Getting Ready for Court
Ask your Small Claims Court advisor for help in subpoenaing a specific police officer if you believe it is important to your case. This may cost over $150 to defray the cost to the department. You can also subpoena a copy of a police report that may corroborate the activity shown in your activity log. You will need dates and times of the reports but a report number would be ideal. The Small Claims Court advisor can help you draft a subpoena that asks for incident reports taken on specific dates regarding specific addresses. Other records and reports from the Fire Department, Health Department and Code Enforcement may be helpful to show other violations.
Organize your records. Each person should have a separate file to give the Judge. Be sure to keep a copy for yourself. Include in this file your activity log book, all correspondence to the property owner and city officials, and any other reports regarding health or safety code violations that are relevant to the case.
Prepare a personal statement detailing the emotional and mental distress that the defendant caused you. Be prepared to prove your individual monetary damages to the court.
Have a meeting with all people involved in the lawsuit and discuss how you will present your case to the Judge. Make a list of questions that you would like to ask the property owner and any witnesses that you have subpoenaed. Always contact your witnesses first. A hostile witness to a Small Claims Court action may be unproductive.
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