky high and his pocket book is getting much lighter as he has had to consult a lawyer. I know nothing about small claims court, outside of the obvious, but this book is quite informative, well-written, and interesting. Do you know that "one person can affect your case more than almost any other --- and it's not the judge." Surprise, surprise, it's the court clerk. There's actually a whole chapter devoted to this powerful person and how to hold a little sway over him or her.

Yes, you can roam the Internet finding answers to all your questions and most likely lengthy tomes on the small claims court, but I much prefer a book. Did you know what replevin is? How about an exculpatory clause? E-Evidence? Mind you, I thought I knew a little bit about small claims court, but in retrospect can admit to being a real dummy. Each chapter is prefaced by bullet points outlining the basics of what will be discussed. Throughout the book you'll find little icons that will highlight additional information you'll need to pay attention to. They offer up tips, things you'll need to remember, examples, point out technical stuff, and offer up cautionary notes. For example one under the realm of technical hints claims that "If you use independent arbitration outside of the court system, the finding of the `arbitrator' is called an `award' or a `decision.'"

If you are being sued or are considering suing someone in small claims court, this is probably one of the easiest and well-thought out books to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is an excellent resource to use to be prepared to take on small claims cases, as either a plaintiff or as a defendant. This books provides sound advice and clear explanations regarding what to submit for small claims cases and how to respond in defense of small claims.

If you have never had the unpleasant experience of arguing a case in court, this book is an indispensable resource for understanding the many terms used in court proceedings. Many terms for which I knew their basic meanings, are now much more understandable, thanks to the fully defined explanations that are presented with short, easy-to-follow "for example" scenarios.

This book goes much deeper than simply having an understanding of the trial process, but it also shares invaluable information on tactics to use when particular situations arise. The strategies expressed are absolutely straightforward, so much that I would not have expected a book on the topic of law to be such a pleasure to read. It defines the roles of the many individuals involved in court proceedings, and how to utilize their functions, as well.

There is twice as much value in this Dummies "The Part of Tens" feature: not only do I get "Ten Ways to Improve Your Odds of Winning in Court," but also "Ten Blunders to Avoid." These are, for the most part, common-sense tips, but their importance necessitates having a dedicated section to highlight them.

I recommend this book highly for anyone who wants to understand the trial process. An understanding of the material presented in "Filing & Winning Small Claims for Dummies" helps tremendously for participation, or even for casual observation of court proceedings. This is filled with valuable information that anyone will benefit from knowing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive
I recently had a issue come up in which I was threatened with a small claims court case. We managed to settle outside court but this book was the perfect reference from evaluating... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Kristen E. Bogren
5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource
It is relatively easy to find information on select small claims issues from authoritative government or organizational sources online, but this book provides you with a really... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Ashley Mott
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive and approachable
I liked the author's style and viewpoint. As a retired judge he definitely brings the "seen it all - good, bad and ridiculous" attitude that keeps the book light. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Brian R.
4.0 out of 5 stars Primer on small claims court
"Filing & Winning Small Claims for Dummies" is written by a civil judge in Staten Island. More so than the other "for Dummies" books I have read, it seems to be less for dummies... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Margaret Picky
4.0 out of 5 stars very good general advice
This book is full of good, general advice- from everything to how to dress and act in the courtroom, to how to get paid once you win. Read more
Published 8 months ago by T. L. Armitage
4.0 out of 5 stars Anyone can understand
I love that this resource book uses language that a non- lawyer can understand! I learned a lot and felt confident with proceeding with my case. Read more
Published 9 months ago by 1Lovely
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Reference
This is an excellent reference book if you need to file a small claims court action. Gives you the basic rules, what to expect in court and how to win a case by providing accurate... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Michael Hilton
5.0 out of 5 stars excellant
covers a lot of basic knowledge into correctly filing a claim against a party and winning your claim. really love it!
Published 9 months ago by Roddy Capers
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable for any small claims case
Filing and Winning Small Claims is about as thorough, definitive text on all the considerations and worthwhile and essential points of knowledge to do everything possible to be... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Coolfire
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